Medieval Italian Tower Reborn as Hotel Suite with 3D Printed Furniture and Decor –

A team of architects, designers and 3D printing experts have joined forces to create a unique suite experience in an ancient Italian tower dating back to 1161. Overlooking the Ligurian Sea, the three-story suite has been renovated and is now ready to welcome tourists. At the heart of the project are dozens of 3D-printed pieces of furniture and decorations that contrast beautifully with the flair of the medieval Capitolare tower in the former fishing village of Porto Venere, just south of the Cinque Terre region on the Riviera. Italian.

3D printed outdoor furniture in the Capitolare Tower suite in Italy. Image courtesy of Capitolare.

Reinventing a medieval tower

It was a unique undertaking for Andrea Borlenghi, the founder and CEO of the Capitolare Suite Tower. His vision was to turn his love for Porto Venere and the Liguria region into a concrete project that would have a significant impact on tourism and local residents. After an in-depth conservative restoration, made from recycled materials and following the principle of eco-responsible architecture, the Capitolare team returned the thousand-year-old tower to the community.

For centuries, the Capitolare Tower – which translates to “surrender” in English – has been a rampant defense for the city. Adjacent to the city gate, this 12th-century landmark is “a marvel that has been hidden for too long”, according to Borlenghi.

The Capitolare tower in the old fishing village of Porto Venere.

The Capitolare tower in the former fishing village of Porto Venere in the midst of a three-year restoration. Image courtesy of Capitolare.

Large-scale 3D printing of Caracol

After imagining, thinking and planning for three years, Borlenghi’s Capitolare suite was finally inaugurated on April 9, 2022. Born from the idea of ​​creating a space that welcomes travelers in a truly exceptional environment, Capitolare asked Borlenghi to partner with local 3D printing Caracol, designers Federica Cristaudo and Pietro Bonu, and architect Michele Bassi, who restored the ancient tower.

Visually stunning, the structure’s exposed brickwork provides an ideal backdrop for the 3D-printed furniture, as historic and modern technology strikes a unique balance. According to Cristaudol, all the furniture was made using environmentally friendly 3D printing and incorporated precious raw materials such as Portoro, a gold-veined black marble from the Liguori region, and gilding dating from the same century of construction of the tower itself.

Dining room with 3D printed chairs at the Capitolare tower in Italy.

Dining room with 3D printed chairs at the Capitolare tower in Italy. Image courtesy of Capitolare.

All interior and exterior parts were engineered, designed and manufactured with Caracol’s robotic additive manufacturing technology. For this task, Caracol chose an integrated solution that works with a patented extrusion head, a six-axis robotic support, a proprietary software platform and an automation control system.

Caracol’s proprietary Scalprum 13800 AM robotic system is seen crafting some of the suite’s most visually stunning centerpieces. Six-axis technology and free-form cutting possibilities offer no limits to scale and complexity. These characteristics allow the production of large monolithic parts, of complex and organic geometries, and manufacturing with non-planar slicing (at 45 or 60 degrees).

Caracol AM's 3D printed robot creating furniture for the Capitolare tower suite.

Caracol’s 3D printed robot creating furniture for the Capitolare tower suite. Image courtesy of Caracol.

Tailor-made details

In the tower, the space is uniformly equipped with unique 3D printed creations that “recall the movement of the sea” and are inspired by the design concepts provided by Cristaudo. Every bespoke detail has been premeditated incorporated into the room, from the indoor chairs to the headboard and even the light fixtures on the walls. The result is an eye-pleasing environment that is as attractive to tourists as the city’s charm.

“We were hoping for an intervention of this beauty, but we had never imagined it. For the municipal administration, it is a privilege to have a structure like this (…) Now this adventure really begins”, announced the mayor of Porto Venere, Matteo Cozzani, during the inauguration ceremony of tower.

Ribbon cutting ceremony of the Capitolare tower in Italy.

Ribbon cutting ceremony of the Capitolare tower in Italy. Image courtesy of Capitolare via Facebook.

The heart of this project was to save an old tower from decay, but the result is a perfect blend of tradition and innovation. In its new guise, Capitolare is a must-see for tourism, history and beauty.

Borlenghi, who now works as Territory Business Manager for 9T Labs – a Swiss developer of the unique additive fusion solution for manufacturing carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite parts (CFRTP) – and previously worked at Roboze, considers the 3D printing as an innovative technology that can even serve the oldest history. In fact, his company is a huge testament to the potential of 3D printing in countless applications and a wide range of industries.

In the suite, travelers can take advantage of the spa center and room service and enjoy a balcony with a unique view of the sea. Tourists can now book a stay in the Capitolare tower and experience the first luxury suite 3D printed in the world in one of the oldest cities in Italy.

Nicholas E. Crittendon