Weird and Wonderful Buildings Part Two - The Nautilus House.
The Nautilus House near Mexico City has to be one of my favourite weird and wonderful buildings. A real blend of Architecture and Modern Art. It was designed by Javier Senosiain of Architectura Organica. Senosian calls this style 'Bio-Architecture' (although a search online has two further definitions - building sustainably - in tune with the environment, or using the principle of fractals in your design to create a more harmonious space).
Javier Senosiain refers to 'Bio-Architecture' as the idea that buildings based on organic forms bring us back to local history, tradition and cultural roots as well as creating harmony with nature. However the term 'Bio-Mimicry' seems to be taking over.
The house was designed for a family with young children. They were tired of living in a conventional house and wanted to have one more integrated with nature. The entry is cut into a wall of colourful stained glass.
Senosiain says " This home’s social life flows inside the Nautilus without any division, a harmonic area in three dimensions where you can notice the continuous dynamic of the fourth dimension when moving in spiral over the stairs with a feeling of floating over the vegetation.”
The house was completed in 2007 and skylights in the bathrooms and bedrooms allow natural light in. It was created with steel frames coated with chicken wire on which a thin layer of concrete (ferro cement about 5 inches thick) was applied. This building technique allows natural curves and also avoids the overuse of load bearing walls or pillars. In addition the spiral adds structural rigidity. Apparently this type of building is also earth quake proof as well as being lighter than brick.
Senosiain also said the home's inhabitants will fee 'like a mollusc moving from one chamber to another, like a symbiotic dweller of a huge fossil maternal cloister.'
He says that profound space is not found in the straight line, the box, or the corner. For him conventional shapes engender a kind of spiritual death where people lose "creativity, spontaneity and liberty"
I say we need more creative artist/architects like Senosiain. There are far too many 'cookie cutter' houses and developments out there. How about having more fun - not the modern view that form follows function?
Here's a 360 degree view of the Nautilus House - just pan!
I love Architecture. I think it's vital to talk about all aspects of Architecture - whether it be planning, construction, design or green building. I have written 3 E-Books & over 110 articles. Please feel free to let me know if you have any queries regarding architecture, planning & construction & I will assist you.
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I am originally from the UK and moved to South Africa in 1999. I started Blue Designs in 2004 after working as a driver for Avalon Construction on a luxury home in the Featherbrook Estate. In my spare time I am an artist and writer.
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Other articles I have written include :-
http://www.arquitecturaorganica.com/nautilus.html (in Spanish)