In this interview, Hannah Office shares the design philosophy behind a cabin in upstate New York that was built by robots with 3D-printed concrete. The cabin also uses ash wood that would otherwise be unusable due to infestation by Emerald Ash Borers.




HANNAH office, founded by Leslie Lok and Sasa Zivkovic, is a US-based architecture and research practice that has been experimenting with digital design and fabrication techniques across all types of projects ranging from furniture to urbanism.

Both professors at Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, Leslie and Sasa lead a studio with a focus on innovative design, where technology plays a crucial role in their work, combined with a sharp study of materials, new applications, and construction techniques, resulting in highly creative projects.

One of their most recent works is the Ashen Cabin, a robotics-constructed and 3D-printed prototype home in Upstate New York. The singularity of the project lies in the use of infested ash wood, which its abundance is an environmental issue of the area, as it has very few reusable applications at the moment.

The use of advanced and custom technology applied in this project has allowed the re-use of this material, which combined with a 3D printed concrete layered structure, resulted in a case study on the future of sustainable construction. Moreover, besides its technological fabrication, the final aesthetics of the cabin remains natural and raw, harmoniously integrated with its context.