Innovative Architectural Proposal Wants To Build Houses With 3D-Printed “Exoskeletons”

Exosteel by Mask Architects, featuring a 3D-printed steel exoskeleton

The housing development proposal Madre Natura is a concept for modular and sustainable structures that would be 3D-printed with steel. Inspired by Italian sculptor and muralist Costantino Nivola’s piece titled  La Madre, the buildings combine architecture and sculpture in one beautiful form. Mask Architects, the designers behind the proposal, would be the first architects to use what they describe as a 3D-printed exoskeleton construction called Exosteel.

The design of the development is closely related to its site in Orani, a commune on the Italian island of Sardinia. The architects hope that the structures in Madre Natura will help to reinforce a local identity where natural beauty is combined with contemporary technology.  Rendered in the dramatic terrain of the mountainside, the development will become a recognizable staple of the area while engaging with the local climate.

Exosteel closeup by Mask Architects, featuring a 3D-printed steel exoskeleton

Each module includes an energy tower that reinforces the architects’ mission of giving back to the site. Buildings are designed with voids to mitigate damage from the strong wind experienced on the island. The wind is then directed to wind turbines, which—along with solar panels on the energy tower—will generate energy for the entire development.

In addition to using technology for the construction of the buildings and for the generation of power, Madre Natura would also use technology to protect the landscapes. Smart cameras and fire detectors will help to protect the area from forest fires and other natural disasters. The architects also imagined how the modules could be used during other emergency situations. They want the development to be completely adaptable to all situations.

Keep scrolling for more images of Madre Natura rendered in the beautiful Sardinia landscape at different times of the day.

Madre Natura is a proposal for sustainable modular houses built using 3D-printed steel exoskeletons.

Exosteel aerial by Mask Architects, featuring a 3D-printed steel exoskeleton

Architects Propose Modular Steel Houses Featuring 3D-Printed Exoskeletons

Exosteel closeup by Mask Architects, featuring a 3D-printed steel exoskeleton

Exosteel drawing by Mask Architects, featuring a 3D-printed steel exoskeleton

Mask Architects: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature by Mask Architects.

Related Articles:

Architects Design Whimsical “Tree House” Resort in Hangzhou, China

3D-Printed “Rain Catcher” House Reimagines Sustainable Home Design

The World’s First 3D-Printed Steel Bridge Opens in Amsterdam

Man Previously Experiencing Homelessness Is the First To Live in a 3D-Printed Tiny Home

This 3D-Printed Table Lamp Is Made From Orange Peels and It’s Compostable

Samantha Pires

Sam Pires is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She is also a freelance architectural designer. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from NJIT and is currently earning a Master in Architecture II from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Sam has design experience at multiple renowned architecture firms such as Gensler and Bjarke Ingels Group. She believes architecture should be more accessible to everyone and uses writing to tell unexpected stories about the built environment. You can connect with her online at
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.

Sponsored Content