Gualala, CA. Smith|Allen participated in the Project 387 Residency, located in Mendocino Country from August 4-18, 2013. In the heart of a 150-acre redwood forest, the collaborative duo created a site responsive, 3D printed architectural installation: Echoviren.
The project merges architecture, art and technology to explore the dialectic between man, machine and nature.
Spanning 10 x 10 x 8 feet, Echoviren is a translucent white enclosure, stark and artificial against the natural palette of reds and greens of the forest.
Walking around and within the structure, the viewer is immediately consumed by the juxtaposition, as well as uncanny similarity, of natural and unnatural: the large oculus, open floor, and porous surface framing the surrounding coastal landscape.
Echoviren is being fabricated, printed, and assembled on site by the designers. Through the use of architectural technologies and a battery of consumer grade Type A Machines desktop 3D printers, the duo will construct the world’s first 3D printed, full-scale architectural installation.
Entirely composed of 3D printed plant based bio-plastic, the constructed space will decompose naturally back into the forest in 30 to 50 years. A graft within the space of the forest, Echoviren is a space for contemplation of the landscape, of the natural, and our relationship with these constructs. It focuses on the essence of the forest not as a natural system, but as a palimpsest. The hybridized experience within the piece highlights the accumulated iterations of a site, hidden within contemporary landscapes. Echoviren exposes an ecosystem of dynamic natural and unnatural interventions: the interplay of man and nature moderated by technology over the centuries.