Known for its architectural marvels, Greece has recently seen the completion of another marvel of modern architectural designing, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC). The building is designed by architect Renzo Piano and the highlight of the building is the Energy Canopy Roof. The roof is a wafer thin structure covered with solar panels. A 3D printed replica of this roof has been recently designed by product developers ARRK and is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The SNFCC houses the National Library of Greece, Greek National Opera, and the Stavros Niarchos Park. The center would be the city’s cultural and educational hub and will open this year end.
The center’s Energy Canopy Roof has been constructed to make the building energy sustainable and is covered with 5000 solar panels that generate 2280 kWh of energy every year. This building is the first in Greece to be awarded the LEED platinum environmental certification.
The designers of the roof, Expedition, were invited to the Victoria and Albert Museum, the world’s largest museum, to work on an exhibition. This exhibition would showcase a 3D replica of the Energy Canopy Roof, which is where the ARRK developers came into the picture. The ARRK was originally a Japanese company and it is now one of the leading product developments, prototyping, designing and engineering companies in the world.
The ARRK UK said it was a challenging project as the replica would just be 1 square meters and would cover all the intricate details of the roof. They incorporated the SLS 3D printing into the designing for its successful execution.
The ARRK set off in constructing the model in 3D design and sent the CAD details to the Expedition for approval. The printing was done in nylon with some parts as small as 0.5 mm. This model was successfully completed and is now on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum till late 2016.