Sep 12, 2017 | By Julia

A massive architecture pavilion in Hong Kong is reaching new heights in the possibilities of 3D printing and robotic technology. Spearheaded by the University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) Faculty of Architecture in collaboration with Sino Group property developers, the ‘Ceramic Constellation Pavilion’ is a winding edifice made up of over 3D printed 2,000 bricks, the first of its kind in the world.

While the Pavilion may initially seem like the careful work of a skilled brick layer, closer inspection reveals an exponentially more complex undertaking: each individual component has been manufactured through robotic technology and 3D printing, generating previously unseen iterations of transparency and opacity. No two bricks are alike in this 3.8 metre-high structure, which sits on a giant wooden skeleton.

“The Pavilion is the first outcome of a new collaboration between The Faculty of Architecture at HKU and Sino Group,” said the architects in a statement. “In a context that has been largely shaped by standardization and mass production, the project seeks to overcome the constraints of today’s architectural production through the introduction of a structure made entirely of non-standard components.”

“Non-standard” is putting it lightly: over a period of three weeks, approximately 700 kilograms of raw terracotta clay were 3D printed into individual bricks. Each brick required between 2 and 3 minutes of printing time. The fresh prints then underwent an intensive firing process, baking for an extended period of time at 1025 degrees Celsius.

All components of the Ceramic Constellation Pavilion were made from equipment in the newly minted Robotics Lab at the HKU Faculty of Architecture, then assembled by students over the course of a 10-day workshop.

Led by architects Christian J. Lange, Donn Holohan, and Holger Kehne, the innovative project also marked the first installment in the Sino Group Robotic Architecture Series, an ongoing workshop that aims to test the possibilities and limits of robotic fabrication and revitalize a long standing material system. The Ceramic Crystal Pavilion was recently exhibited at the North Atrium of Olympian City in West Kowloon, and will soon find a new home on the University of Hong Kong campus.

As an impressive feat of contemporary architecture, the Pavilion poses new questions into the future of 3D printed brick as a building and design material. In articulating a load-bearing composite structure with timber, one has to wonder how such a design would withstand external conditions of the elements and everyday wear and tear. While there is still a considerable jump to be made from exhibited architecture to functional design, the Pavilion proves that the basic building blocks are, literally, there. How we decide to utilise them, and in what form, remains to be seen.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



Maybe you also like:


LilWayneOnTheBrain wrote at 9/16/2017 8:37:56 PM:

My line of thinking was similar ..

I.AM.Magic wrote at 9/13/2017 8:00:47 AM:

This brick design does not need to be 3D printed; this is another BS for marketing purposes. Especially with the high amount of "same" part, this is a good case study for mass producing with current equipment.

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive