Purple Magazine
— The Cosmos Issue #32

living in a bubble

architecture LIVING IN A BUBBLE

SPHERICAL FORMS IN ARCHITECTURE — A SYMBOL OF ORGANIC PERFECTION — ARE MOSTLY USED FOR FUTURISTIC AND UTOPIAN PROJECTS BUT RARELY FOR DOMESTIC DWELLINGS

photography by GIANNI OPRANDI 

BALL HOUSES / BOLWONINGEN BY DRIES KREIJKAMP, 1984 IN HERTOGENBOSCH, THE NETHERLANDS

An outside-the-box thinker, the Dutch architect, industrial designer, and sculptor Dries Kreijkamp (1937-2014) defended the spherical form as the most natural, organic shape for human dwellings, taking his aesthetic cues from igloos and the round clay huts of African tribes. In 1984, as part of an experimental housing scheme in a suburb of Den Bosch, the Netherlands, he created a canal-side complex of 50 three-story globular homes, dubbed Bolwoningen (“ball houses”), positioned on cylindrical sockets, like golf balls. The white structures feature self-supporting outer walls in cement reinforced by fiberglass. A double bedroom and bathroom are located on the lower floors, while a cylindrical staircase leads to the upper area, a living space with an open kitchen fitted with four porthole-style pivot windows.

FUTURO HOUSE BY MATTI SUURONEN, 1968 OWNED BY MARK HADDAWY LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Designed in 1968 by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen as a one-off ski cabin for a friend, the Futuro house shocked neighbors because it looked like a flying saucer, but the simple prefabricated dwelling captured the futuristic spirit of the Star Trek generation and went into production worldwide. Made of 16 fiberglass segments, it has a concave steel frame and is set on four concrete supports, which could be preinstalled. The 140-square-foot interior — 13 feet high and 26 feet in diameter — featured adjustable partitions and sturdy acrylic windows. Available in a variety of colors with a choice of upholsteries and interior arrangements, it could be erected quickly on any terrain and stand up to harsh winters or seaboard climates.

[Table of contents]

The Cosmos Issue #32

Table of contents

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