UNStudio (Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos)

Möbius House, Het Gooi, 1993-1998

The Möbius House, a spatial translation of the “manimal” concept, is the result of a formal process that blends “mobile forces” — Möbius strip, landscape, movement, passage of time, etc. so that they become inextricable. Designed for a couple working at home and their children, the house has a total surface area of 550 m2 that unfurls in a seemingly endless strip, along which spaces are distributed in a continuous sequence, leading from day into night and from work to rest with possible points for encounters along the way. There are two independent trajectories: one leading from a work studio on the first level on the west side, to another studio on the second level on the east side; and the other leading from a living room on the first level on the east side to a bedroom on the west side. Along these pathways, shared living areas and spaces for sleeping and working interlock, disconnect, are suspended and intertwined in a complicated maze. This infinite movement is the organizing principle of the house and is expressed in its open plan, with spaces unencumbered by walls, and a spatial ambiguity, the interplay of transparent glass walls accentuating fluidity. Continuously intersecting and reconnecting, the exterior and interior alternate in a way that makes it impossible to locate the changing points. By constantly employing this strategy of undefined spatial and functional boundaries, UNStudio encourages occupants to reinterpret their living environment and to accept spaces left vacant, and thus open to invention.

Nadine Labedade

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