Barry Wark Bartlett Bpro Ligaprint concrete printing ecology nature houdini architecture (
LigaPrint

Tutors: Barry Wark & Richard Beckett

Students: Liu Xiangyu, Xiaoyan Zhou, Chenshu Li

LigaPrint explores a novel approach to concrete fabrication through 3D freeform liquid printing techniques towards environmentally driven biospatial configurations. Material led investigations were explored in tandem with robotic extrusion techniques to produce freeform, semi-structural components that are extremely fast to produce with no limitations to variability.  The printed material was developed to exhibit low pH and a porous surface to support the growth of algae and mosses, on the surface, while the latticed geometeries support the growth of climbing plants. To achieve this, toolpath driven computational techniques were developed in relation to the fabrication process which is then driven by site-specific environmental simulations to produce density differentiation relating to thermal comfort, visibility, privacy and microbiological diversity. Process and assemblages are explored through new approaches to creating healthy workplaces whereby environmental exposures are prioritised over fixed spatial provision.

Contemporary urban lifestyles Involve 95% of the day spent indoors. This lack of exposure to outdoor environments, coupled with urban environments that select for low macro and microbiodiversity are resulting in the emergence of 21st century chronic pathologies. The drive to increase greening in cities has to date focused on green roofs and façades but these approaches have had little impact on the way we design buildings which typically look outwards with no relation with the indoor spaces. Nature In buildings is limited to pot plants and indoor green wall system, which are expensive, require filtration systems and are low in microbiodiversity. Biodomes or biospheres  that look to enclose nature in to an internally controlled environment suffer due to lack of external natural conditions including wind stresses and aerial microbes.

This project looks to new ways to increase green biodiversity in cities and buildings and explores this through a new approach to healthy communal workspaces that are analogous to living or working within a forest, but in the urban environment. The architecture rejects modernist approaches which separate nature from the building, creating usable, diverse spaces between indoor space and the outside environment. The  layout brings nature into the architecture and encourages walking between different areas of the building resisting indoor, sedentary working.