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  5. McBride Charles Ryan
  6. Klein Bottle house / McBride Charles Ryan

Klein Bottle house / McBride Charles Ryan

  • 01:00 - 24 October, 2008
Klein Bottle house / McBride Charles Ryan
Klein Bottle house / McBride Charles Ryan

Klein Bottle house / McBride Charles Ryan Klein Bottle house / McBride Charles Ryan Klein Bottle house / McBride Charles Ryan Klein Bottle house / McBride Charles Ryan +13

  • Architects

  • Location

    Mornington Peninsula, VIC, Australia
  • Architect

    McBride Charles Ryan - Rob McBride & Debbie-Lyn Ryan
  • Project Team

    Drew Williamson, Fang Cheah
  • Clients / Builders

    Donna & Mark
  • Area

    258.0 sqm

From the architect. 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 16 beach. From theoutset 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.

Cite: "Klein Bottle house / McBride Charles Ryan" 24 Oct 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


maryam · October 20, 2014

I want everything about klein bottle house

ignaras · August 03, 2013

whats the building material used there for the sharp turns and angles???

Liliana Dias · April 10, 2012


Fa · November 17, 2011

Where can I find the key plan of this house? Coordinates of the location would help too. I would love to see the location of the house in Google Map/Earth.

aimee whitcroft · August 11, 2011

i am curious to see @happyinmotion thinks of the Klein Bottle house... #architecture #maths #CAD

maximeb7 · August 03, 2011

Klein Bottle House!

Estares Arquitetura · July 27, 2011

Klein bottle house

reino_ikem · July 18, 2011

Klein Bottle house / McBride Charles Ryan | ArchDaily via @archdaily

??? Kwon Taegu · July 18, 2011
Oscar Martinez · July 17, 2011

Nice House! Klein Bottle house / McBride Charles Ryan | ArchDaily #architecture #design #geometry

Nalini Joshi · May 10, 2011

@ColinTGraham Wow! That LEGO Klein bottle is quite something. Have you seen the Klein bottle house?

wataru85 · November 15, 2010

@rentarof ?????????????????

carballo · November 07, 2010 ____ quebrantando paradigmas espaciales!

P. F. Anderson · May 29, 2010

RT @wizardgynoid: a klein bottle house in RL looks like something in SL.

Will · January 27, 2010

"We thought an origami version of the bottle would be achievable and hold some ironic fascination."

Maybe I'm missing something but how is that ironic?

????? · December 03, 2009

??????? ??????? ????????? ???????.
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Stan · June 19, 2009

I wish we could get some detail drawing and discussion of the exterior materials. I love arch daily, but like so many magazines now - there is no discussion of how this stuff is built or made. It really is eye candy and we have no ideal how it all came to be - standing there on hte earth in all it's glory! So unrealistic to not know the substance. Like looking a hot model and not knowing all the workouts and dieting the person went through every day.

2MACoff · May 30, 2009


Lu · April 16, 2009

I rally love this piece of art. the building the materials. very intresting. thank u

LargoJax · April 06, 2009

Usually I dislike attempts at risky modern "sculptural" architecture, primarily because it seems wasteful since it's usually on a large scale for public use or otherwise. I do like this project though since it's a private residence. It's dramatic and striking as sculptured architecture from the outside and the interiors seem to be executed to the highest standard in terms of finishing. it would be an interesting experience to live with it.

dcalve · March 09, 2009

It makes me laugh to see people commenting on how terrible the drawings look! Have you seen the final outcome of the building? In my eyes, a prime example of modern design, but then again if some of you guys would prefer to see a hand drawn 45 degree angle pitched roof then that is you decision I suppose.
Congratulations on creating such a nice piece of architecture to all at McBride Charles Ryan.

TheDON · September 26, 2012 05:13 PM

Thanks mate.

But the real GLORY should go to the Steelwork cad team who built the 3D model for the project.. Still waiting for $$$'s. mmmmmmm Don.

Gary Randall · February 28, 2009

Very interesting. The view in the stairwell towards the central court makes me dizzy. I would be interested to know how it "lives".

Kim · January 14, 2009

To Frix and Contemporary Art...
To all the Modern freaks that are raving about minimal architecture and other neo-modern corps, here is real interesting architecture example.

jOHNNY · December 25, 2008

Your site is good

George Kennedy · November 01, 2008

Our plastering team were proud to have completed the plastering on this exciting project. Hillview Interiors, Rosebud South

Luis · October 30, 2008

Good design. But the elevations look terrible. They could have made much better drawings, plus diagrams.

Calvin · October 26, 2008

would love to see this in person

Jing · October 25, 2008


mike · October 25, 2008

It would be interesting to see some diagrams (unrolled surface of the house) juxtaposed to a surface study of a klein bottle to see how it loops back on itself

hedgy · October 24, 2008

The shape is interesting, i like the orientation, and the iner modeling of the space is wonderfull. Thumbs up !


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终极木屋 / McBride Charles Ryan