Tecla, 3D-printed housing prototype made of soil
Mario Cucinella 

Tecla, 3D-printed housing prototype made of soil

Mario Cucinella 


A fruit of the collaboration between Mario Cucinella Arquitectos – based in Bologna and New York – and WASP (World’s Advanced Saving Project), the Italian company specialized in 3D printing, this circular housing prototype made of soil is located in the municipality of Massa Lombarda (Ravenna, Italy). Two synchronized printing arms produced the frame and enclosure in 200 hours. The finishes are currently underway.

Named Tecla in honor of an imaginary city described by Italo Calvino in Invisible Cities, the dwelling is a double dome that serves as loadbearing structure, roof, and envelope all at once.

Drawing inspiration from the potter wasp, the digital fabrication system can be configured in accordance with an architectural design, stretching its potential towards more complex works. The objective is to provide sustainable and affordable models that reduce building time and energy consumption, and which can be adapted to different climates.

The collaboration between Mario Cucinella Arquitectos and WASP has been supported by Mapei, a manufacturer of construction materials which has investigated the key components of soil to come up with an optimal final product.