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Renowned architect building 3D printed "Landscape House"

We've heard our fair share of zany 3D printing ideas, from the truly terrifying (manufacturing plastic guns) to the completely benign (homemade mobile phone cases).

Now, an architect has announced the world's most ambitious 3D printing project to date - to utilise the nascent and potentially revolutionary technology to run off an entire building.

Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Universe Architecture is heading up design of the "Landscape House," a two-story, 1,000 square metre structure with the form of a figure-eight.

Described by the Dutchman as "one surface folded in an endless Mobius band," the Landscape House's free flowing design is said to be inspired by the rugged beauty of Ireland's winding costal landscapes.

"3D printing is amazing," Mr Ruijssenaars told the BBC.

"For me as an architect it's been a nice way to construct this specific design - it has no beginning and no end and with the 3D printer we can make it look like that."

"You can print what you want - it's a more direct way of constructing," he added.

The Landscape House will be produced in partnership with 3D printing expert Enrico Dini, whose D-Shape "robotic building system" (see video, bottom) uses a special, sand-based compound to create a marble-like substance claimed to be more robust than cement.

The D-Shape will print the house in 6 x 9 metre sections and the final structure will be reinforced by cement and fibreglass.

Ruijssenaars has put a cost estimate of up to €5 million (£4.2m) on the project. He said that the initial "Landscape House" construction should be completed by 2014 and that museums, visitor centres, and wealthy private individuals were among his likely end audience.

"We would like to construct one per country," he commented.

Ruijssenaars is a household name in the world of design - his "Floating Bed' was Time Magazine's best invention of 2006.