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The World’s First 3-D-Printed Hotel Will Be a Bjarke Ingles-Designed Glamping Retreat in Marfa, Texas

El Cosmico, a well-known glamping site in West Texas, will be reimagined as a 62-acre community with a hotel, pool, and spa. 

el cosmico 3d printed hotel BIG/ICON

Taking a trip to Texas? Travelers will soon be able to spend the night in the world’s first 3-D-printed hotel—and yes, it looks as cool as it sounds. 

Nomads might already be familiar with El Cosmico, a hippy-style glamping site way out west in Marfa. The off-grid desert campground, founded by hospitality visionary Liz Lambert, is one of the area’s most beloved attractions where vacationers can opt to sleep under the stars in a safari tent, yurt, teepee, or vintage Airstream. Now, Lambert has teamed up with Austin-based startup Icon and architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to reimagine and relocate the hotel using 3-D printing technology.  

3d printed hotel texas
El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas is being reimagined as the world’s first 3-D-printed hotel. BIG/ICON

The project will expand the current 21-acre spread into a remote, 62-acre community with dome-shaped guest dwellings and huts, a circular infinity pool with cabanas, an open-air spa, and additional shared spaces where guests can gather for workshops. Everything from the design down to the building materials will take inspiration from the natural landscape. In fact, desert soil will be added to the concrete mix used for construction so that the structures mimic the color and texture of a traditional abode. Also on the property will be a collection of 3-D-printed homes. 

el cosmico marfa texas
The 62-acre campground will also feature a collection of 3-D-printed “Sunday” homes. BIG/ICON

“Our collaboration with El Cosmico and Icon has allowed us to pursue the formal and material possibilities of cutting-edge 3-D-printed construction untethered by the traditional limitations of a conventional site or client,” explains Bjarke Ingels, founder and Creative Director of BIG, in a press statement. “Liz Lambert’s legacy for reimagining hospitality and her pioneering of a contemporary Texan aesthetic combined with the minimalistic nature and culture, art and landscape of Marfa has been the perfect fit to pursue a new architectural vernacular language for El Cosmico in Marfa.” 

While there’s no word on when the development will be completed, it’s expected to break ground sometime in 2024. Though, attendees of SXSW got a sneak preview of what to expect when Lambert, BIG, and ICON collabed on the world’s first 3-D-printed performance pavilion. The amphitheater is now a permanent outdoor venue and takes cues from El Cosmico. 

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