It's no secret that Saudi Arabia has sand, and lots of it. So, when architects Chris Precht and Arthur Mamou-Mani were looking to develop a sustainable piece of design for the kingdom, they inevitably turned to one of its most abundant raw materials. The result is Sandwaves, a large-scale ribbon-like structure that can be used as street furniture.
Fusing sand and furan resin, the architects used 3D printing technology to produce 58 elements that were then joined to create a continuous undulating form. The curving design suggests the feel of alleyways, while the perforated elements borrow from palm trees.
Mamou-Mani's eponymous office in London is known for its use of digital tools in "fabricated architecture" projects, and it has produced similar designs in the past. Precht co-founded his studio in Austria, developing modular houses and buildings that provide solutions for ecological needs such as urban farming.
Both architecture offices worked with UK-engineering firm Format to determine the best shape and thickness of each element in order to construct a durable and functional pavilion. Each piece weighs approximately 160 kilograms.
"We both believe in the cradle-to-cradle approach to design, using materials that can go back to their natural state, leaving no trace," Mamou-Mani said in an interview with Dezeen.
Looking to build with a more ecological approach in mind, the architects and their firms emphasised the use of local materials in construction. In addition, 3D printing is a known cost-effective technology that is being increasingly used in making structures.