Surrounded by nature, the elliptical house designed by Antony Gibbons Design represents a challenge to both mathematics and architecture. Inspired by the “Möbius strip”, in which the inner and outer surface of the volumes come together, it is made entirely of hempcrete, hemp bricks reinforced with concrete, a material that underlines its innovative and surprisingly light configuration. The seductive, sculptural, hypnotic house rests, for only a few metres, on the two ends of its elliptical layout, giving it a formal power made possible by the structure itself, which acts as a thin vault like a continual hyperboloid screen.
The building’s entire frame is rigidified by its roof, which supports horizontal thrust despite the round window at its centre lighting up the interior. This opening was not entirely necessary, in that the big jagged floor-to-ceiling windows facing onto the swimming pool and the valley provide plenty of light for the rooms inside, while lending them a certain mystic atmosphere.
The big staircase inviting visitors up onto the rooftop terrace reveals the ambiguity of the boundaries between inside and outside, above and below, in a perfect homage to the Möbius strip, which mathematically breaks away from the typical relationship between inside and outside, top and bottom.
Progetto: Antony Gibbons Design
Photo: Antony Gibbons