Deciduous a 3D Printed Pavilion by MEAN*


Designed by MEAN* (Middle East Architecture Network) for DIFC (Dubai International Financial Center), Deciduous is a 3D printed pavilion that invites us to revisit our relationship with nature, through an experience reminiscent of walking through an abstracted botanical form.

Building on MEAN’s experiments with 3D printing in design, the pavilion is an exploration in scaling processes to the architectural realm. Deciduous is composed of a hybrid of 3 different sustainable materials: CNC-milled Birch plywood flooring, Robotically 3D-Printed Concrete Base, and a series of branching 3D-Printed PETG stems, a plastic polymer upcycled from 30,000 discarded water bottles.

In light of Dubai’s focus on 3D printing as a sustainable technology, the hybridization of state-of-the-art Robotic 3D printing in plastic and concrete is a first attempt to explore the possibilities that the two technologies can offer, contributing to the emirate’s vision of ecological construction growth towards 2025.

Deciduous is designed to come together in interconnected parts, and is completely prefabricated off-site. The parts can be mechanically joined on a clean site with no need for heavy machinery. Computational modeling was used to conceive and quantify the
design to a level of detailing optimal within the parameters and constraints of Large Format Robotic 3D Printing.

In the field of botany, the term ‘deciduous’ refers to trees that seasonally shed leaves, usually in the autumn. Celebrating this year’s ‘Art Nights’ event at DIFC with the theme ‘Autumn’, Deciduous entices us to ask ourselves, what does Autumn mean to Dubaians today? Source by MEAN*.

  • Location: Dubai, UAE
  • Architect: MEAN* Middle East Architecture Network
  • Lead Architect: Riyad Joucka
  • Polymer 3D Printing: Ai Build
  • Concrete 3D Printing: Besix 3D
  • 3D Printing Contractor: 3D Vinci
  • CNC Plywood Fabricator: Lesly Lobo
  • Event Coordination: brag
  • Client: DIFC Dubai International Financial Center
  • Year: 2019
  • Photographs: NAARO, Courtesy of MEAN*

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