One of the most striking objects at the Floriade Expo 2022 in Almere is presented by Qatar: a 3D printed modern version of the Burj al-Hamam. This ‘pigeon tower’ was designed by Wittteveen+Bos & the Expo Pavillion group, printed by Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix in Eindhoven and with its 12.1 meters it is the highest 3D printed concrete object in the world, so Weber Beamix in a press release.
The 3D-printed Burj al-Hamam pays tribute to the traditionally built pigeon towers in Qatar and is characterized by their special, architectural shape. During the migration season, the tower provides shelter for more than a thousand pigeons. At the same time, it provides an ecological way of farming. Thanks to the clever construction, the pigeon droppings can be collected and used as fertilizer for local farms. Visitors to the Floriade can also get to know the 3D printed structure and construction inside and up close. Since many wild pigeons now gratefully use the tower, access is of course entirely at your own risk.
The Burj al-Hamam was built without steel reinforcement or poured concrete. The 3D printed construction provides an automated way to build the design of the towers. To further reduce the CO2 footprint, Weber has considerably reduced the energy requirement of the production process and the amount of material. As a result, up to 60 percent less CO2 was emitted from the towers than with the traditional way of building.
The 3D department of Weber has already made the news with their 3D concrete printed constructions. For example, they built the first Dutch house from 3D-printed concrete (Milestone) and several bridges, including the first (Gemert, 2017) and the longest in the world (Nijmegen, 2021).
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