Architects turn waste wood into a 3D-printed cabin in upstate New York

A breathtaking cabin in upstate New York is building waves thanks to groundbreaking know-how that permitted it to be 3D-printed with wooden squander. Headed by architects Leslie Lok and Sasa Zivkovic, HANNAH was ready to repurpose wooden from ash trees damaged by an invasive beetle species to make the Ashen Cabin, a modern, tiny cabin completely made utilizing 3D-printing of timber and concrete.

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Angular cabin clad in ash wood

Situated in Ithaca, New York, the modern cabin absolutely stands out for its distinctive form. Ash wood cladding connects it to the lush woodland environment, even though whimsical features, these types of as curved wood paneling and thick, triangular concrete pillars, develop a futuristic, almost spaceship-like, truly feel. The distinguished use of ash wooden was especially picked out to make use of ruined ash wooden trees.

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man standing in front of angular cabin
exterior of cabin with curved sections jutting out from frame

Tunneling into the trees’ bark to lay eggs, the dreaded Emerald Ash Borer is a important danger to America’s ash tree populace. In their wake, these ruthless beetles go away 8.7 billion trees throughout the state so weakened that they are unable to even be utilised by sawmills as lumber. Especially, nearly a single in 10 ash trees in New York condition are destroyed by the pesky bugs.

wood cabin interior with large concrete chimney
small wood cabin interior with benches along the walls

But now, performing with revolutionary design and style procedures, HANNAH has discovered a remedy that just cannot rather defend the trees from their beetle nemesis but enables a sustainable way to use the squander wooden. Zivkovic discussed, “Infested ash trees are a extremely unique sort of ‘waste material’ and our inability to comprise the blight has created them so considerable that we can — and really should — build tactics to use them as a product source.”

woman sitting in the corner looking out of horizontal window
two images: man standing with planks of wood and woman touching cabin exterior

To get started the undertaking, the company made a decision on a two-tier procedure, 1st developing a robotic platform that was particularly built for processing the irregular ash trees and a separate technique for applying 3D-printed concrete. The first phase was repurposing a six-axis robotic arm located on eBay to slice pre-formed planks that fit together like puzzle parts. The repurposed robotic authorized the designers to operate with the or else worthless wood waste.

concrete base set on elevated stilts with large chimney
geometrical cabin surrounded by a forest

The second step involved creating a good, eco-welcoming base for the cabin. Again going with a very progressive processing system, the crew manufactured nine interlocking, 3D-printed concrete segments that were being utilized to sort the footing, cabin floor, chimney and inside fixtures. This system avoided the require to build a substantial body and foundation for the cabin. Making use of the minimum quantity of concrete attainable, the designers were ready to lower the project’s general footprint whilst delivering a powerful, resilient foundation. With the durable concrete foundation and exceptional shaping of the wooden volume, the cabin displays just how fun and practical sustainable architecture can be.


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Pictures by Andy Chen and Reuben Chen by way of HANNAH drawings by HANNAH

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