Unlocking the Power of 3D Printers to Create Sustainable Housing

sustainable housing
Images from "MCA Architects"

By Pina Mastromonaco & ANNECOTEDESIGN
Published: May 19th, 2021

At first glance, it looks like ancient dwellings from our past. But a closer look reveals that this home was made possible with 21-century technology. 


‘Tecla’, whose name derives from an imaginary city described by Italo Calvino’s The Invisible Cities, is the world’s first 3D printed house made entirely from raw earth and built in less than 200 hours.

sustainable housing
Image from "MCA Architects"

The idea that homes should be affordable for all and eco-friendly brought Mario Cucinella Architects and WASP together to construct this revolutionary home. 


Mario Cucinella, who is the founder of the School of Sustainability (SOS), worked tirelessly with his team to learn more about the housing issue and the cause and effects of homelessness.

We design and construct architectural projects that, through research, the use of innovative technologies, and professional skill, embody an ideal of architectural quality integrating environmental sustainability, ethics and a positive social impact

WASP is a company of self-described dreamers who have created 3D printers that can materialise objects made of bioplastic, clay, silicone and biocompatible materials, which mills wood and aluminium, making it easy to work on mini-productions.

Image from "MCA Architects"

 Tecla’ was constructed with locally sourced soil for the raw material, so the impressive and tactile shell is entirely biodegradable. This home isn’t just a showpiece for smart architecture but rather an innovative way to use cutting-edge technological advances to provide houses to all and be more socially responsible.


This 60 square meter home has pleasing curves and aesthetic, designed with an arched roof and ceiling and built-in structures. A minimalist approach from start to finish, Tecla was constructed using one material for both inside and outside. In addition, the home requires no framework structure and can hold its weight. All this means a significantly low risk of complications on the building site, which helps things move more efficiently and faster. 

sustainable housing
Image from "MCA Architects"

The house feels warm and natural with (naturally) earthy tones. Its visual style, both inside and out, brings a nice cohesiveness to the entire structure. The tactile surface is pleasing to the touch making it more inviting. Internally there is a living area, a bedroom and a bathroom with tailor-made and built-in furniture to match the overall aesthetic. Tecla is a stark move away from the familiar, but looks to the future, toward something that can benefit all.

In The Invisible Cities, Marco Polo describes fantastic places that incite imagination and possibilities. ‘Tecla’ inspires the same, with remarkable new ways to resolve issues the planet is facing. With imagination and advanced technology, sustainable and eco-friendly homes for all is within our reach.


Once cave dwellers, humanity looked to the earth for protection and nourishment. With modern technology in this fast-moving world, humanity once again looks to the Earth.

sustainable housing
Image from "MCA Architects"


Stampanti 3D | WASP



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