Welcome to the hotel stay of the future.
The world’s first 3D-printed hotel is set to open just outside the desert city of Marfa, Texas, with the project breaking ground next year.
Comprised of several large-scale 3D-printed buildings, the hotel will feature an infinity-style pool, a spa and an artist’s studio.
Inspired by the surrounding desert landscape and the cosmos, it’ll be built by the pioneering 3D-printing company Icon, which currently has a contract with Nasa to build homes on the Moon and on Mars.
The hotel will sit on the grounds of El Cosmico, a pre-existing ‘nomadic’ hotel and campground site where guests spend the night in trailers, tepees and safari tents.
The world’s first 3D-printed hotel (shown in the rendering above) is set to open outside the desert city of Marfa, Texas, with the project breaking ground next year
The hotel will be comprised of several large-scale 3D-printed buildings, including an infinity-style pool, a spa and an artist’s studio
Spearheaded by hotelier Liz Lambert, the project is a collaboration between Icon and the world-renowned architecture firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), with the hotel featuring organic curves, domes, arches and vaults achieved through 3D printing robotics and specialist software.
Once complete, the project will expand the site of El Cosmico from 21 acres (eight hectares) to 60 acres (24 hectares).
With a colour palette inspired by the desert terrain, the new hotel will feel ‘as if literally erected from the site it stands on’, the architects say.
As part of the retreat, 3D-printed homes – called Sunday Homes – will feature on the site. A statement notes that these two, three and four-bedroom homes, ranging in size from 1,200 sq ft (111 sq m) to 2,200 sq ft (204 sq m), will feature ‘expansive views’ of the nearby Davis Mountains.
The retreat will be built by the pioneering 3D-printing company Icon, which currently has a contract with Nasa to build the first dwellings on the Moon and on Mars
The design of the new hotel will feature organic curves, domes, arches and vaults achieved through 3D printing robotics and specialist software
As part of the retreat, 3D-printed homes – called Sunday Homes – will feature on the site
El Cosmico campground was founded ‘with the belief that life should be a balance of adventure and do-nothingness’.
As well as offering guests ‘access to the majesty of the high plains desert’, it’s also the home of the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love – billed as an ‘intimate multi-day, multimedia festival of sensory delights, held underneath the vast Chihuahuan Desert sky’.
Commenting on the new hotel project, Liz Lambert said: ‘I have had a vision for the evolution of El Cosmico for many years that includes several spaces that add to the experience both for guests and locals – a pool, a hammam, and more space for art and skills-building workshops.
The designers are also creating a 3D-printed outdoor performance pavilion (shown in the rendering above) at The Long Center for The Performing Arts in Austin
The Austin pavilion ‘parallels and reflects architectural design themes – cosmic organizations, perfect geometries, and organic forms – planned for the new El Cosmico in Marfa’
This rendering shows an aerial view of the pavilion. A statement notes: ‘Icon’s technology excels at creating soft shapes and curved surfaces’
Pictured from left to right is Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of Icon; hotelier Liz Lambert and Bjarke Ingels, founder and Creative Director of BIG
‘In collaborating with the revolutionary thinkers at BIG and Icon, not only do I get to fulfil this dream, but we get to do it using this incredible 3D printing technology that marries the oldest principles of raw earth-based building with a futuristic technology that works more quickly, sustainably and efficiently than modern construction. What’s more, the innovation and beauty of the types of structures we can build extends far beyond the box. It’s fitting that Icon has a contract with Nasa to build the first dwellings on the moon and on Mars. I’m excited that we get to explore their incredible work right here in our own little cosmic landscape under the stars in far West Texas.’
Bjarke Ingels, founder and Creative Director of BIG, said: ‘Our collaboration with El Cosmico and Icon has allowed us to pursue the formal and material possibilities of cutting-edge 3D-printed construction untethered by the traditional limitations of a conventional site or client.’
While Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of Icon, added: ‘The truly unique and divergent architectures made possible by 3D printing are really just beginning.’
As well as reimagining El Cosmico, the designers are looking into 3D-printing affordable housing in the city of Marfa and creating a 3D-printed outdoor performance pavilion at The Long Center for The Performing Arts in Austin. According to a statement, this pavilion ‘parallels and reflects architectural design themes – cosmic organisations, perfect geometries, and organic forms – planned for the new El Cosmico’.
The 3D-printed retreat will begin taking reservations in the summer of 2023 – visit iconbuild.com/el-cosmico-homes.
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