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Klein Bottle House Manifests Mathematics – by McBride Charles Ryan

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Mathematics has always gone hand in hand with design. It inspires innovation and helps find solutions to problems. With advances in construction technology and computer modeling programs, it is possible to create structures that could only have been imagined before. Australian architectural practice McBride Charles and Ryan have built a holiday home on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne as a manifestation of the mathematical concept of the Klein bottle.

Without getting too heavily into the details, a Klein bottle is basically a Mobius strip with the edges joined. So an ant can walk from inside to outside of this 3D form without meeting an edge. This inspiration led the architects to create a complexly faceted structure revolving around a central courtyard. The exterior of the house is clad in black panels, creating a backdrop against which the natural surroundings stand out. The form seems to reflect the kinetic shape of the surrounding sand dunes. Inside, panoramic windows open up views of surrounding national park. The interior staircase, visible from the open front door, is finished in a bright red, connecting the outside to interior, up to the first floor living and recreation area, and outside again via two terraces. This is the key element referencing the mathematical inspiration. The origami-like exterior is reflected on the interior too, with walls and ceilings all dramatically faceted.

By utilizing modern technology to the full, McBride Charles and Ryan has created an interesting and firmly modern building that sits comfortably its natural setting. A nod to John Gollings for the great photos.

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