MIMAC - Development

The vision for MIMAC transcends being merely a covering; it serves as the foundation for creating memories, fostering dreams, and intertwining lives.

PLOT : 30400M2
YEAR : 2023

In response to Icon Build's Initiative 99 competition, Differential joined The Blueprint Collective, a network of architects, academics, structural engineers and computatonal designers.

Our proposal MIMAC focuses on the revitalization of Mare Island in Vallejo, California. This historic site, established as the inaugural U.S. naval shipyard on the Pacific Coast in 1854, played a crucial role in shipbuilding during the World Wars.

Our goal is to preserve its rich legacy by transforming the former naval shipyard into a vibrant residential and mixed-use community.

At its core, the proposal envisions an inaugural lighthouse project—a celebration of Mare Island's manufacturing heritage. This project aims to foster a small residential community tailored for makers, artists, and innovators.

MIMAC brings together cutting-edge concrete 3D printing technology, extensive research, and decades of architectural and design expertise.

As an alternative to conventional construction, which often results in larger and impersonal apartment units, our proposal suggests building smaller, human-scale housing. This approach involves clustering individual rooms around shared community spaces, both indoors and outdoors, including communal kitchens, bedrooms, washrooms, and workshop areas.

The concept leverages the advantages of 3D printing by reducing the printed spaces to walls with standardized dimensions and allowing multiple units to be built quickly and cost-effectively.

33,000 iterations

processed by our custom algorithm over 24 hours

267 hours

total time saved through automated processes

$230,000 saved

due to optimized budgeting and resourcing

The roof canopy extends beyond the unit’s walls to form a protective layer, significantly minimizing heat gain and thereby reducing the energy required for cooling. By controlling direct sunlight penetration, the canopy creates a cooler micro climate, ensuring a comfortable environment.

Our proposal boasts a distinctive feature - the use of concrete 3D printing technology not only for the production of walls,but also for the roof.

This pioneering idea is made possible by a new fabrication method developed at UC Berkeley. Furthermore, the use of a timber and concrete composite structure has a lower carbon foot print in comparison to a standard reinforced slab composite.

Project team

Stefanie Hickl, AlSager Wertel Architects
Kai Wertel, AlSager Wertel Architects
Yana Rudasevschi, AlSager Wertel Architects
Prof. Simon Schleicher, UC Berkeley
Barrak Darweesh, UC Berkeley
Niklas Mühlich, Mühlich + Partner Architekten
Piotr Kushinsky, Differential
Zhongming Fang, Differential
Philipp Längst, str.ucture

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