3D printing is no longer the domain of trinkets and prototypes. Today, the process is scaling up to the point where people can build houses, bridges, and designer chairs with the technology. At the Venice Architecture Biennale, artist Bruno Juričić unveiled Cloud Pergola, a 3D-printed structure made for the Croatian Pavilion.
The pergola is comprised of airy columns that rise to the ceiling and support a porous roof. Juričić worked with Arup to develop the shape, which was created with generative algorithms that use parameters like the room’s shape, the archetypal form of Mediterranean pergolas, and desired porosity to inform the pergola’s final form.
At 620 square feet, it’s one of the largest structures made using 3D printing technology. Despite its size, the pergola feels and looks lightweight thanks to its latticed form. It’s built from 100,000 extruded plastic pieces that were connected together like a daisy chain by robots.
All told, the pergola comprises around 661 pounds of 3D-printed biodegradable material—a feat of engineering and architecture considering its airy form.