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  COME VEDERE L'ARCHITETTURA CONTEMPORANEA HOW TO SEE CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE
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BUILDING
 
 
Möbius House
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DESIGNER
 
 
Ben van Berkel

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DESCRIPTION
 
With its low-slung, elongated outlines the private house forms a link between the different features of the surroundings; the spatial loop enables the house to take in the extreme aspects of the landscape. By being stretched to the maximum, rather than displaying a compact or tall shape, the house conveys from the interior the idea of a walk in the countrysite.

The Möbius loop, the spatial quality of which means that it is present in both plan and section, translates into the interior into a 24-hour cycle of sleeping, working and living. As the loop turns inside out the materialization follows these change-overs; glazed details and concrete structural elements swap roles as glazed facades are put in front of the concrete construction, dividing walls are made of glass and furniture such as tables and stairs are made of concrete.

The diagram
The diagram of the double-locked torus conveys the organization of two intertwining paths, which trace how two people can live together, yet apart, meeting at certain points, which become shared spaces. The idea of two entities running their own trajectories but sharing certain moments, possibly also reversing roles at certain points, is extended to include the materialization of the building and its construction. The instrumentalization of this simple, borrowed drawing is the key. The two interlocking lines are suggestive of the formal organization of the building, but that is only the beginning; diagrammatic architecture is a process of unfolding and ultimately of liberation. The diagram liberates architecture from language, interpretation, and signification.

The diagram for the Möbius house consists of two interlocking lines. The double-locked torus integrates programme, circulation and structure seamlessly. As the diagram unfolds, the interlocking lines come to stand for the two main materials used for the house, glass and concrete, which move in front of each other and switch places.

The abstraction of the diagram facilitates different interpretations, such as working with two materials and using time in relation to the distribution. As a graphic representation of 24 hours of family life, the double-locked torus acquires a time-space dimension, which leads to the implementation of the Möbius band. The unfolding of time and the internal regulation of the program relate to the concept of the double-locked torus. Equally, the site and its relationship to the building are important for the design. The site covers two hectares, which are divided into four areas distinct in character. Linking these with the internal organization of the Möbius band transforms living in the house into a walk in the landscape.

The mathematical model of the Möbius is not literally transferred to the building, but is conceptualized or thematized and can be found in architectural ingredients, such as the light, the staircases, and the way in which people move through the house. So, while the Möbius diagram introduces aspects of duration and trajectory, the diagram is worked into the building in a mutated way.

Courtesy UNStudio
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LOCATION
 
Continent
Europe
Nation
Netherlands [Nederland]
Region
Noord-Holland
Town
Naarder
Place
Het Gooi/'t Gooi
 
 
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TYPOLOGY
 
ARCHITECTURE
Residential buildings
Detached, semi-detached houses and villas
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
1993    
Realisation
1998
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BIBILIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
 
 
Il Progetto 8, ottobre/october 2000, p. 6-9 (4-13)
Yehuda Safran, "Guida ai perplessi/Guide for the perplexed", Lotus international 104, marzo/march 2000 [Informale e nuove strutture/New structures and the Informal], p. 71 (70-75)
Philip Jodidio, Building a new millennium, Taschen, Köln 2000, pp. 94-99 (92-99)
Bart Lootsma, "Casa unifamiliare Möbius, 't Gooi, Paesi Bassi/Möbius one-family house, 't Gooi, The Netherlands", Domus 814, aprile/april 1999 [Il nuovo nomadismo/The new nomadism], pp. 40-48 (40-49)
Ben van Berkel, "Nota dell'architetto sulle fotografie di casa Möbius/Architect's note on the photography of the Möbius house", Domus 814, aprile/april 1999 [Il nuovo nomadismo/The new nomadism], pp. 49 (40-49)
El Croquis 72, 1995/I [Ben van Berkel 1990/1995], pp. 86 - 91
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Surface
floor sq.m. 520
site sq.m. 20,000
Volume
m³ 2,250
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STRUCTURES
 
 
ABT
Heijchmann Bouwadviesbureau
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LANDSCAPE DESIGN
 
 
West 8 Landscape Architects
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STAFF
 
Design team
Ben van Berkel with Aad Krom, Jen Alkema and Matthias Blass, Remco Bruggink, Marc Dijkman, Casper le Fevre, Rob Hootsmans, Tycho Soffree, Giovanni Tedesco, Harm Wassink
Coordination
Aad Krom
Interior design
B. van Berkel, H. Kuyvenhoven, J. Alkema, M. Blass
Consultant
Stef Bakker/House of Orange, Kasia Gatkowska (photo concept)
 
 
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