The new Presentedby in U-Walk by Arabian Centres in Riyadh, in partnership with the Silkway Company part of Al Hokair Group, draws inspiration from the oasis that populates the Saudi desert and the importance of water in these systems. The design of the store is a reflective process about water that shapes the landscape both physically and metaphorically.
Understanding its physical morphology and translating it into parametric sculptures and virtual digital simulations has been the challenge that architectural studio External Reference shared with LAMÁQUINA by Noumena, putting the manufacturing team in charge of designing the best 3D printing solutions, in terms of engineering, feasibility and sustainability.
When entering the store, the customer has to pass through a programmable and responsive water curtain that separates the store from the exterior. Inside, the experiential design space mixes real animated water, holograms, videos and sculptures, to create not only a high visual impact but also a refreshing atmosphere that transports the customer’s senses and mind to an oasis where they enjoy a fully immersive unique customer experience.
The lateral displays in the store main area are a sculptural interpretation of cascading water. Simulated, falling through the sneakers, water is frozen in time to create 17-metre-long and 3.5 metre tall display walls on either side of the shop. The walls, made by 243 different components, were fully digitally fabricated by LAMÁQUINA using PLA and the innovative PURE.TECH material.
PURE.TECH is an advanced polymer that neutralises greenhouse gases by capturing and converting CO2, NOx, and VOCs into inert minerals. The use of this material, a LAMÁQUINA exclusive in the digital printing industry, confirms sustainability as one of the main project’s goals. Regarding aesthetic and design concept, External Reference team, led by Carmelo Zappulla, was looking for a specific uniform fading colour transition, a gradient – to shift from the darker blue that resembles water to a pure white colour.
It was achieved thanks to the know-how of LAMÁQUINA professionals with a bespoke approach developed in the manufacturing centre in Barcelona, with a unique fusion of automation and craft. LAMÁQUINA mixed the ingredients in an innovative procedure to generate an approach that translates the design concept into a 3D geometry with nuanced hues.
The manufacturing of Riyadh stores involved a variety of cutting-edge approaches from computational design and engineering to advanced machinery, from Delta 3D printers to six-axis robots, capable of producing pieces up to 3 metres in height.
A project-specific joinery system defined by LAMÁQUINA maximised the printing capacity and found out smart assembly considerations to have as few pieces as possible in the shortest span of time. It has been one of the unique solutions adopted to facilitate shipping and contribute to the feasibility of the entire project. Source by LAMÁQUINA by Noumena.
Photo © PresentedbyPhoto © PresentedbyPhoto © PresentedbyLocation: U walk commercial centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia3D Printing: LAMÁQUINA by NoumenaArchitect: External ReferenceProject Director: Carmelo ZappullaDesign Team: Sebastian Amorelli, Forum Shah, Ivan Marchuk, Irina Shaklova, Jihad Al OjailiMetal Fabrication: Oxido TallerAudiovisual: Lloc AudiovisualesAV Content: Onion LabGeneral Contractor: Nourseen AlsharqClient: PresentedbyTotal Pieces: 243Packing Boxes: 32 boxesCompletion: September 2022Photographs: Presentedby, Courtesy of LAMÁQUINA by Noumena