Capitolare Suite Tower – A castle restored thanks to 3D technologies

“Saving an ancient tower dating back to 1161 from decay. This was the starting point of the project that led to the conception of this exclusive luxury location,” explains Andrea Borlenghi, the 29-year-old entrepreneur, with studies abroad and a career in the world of tech startups, who was awarded the structure in 2019 by participating in the tender issued by the municipality.

Thus, after three years of work, the ancient tower that gives access to the village is reborn as the world’s first luxury suite with fittings and furnishings produced entirely in 3D.

After extensive conservation-restoration work using materials from the circular economy, the Capitolare’s team returned the thousand-year-old tower to the community.

The interior design of the suite is by Federica Cristaudo. The recurring theme is the movement of the sea, found in the colours, materials, and shapes. The uniqueness of the intervention stems from the combination of 3D printing in synergy with the applied arts dating back to the 12th century.

The focus on the search for new materials is another point of interest: the bathroom sets are made with natural mortars produced from shell fragments and the furnishings are entirely created with 3D printed recycled plastic from marine sources, specifically recycled polypropylene with 20% glass fibre reinforcement.

The choice of 3D printing for the furniture was dictated by the desire to create a contrast between the thousand-year-old tower and the novelty of the technology used. In addition, the plan is to renew the furniture every five years, recycling previous furniture, in a virtuous closed-loop economy and zero waste for decades to come.

The engineering and 3D furniture printing process was provided by Caracol Additive Manufacturing, an innovative SME from Lombardy that works on project development for sectors ranging from aerospace to automotive, from energy to design and architecture.

In Italy, additive manufacturing has been used several times to decorate spaces. And projects are multiplying. Indeed, the renovation of the Capitolare in Porto Venere follows in the wake of numerous projects, such as that of the city of Lucca, which has been 3D printing benches from plastic for several years.