Digital Grotesque

Digital Grotesque consists of two full-scale 3D printed grottos. Grotto II is a commission by Centre Pompidou, and premiered at the Imprimer le monde exhibition in March 2017. Grotto I is a commission by FRAC Centre, Orléans, for its permanent collection.

Grotto II is a highly ornamental structure out of 7 tons of printed sandstone that demonstrates how computational design and additive manufacturing can make new architectural worlds tangible.

The grotto is entirely designed by algorithms, and optimized to present highly differentiated geometries that forge a rich and stimulating spatial experience for the observer. A subdivision algorithm exploits the 3D printer’s full potential by creating porous, multi-layered structures with spatial depth. A single volume spawns millions of branches, growing and folding into a complex topological structure. Hundreds of square meters of surface are compressed into a 3.5 meter high block that forms an organic landscape between the man-made and the natural.

Standing in front of the grotto, one is struck by a hitherto unseen richness of detail that is at times overwhelming. Digital Grotesque is a testament to and celebration of a new kind of architecture that leaves behind traditional paradigms of rationalization and standardization and instead emphasizes the viewer’s perception, evoking marvel, curiosity and bewilderment.

Grotto II – Images

Grotto II – Images

All images: Courtesy of Digital Grotesque