ICON Releases 3D Printed House Zero Ahead Of SXSW Tours

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Austinites will be able to stroll alone through the curved hallways of ICON’s new 3D printed home, House Zero, during SXSW weekend.


Designed in collaboration with Lake|Flato Architects, the firm behind the development of South Congress Music Lane, House Zero is the first in ICON’s ‘Exploration Series’, which shows how 3D printed construction can be personalized, for example with curved walls.

As an official partner of SXSW, ICON will be hosting tours from March 13-14.

Printed in less than two weeks using ICON’s proprietary cement-like material, “Lavacrete”, co-founder and CEO Jason Ballard said he hopes the house will help push the boundaries of what expect from accommodation.

Behind Jason Ballard, there is not a single straight line that makes up the walls at the front of the house. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

“It’s really an exercise in expanding people’s imaginations.” Ballard told Austinia. “I hope people see this and realize not only that we can’t accept the way we’re building right now, but when you see this like you don’t want to accept it anymore. You realize that far more fantastic futures are possible.

At over 2,000 square feet, the home features three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and a 350-square-foot one-bedroom and one-bathroom accessory suite just outside. The absence of corners and rigid straight lines, as well as an open floor plan, give the house an organic feel.

The living room communicates with an office space and the kitchen. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

Floor-to-ceiling windows ensure that the interior is always well lit with natural light and the natural cabinetry inside provides a seamless transition from outdoors to indoors.

Luxury finishes in the bathrooms provide a spa-like experience with rainfall showers, detached tubs, and countertop sinks.

Meanwhile, the bedrooms have remote-controlled blinds, so you can always wake up to the morning light.

Although the ADU is small, a Murphy bed, storage along the walls, and massive windows make the house feel more spacious than it really is. With a miniature induction cooker, ample counter space, and a luxurious bathroom, the ADU can accommodate short, long term, or even permanent guests.

On his way to his goal of ending Austin’s housing crisis, Ballard said ICON is now focused on completing his 100-home project in North Austin, which will be the world’s first 3D-printed neighborhood. and looks forward to continuing its work with Community Première! Village to build houses for the homeless.

“Oftentimes conversations about homelessness, housing affordability and housing supply sound like very depressing conversations and I hope this puts a hopeful exclamation point in the conversation,” said Ballard. “We can have sustainability, we can have affordability, we can have increased supply, we can have dignity, we can have all the things we want from our homes. But we will have to be brave enough to try new things.

Tours will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and SXSW badge holders will have priority. Ballard will also deliver a talk to discuss the role of robotics in architecture on March 15 for SXSW.


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