Huge 3D Printed Tower to Arise in Switzerland

The Tour Blanche, designed by architect Michael Hansmeyer, is a 29-meter-high structure set to be erected in Mulegns, Switzerland. This entirely 3D printed concrete edifice features a baroque-inspired staircase and multiple columns, showcasing the aesthetic potential of digital fabrication. The project seeks to rejuvenate the village by attracting tourism and cultural events, with facilities including exhibition rooms and a floating stage for 45 attendees, aimed at hosting concerts and plays.

Huge 3D Printed Tower to Arise in Switzerland
Render of the 3D printed tower. (Image Credit: Michael Hansmeyer)

The tower’s intricate column details and the interplay of shadows and light are designed to enhance its presence along the Col du Julier road. The advanced robotic concrete extrusion process used in its construction reflects a shift toward sustainable and efficient building practices. By only applying concrete where necessary, the method slashes material use and obviates the need for formwork, halving the consumption of concrete. The technology further allows for on-site modular construction, reducing transportation costs and environmental impact. Additionally, the tower’s design facilitates disassembly and relocation, underscoring the adaptability of 3D printed structures.

Comprising 104 columns, the tower’s façade is as structurally sound as it is visually appealing. Each column bears two distinct decorations: a horizontal feature intrinsic to the printing process and a spiral pattern that elongates the tower’s appearance.

Looking ahead, the Tour Blanche exemplifies the potential for computer-aided design and digital manufacturing to transform construction, emphasizing sustainability, versatility, and design complexity.


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