Radiolaria represents a micro-architectural experiment developed by Shiro Studio in association with additive manufacturing company D-Shape. In 2008 D-Shape successfully developed the very first 3D mega printer that allows seamless free-form construction of monolithic structures on a large scale. The aim of the Radiolaria pavilion was to demonstrate the capabilities of this pioneering construction technology through complex geometry. Measuring three metres high, the structure is a scale model of larger eight meter high pavilion currently being fabricated in Pontedera, Italy.
Made of an artificial sand-stone material without steel reinforcement, the pavilion’s design and execution had to be intrinsically resilient to several static stresses. Ernst Haeckels’ studies on radiolarians and comparative anatomy was a source of inspiration; mineral and siliceous skeletons, through a gentle, evolutionary formation process share an affinity with the way that the mega-printer operates, through the gentle, slow deposition of mineral and siliceous material, layer after layer.