Miyakodori

Design to make Visual

I Stayed in Icon’s New Luxury 3D Printed Home in Austin, Texas

Table of Contents

The walls of the main home and its accessory dwelling unit were printed at the same time in eight days despite weather and hardware issues.



Brittany Chang/Insider


Icon began printing House Zero in May 2021 and the rest of the home — like window installation, wiring, and plumbing — was completed in February 2022.

A 3D printed wall under a wood roof.



Brittany Chang/Insider


When the home was completed, Icon invited me to spend a night in the new three-bedroom, 2-½ bathroom build …

A wavy 3D printed wall in front of a bed.



Brittany Chang/Insider


… and the unique construction tech, curved concrete walls, and high-end finishes made House Zero one of the most interestingly designed homes in which I’ve stayed.

A mirror leaning against a 3D printed wall reflecting a bed next to the mirror.



Brittany Chang/Insider


Spending a night in House Zero made me realize 3D printing homes could be a strategic and functional construction method while still producing beautiful yet comfortable homes.

The driveway leading up to House Zero.



Brittany Chang/Insider


Many 3D printing enthusiasts view the tech as a path toward alleviating housing shortages and improving affordability.

Green plants against a 3D printed wall.



Brittany Chang/Insider


Like House Zero, a home that could take about a year to build “traditionally” can be printed and completed in just several months …

The car park of the 3D printed house.



Brittany Chang/Insider


… enabling home builders to construct housing cheaper, faster, and more sustainably by using fewer materials and less labor.

A lounge chair next to a light in the living room.



Brittany Chang/Insider


But while the technology may be heralded as a way to build more-affordable homes quicker, House Zero is far from an example of a budget-friendly home.

A cactus against a 3D printed wall.



Brittany Chang/Insider


Source: Insider, Insider

The house — designed with the help of ​​Lake Flato Architects — was styled to be a show home for Icon: a place to take investors, the public, and journalists.

A bed in front of a 3D printed wall next to a nightstand with a light.



Brittany Chang/Insider


It was meant to flex the range and practicality of Icon’s printing technology, Jason Ballard, Icon’s cofounder and CEO, told Insider in an interview.

A dining table surrounded by curving 3D printed walls.



Brittany Chang/Insider


And like all stereotypical model homes, House Zero is filled with high-end furniture and finishes meant to woo even the most discerning visitors.

A light fixture in front of a 3D printed wall.



Brittany Chang/Insider


The rounded walls caught my attention as I drove by the Austin, Texas, home for the first time …

The exterior of Icon's 3D printed House Zero on a cloudy day.



Brittany Chang/Insider


A building with this much exposed concrete is often associated with brutalist architecture, but nothing about House Zero screamed “brutalism” to me.

The exterior of Icon's 3D printed House Zero on a cloudy day.



Brittany Chang/


Icon’s in-house “high strength” concrete combined with the curved wall design made House Zero look organic and free-flowing.

A mirror leaning against a 3D printed wall reflecting a bed.



Brittany Chang/Insider


Until this build I had never seen a layered sloping wall before. And now, I want something similar in my future home.

A hallway with a bathroom to the left and a bedroom down the hall.



Brittany Chang/Insider


And it’s not just for aesthetic reasons. The shape strengthens the home’s structure while serving as a natural open-air separation of space.

The bed behind a 3D printed wall.



Brittany Chang/Insider


“We’re not only going to invent robots — we’re also going to invent architecture,” Ballard said. “And it’s not clear that robotics companies have any business inventing architecture.”

A desk in front of a 3D printed wall surrounded by windows.



Brittany Chang/Insider


Curvature aside, the striking layered walls — which were strengthened with steel and insulation — were unlike anything I had seen inside a home.

A bed in front of a 3D printed wall



Brittany Chang/Insider


There was no need for art on the walls — the gray layers naturally became a focal point of the home’s rooms …

A console table with a plant in front of a 3D printed wall.



Brittany Chang/Insider


… while the wooden walls and accents kept the space from appearing too cold and drab.

3D printed walls in between wooden walls.



Brittany Chang/Insider


The first room off the entryway is the open-concept kitchen, living room, and dining room.

The living room inside the 3D printed home with lounge chairs, a rug, plants, and lights.



Brittany Chang/Insider