Recycled fishing nets form Tiffany's 3D-printed coral-inspired facade
MVRDV recently completed work on a retail store for luxury jeweler Tiffany's in Singapore's Changi Airport. The project is designed to catch the eyes of weary travelers with a vibrant 3D-printed coral-inspired facade, which was created using recycled plastic partly sourced from fishing nets.
The store is situated in the main Singapore Changi Airport building, which hosts the Moshe Safdie-designed Jewel Changi (the home of the world's tallest indoor waterfall), and it was created in collaboration with Aectual and BuroMilan
The facade's overall design was inspired by Singapore's coral reefs and arranged into a blue cell-like pattern of 3D-printed plastic. This is combined with glass that was screen printed with a color gradient moving from Tiffany's signature robin egg blue to the deeper blue of the ocean. The plastic itself was 3D printed by Aectual using its own 3D printing system, which extruded a material called Ocean rPPGF in layers. The material is made up of a 75% thermoplastic base recovered from multiple recycled plastics, including fishing nets – which are a blight on the world's oceans – and reinforced with glass fibers.
The interior of the store measures 142 sq m (roughly 1,500 sq ft), arranged over one floor, and leans into the sea theme further with coral-themed displays and tables to show off its luxurious goods.
"3D printing experts Aectual developed a process to produce the 50-mm [2-in]-thick screen using recycled plastic, including reclaimed and recycled fishing nets," explained MVRDV. "By making use of this unusual source of recycled plastic, the design not only draws inspiration from the oceans, but also plays a part in protecting them. A particularly challenging task was to meet the stringent regulations for fire safety required in an airport; here, BuroMilan solved the issue by adding a chemical to the mixture that is also manufactured using seawater."
MVRDV is no stranger to coming up with recycled shop facades for high-end jewelry makers and previously crafted a facade made from recycled glass bottles for Bulgari in Shanghai.