The holiday home “Klein Bottle House” is located on the Mornington peninsula south of Melbourne near the ocean. The architecture fits into a landscape of dunes, hollows, trees and shrubland like just another geographical feature: an artificial outcrop whose sharp-cornered surfaces form a geometrical continuum following the contour lines on the horizon.
The programme by Rob McBride and Debbie-Lyn Ryan takes its cue from topological mathematics and the “Klein bottle” theory whereby a continuous surface has no distinction between interior and exterior. Here a mathematical experiment becomes a real building conforming to a specific context. The outer walls are inclined at acute angles; the hardwood-framed windows become free geometrical figures.
The building has the form of a spiral or shell. The spiral originates at the inner court that also serves to allow light and natural ventilation into the house. An interior staircase spirals upwards towards the largest environment, a huge, east-facing living area with a kitchen corner. Part of the fully glazed east façade can be slid open to access a wood-floored outside terrace. The night zone with its three aligned bedrooms and bathrooms is set apart on the west side of the house. Despite the striking geometries, the building sits lightly on its plot.
The thermally insulated walls are a combination of metal sheet and fibre concrete. Dark opaque colours contrast with milky white. Inside, red carpeting contrasts with light-coloured wood and mosaic floor tiling to highlight the different luminosity and functions of the various environments. The architecture is an example of evolving ultra-modern forms that successfully blend into their environment.