ICON and BIG: 3D printed camping

Architects ICON and  Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) are reimagining the future of luxury camping in Texas. They are developing El Cosmico, a series of 3D printed residential structures in the Marfa Desert. Reservations are open from the summer of 2023, and construction itself started in 2024.

The project was commissioned by Liz Lambert, founder of the bohemian hotel brand Marfa El Cosmico. ICON has long been a leader in advanced construction technologies and a pioneer in large-scale 3D printing. They have long experimented with innovative forms and construction methods – an approach that fits perfectly with the eccentric spirit of the nomadic camp of El Cosmico, whose self-contained home spans more than 8 hectares. For now, the campground consists of a variety of tents, yurts, wigwams and trailers – but it is planned that it will be expanded three times, and it will look completely different.

The ICON and BIG project offers a type of radically new housing. Thanks to large-scale 3D printing, each tiny structure will take shape with sculptural elements. There will be domes, arches, vaults and parabolic shapes. In keeping with El Cosmico’s community-focused philosophy, guest units will surround common spaces including a pool, spa and public spaces. Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the collection of two, three and four-bedroom homes will offer views of the Davis Mountains while providing residents with access to El Cosmico amenities. Residential premises will vary from 100 to 200 sq. m.

Photo: Courtesy of ICON, BIG for El Cosmico

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