An unusual Australian ‘Origami Bottle House’ won the category of the 'World’s Best Home' at the World Architecture Festival Awards 2009 held in Barcelona earlier this month.
This unique holiday home designed by architecture practice McBride Charles Ryan, features a living room perched on a canopy of trees. Shaped like an origami Klein Bottle, the property in Australia’s Mornington Peninsula, celebrates the country’s traditional beach houses whilst remaining a practical and useful 21st century home.
From the outset, McBride Charles Ryan wanted to create a building that nestled within the tree line and what began as a spiral or shell-like building developed into a more complex spiral; the Klein bottle. The Klein Bottle is a descriptive model of a surface developed by topological mathematicians, a unique surface that while it may be distorted, it remains topologically the same. (i.e. a donut will remain topologically a donut if you twist and distort it, since it will only change topologically if it is cut.)
And of course, surfaces that mathematicians have developed hold intrigue for architects as they hold a promise of new spatial relationships and configurations. - aided by CAD technology which helps to communicate these to the build.
McBride Charles Ryan were keen to be topologically true to the Klein bottle, but it also had to function as a home. "We thought an origami version of the bottle would be achievable and hold some ironic fascination....The building (we think) is also within that tradition of the use of an experimental geometry that could be adapted to more suitably meet contemporary needs, and desires. In that sense it is within the heroic tradition of invigorating the very nature of the home, most notable of this tradition would be the great experimental heroic houses by Melbourne architects in the 50’s (McIntyre and Boyd in particular). The house revolves around a central courtyard, a grand regal stair connecting all the levels. There is a sense of both being near and far to all occupants. Its endless, curling shell-like quality particularly in the tee tree, brings about a comforting togetherness." say the firm of their winning design.
The Klein Bottle House was chosen by some of the world’s most distinguished architects and renowned industry experts, beating off competition from a shortlist of 15 entries (some of them pretty worthy - see another condender here).
The judges praised the Klein Bottle House design as: “evoking on every day of the year the enriching playfulness of being on holiday. The house was also celebrated as "fitting comfortably within the dramatic Australian landscape.”
Our congratulations to the team!
Photography: John Gollings