It’s just a shipping container that stands all of 11 feet tall. But inside lives a 3-D printer. And from this makeshift space, Amsterdam’s DUS Architects will print the rest of the full-sized canal house, one room at a time–or more accurately, one piece at a time–over the next six months.
The project is called KamerMaker, which is Dutch for “Room Maker.” And it’s fundamentally no different than the little 3-D printers that makers everywhere use to construct all sorts of toys, except in maybe one key way: scope. The KamerMaker is simply aiming bigger, printing real architecture at a 1:1 scale.
The house itself will be wildly experimental. Following the first wave of rooms built from conventional polypropylene, the team will dedicate one space entirely to the research and construction of exploratory materials, like recycled plastics and even bio-friendly materials like potato starch. Other rooms will be devoted to recycling and repair. You can imagine KamerMaker becoming its own construction ecosystem, repurposing shopping waste into raw building materials. It’s the power of industrial processes on the micro scale, a vision not so far from Back to the Future’s famous Mr. Fusion reactor that powered time travel with compostable food.
Now, I’m not so sure that, even if it’s standing after the three-year property lease is through, KamerMaker will serve as a model for the future of suburbia. But it’s not hard to imagine how the Home Depots of the world might evolve in the not-so-distant future, fabricating customized home repairs and add-ons from a warehouse or even the back of a truck.
And if all of this sounds like utopia, I’d recommend that you avoid the documentary Blue Vinyl. Or at least start saving those potato scraps.