Klein Bottle House by McBride Charles Ryan | Australia



photo: John Gollings

Klein Bottle House| Brief and Design

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.

This holiday house is situated on the Mornington Peninsula 1.5 hrs drive from Melbourne. It is located within the tee–tree on the sand dunes, a short distance from the wild 16th beach. From the outset MCR wanted a building that nestled within the tree line. That talked about journey and the playfulness of holiday time. What began as a spiral or shell like building developed into a more complex spiral, the Klein bottle. MCR were keen to be topologically true to the Klein bottle but it had to function as a home. We thought an origami version of the bottle would be achievable and hold some ironic fascination. (The resulting FC version also has a comforting relationship to the tradition of the Aussie cement sheet beach house).

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.

Materials
Exterior: Metal sheet, Lysaght ‘Cladding Profile’ Night Sky / Fibre Cement Sheet/ ‘Pomegranate’
Tretford Carpet / Bamboo Veneer (BT Bamboo, Eco Flooring Systems P/L)/ White Signorino Tiles/
Glass Mosaic Tile/ Paint colours: Elephant, Antique White 50%, Pearl Ash, Red Clown, Spanish
Olive, and Black

Klein Bottle House
Floor Area: 258m2 approx
Principal Architects
: Rob McBride, Debbie-Lyn Ryan
Project team: Drew Williamson, Fang Cheah
Clients/Builders: Donna & Mark

McBride Charles Ryan
McBride Charles Ryan
architecture + interior design
tel: (03) 9510 1006 fax: (03) 9510 0205
4/21 Wynnstay Road Prahran VIC 3181

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Comments
6 Responses to “Klein Bottle House by McBride Charles Ryan | Australia”
  1. George Kennedy says:

    Our plastering team completed the internal plastering on this impressive project in Rye, Victoria, Austraila.
    Hillview Interiors

  2. Jason says:

    What an absolutely stunning use of form and function. A truly great piece of Australian architecture.

  3. bah says:

    This is architecture of the absurd (there is a book of the same that is fun to read about such places). If you look at some of the greatest architectural houses such as Wright’s Falling Water, they are not absurd and sometimes economical to build (one the FLW’s obessions was to make economical houses). This house is 2 dimensional like a Klien surface – I wish architects would get over “being artistic” and instead being creative. The judges should hang there heads in shame.

  4. Belle says:

    i hope that oneday i can design something as wonderful i am in year 9 at the moment and houses like this inspire me. Great Australian architecture.

  5. David Vera says:

    i find the comments by ‘bah’ to be, shall i dare say, absurd. architecture is a mixture of mathematics, art, functionality and humanity… leave any of these out and architecture cannot progress. the work by mcbride clearly demonstrates the subtle combination of these four points.

    i am a young architect from canada and am visiting melbourne next week. i plan on visiting both the klein blottle house and the monaco house. blah, i inivite you to do the same before commenting so negatively. all opinions are important but be sure you do your research before making bold statements like frank lloyd wright being an economical architect… this is truly not the case. please research any of his “famous” homes or a good one is the costs for the johnson & johnson wax building.

    i wish general society would be “more artistic”… the world would be a better place.

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