Dutch Architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars is intent on building a house, and a very large house at that, based on the odd properties inherent in a Möbius Strip.
The Möbius Strip, in case you're not familiar with the concept, is essentially a paradoxical surface with only one side and only one "boundary component." Discovered by the German mathematicians August Ferdinand Möbius and Johann Benedict Listing in 1858, a model of the strip can be created by taking a strip of paper, giving it a half-twist and then joining the ends of the strip together with no overlap to form a loop.
Ruijssenaars says his firm, Amsterdam-based Universe Architecture, will use 3D printing technology not only to design, but actually construct, the enormous 12,000 square foot home.
He says his "Landscape House" will actually be 3D printed section-by-section using Enrico Dini's giant D-Shape printer. Dini's mega-printer is capable of printing structures as large as 6 x 9 meters and it does so using a mixture of sand and stone which is stuck together by an inorganic binding agent.
Ruijssenaars, working in conjunction with artist and mathematician Rinus Roelofs, built a design model for the house with a small 3D printer.
"In this design, traditional techniques and new 3D printing techniques are combined – the façades for example are made with glass and thin steel construction," Ruijssenaars said. "It's the combination of façade and floor plus ceiling that gives this structure its sturdiness."
"The essence of landscape is continuous," he said. "The earth is round, valleys transform into hills, oceans into land but it is one thing. So we looked for a building form without beginning or end."
Educated at Western State College in Colorado, the Universidad Polytecnica and TU Delft, Ruijssenaars is currently a Professor at the Royal Academy of Dutch Architects in the Netherlands.
He adds that he expects his structure to be as strong and durable as a house built with traditional methods and materials. According to him, the major difference in the house will be (aside from the continuous floor plan) that the formwork will serve as a permanent part of the structure.
Ruijssenaars estimates that his Landscape House will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.2 million to $6.5 million to build and take more than 18 months to construct.