Klein Bottle house / McBride Charles Ryan
Architect: McBride Charles Ryan - Rob McBride & Debbie-Lyn Ryan
Location: Mornington Peninsula, Australia
Project Team: Drew Williamson, Fang Cheah
Clients / Builders: Donna & Mark
Constructed Area: 258 sqm
Photographs: John Gollings
The Klein bottle is a descriptive model of a surface developed by topological mathematicians. Klein bottle, mobius strips, boy surfaces, unique surfaces that while they may be distorted remain topologically the same. I.e. a donut will remain topologically a donut if you twist and distort it, it will only change topologically if it is cut.
The surfaces that mathematicians have developed hold intrigue for architects as they hold a promise of new spatial relationships and configurations. Technology (CAD) has played an important part in all this, it is now more possible to efficiently describe more complex shapes and spaces and communicate these to the build. Previously the more orthogonal means of communication - plans, sections and elevations naturally encourage buildings which are more easily described in these terms, i.e. boxes.
Last edited by BobClark; 14th February 2009 at 18:12.
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.
By Design has been running a series on the houses that are finalists for the Robin Boyd Award - this award is for the best residential house in Australia, given out each year by the Australian Institute of Architects. The award was announced on Thursday evening 30 October in Adelaide, and Victoria's Klein Bottle House has won this year's 2008 AIA Robin Boyd Award.
By Design visits Victoria, and the very graphic black and white house, with a red belly, nestled in the smokey grey-green tea-trees on the Mornington Pensinsula outside Melbourne. The house is based on the Klein Bottle mathematical model which curves upon itself.
Last edited by BobClark; 14th February 2009 at 18:16.