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The Klein Bottle House: Where Mathematics, Origami, and The Hunger Games Collide

The Klein Bottle House

Photo Courtesy of McBride Charles Ryan

When Katniss and Peeta were fighting for their lives on the cornucopia in The Hunger Games, were you thinking about how neat the design would look translated as a residence? Maybe you weren't, but that's certainly what came to my mind when I saw the modern outer shell that made up the structure. Luckily, my dream house actually exists and it's in Victoria, Australia!

 The Klein Bottle House

The Klein Bottle House was designed by McBride Charles Ryan back in 2008 (long before the movie was made) and was built on sand dunes within the tee-tree. As the name relates, the holiday home was designed to mimic the Klein bottle, which is a mathematical example of a non-orientable surface. In layman's terms, that means a surface without any distinguishable notions of left and right, and basically looks like a spiral that passes back through itself. If that still doesn't make sense, I suggest asking Google for some images for reference — I certainly did.

 The Klein Bottle House

MCR executed the plan by trying to bring that spiral to life, adapting a mathematical equation to form while also evoking origami and contemporary design. Built on sand hills that are adjacent from the ocean and supported by a timber stud frame, the Bottle House's terrain is tough but fitting of the construction. The exterior of the home is a simple black shell made with cement sheeting, with the interior full of red, black and white. The use of darker colors inside makes the view from outside the geometric windows stand out even further, while the dark exterior allows attention to focus on nature.

 The Klein Bottle House

According to MCR, "The 'contents' of the 'bottle' are a rectilinear platform and walls which make the abstract geometry inhabitable." A dramatic staircase winds around a central courtyard, leading up to the bedrooms and eventually to the large living room. In looking at the model, the home presents a unique feeling of being at once near and far depending on where you are in the spiraled home.

Sure, maybe this house will bring up bad memories for Katniss and Peeta, but it's literally a mathematical dream home for many others. If they're looking for a resident, I will definitely volunteer!  

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Mila Pantovich

Mila Pantovich lives in San Diego, CA with her cat and two rats. She graduated from California State San Marcos with a degree in Literature and Writing and a minor in Film Studies. She has written for several publications, including San Diego City News and North Park News, and in her spare time writes film reviews for various online publications. A self-prescribed film/book obsessive, she's curren...(Read More)

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