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The Sea Comes Alive in Nautilus House, Mexico by Javier Senosiain

The Nautilus House exterior (by night above) and its interior from the perspective of the entrance. Home created by Javier Senosiain. Pic: designrulz
The Nautilus House exterior (by night above) and its interior from the perspective of the entrance. Home created by Javier Senosiain. Pic: designrulz

THE WORKS OF JAVIER SENOSIAIN are anything but ordinary. In fact, they are audacious, controversial and very much alive and animated.

Take his Nautilus house, for example. Located in Mexico, Senosiain brings to life the aquatic in the architecture of the home.

Inside the entrance behind the coloured glass ─ a welcoming “living”courtyard. Pic: designrulz
Inside the entrance behind the coloured glass ─ a welcoming “living”courtyard. Pic: designrulz
The enigmatic and multi-coloured entrance from the outside. Pic: designrulz
The enigmatic and multi-coloured entrance from the outside. Pic: designrulz

Then again, that’s because Senosiain is Mexico’s celebrated exponent and explorer of organic architecture. He draws his inspiration from living things: sharks, whales, snakes, peanuts, flowers…all the biodiversity you can find on earth. Senosiain is currently a professor of architecture at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Born in 1948, he is 69 today.

One of his much-celebrated works is a house at Vista del Valle, north of Mexico City which sits on a hill overlooking the city and is designed in the shape of a shark. It is a ferro-concrete construction coated with polyurethane and UV-resistant elastomeric waterproofing. Inside the shark (and you shall see it later as you scroll down) comprises a complex labyrinth of rooms and interconnecting carpeted tunnels.

The Nautilus house, in many ways, is similar to the Shark House. It was created in 2007 as a nautilus shell, the nautilus being a pelagic marine mollusc. The house is shaped like the creature’s shell with the walls swirling around to replicate the inside of the shell and it is adorned with coloured stained glass to mimic the dance of lights on the sea.

Another perspective of the courtyard/entrance illuminated by natural lighting by day and adorned with beautiful greens, meant to represent seaweeds under the sea. Stone stairs of gentle incline lead to the interior of the home. Pic: designrulz
Another perspective of the courtyard/entrance illuminated by natural lighting by day and adorned with beautiful greens, meant to represent seaweeds under the sea. Stone stairs of gentle incline lead to the interior of the home. Pic: designrulz

The Nautilus house by Javier Senosiain of Arquitectura Organica is innovative and unusual. Inspired by the work of Gaudí and Frank Lloyd Wright, Senosiain brought to Mexico City another sparkling example of what he calls “Bio-Architecture” — the idea that buildings based on the natural principles of organic forms bring us back to local history, tradition and cultural roots, in turn creating harmony with nature.”

The kitchen. As if adorned by sea shells. Rough walls remind one of corals. Pic: designrulz
The kitchen. As if adorned by sea shells. Rough walls remind one of corals. Pic: designrulz

He writes further…

“Bio-Architecture studies the natural principles of animal and human constructions from several different perspectives, and presents a great part of the knowledge that gives origin and shape to built form.

The inner sanctum of the swirling house ─ the bedroom. Everythig is curved and fluid. Pic: designrulz
The inner sanctum of the swirling house ─ the bedroom. Everythig is curved and fluid. Pic: designrulz

“Organic architecture offers a design approach arising from natural principles, bringing us back to local history, tradition, and cultural roots to give us built forms which are in harmony with nature. It also shows how architects can take advantage of the resources that contemporary technology has placed within our grasp.”

And here’s the living room. Pic: designrulz
And here’s the living room. Pic: designrulz

Interested in buildings and architecture? Then don’t forget to click in to:

First 5 Jaw-Dropping Architecture from around the World (Part 1)

Second 5 Jaw-Dropping Architecture from around the World (Part 2)

And, 13 Most Amazing Skyscrapers in the World Today

About the Book Bio-Architecture

Bio-Architecture, the book by Javier Senosiain studies the natural principles of animal and human constructions from several different perspectives and looks at what gives origin and shape to built form. The text gives an informative, inspiring overview of the drive toward organically informed design both intrinsically and aesthetically using a wide variety of international examples.

A glimpse of the dining area from the flow to more sitting areas. The abundant greens is meant to represent the underwater vegetation of the sea. Pic: designrulz
A glimpse of the dining area from the flow to more sitting areas. The abundant greens is meant to represent the underwater vegetation of the sea. Pic: designrulz

Javier Senosiain is an architect and an historian. He pursued his interest in Organic Architecture across the globe drawing parallels between Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic dome and the spider’s web; between Santiago Calatrava’s Cathedral of St John in NY and the roots of a tree. Where nature has inspired form, Senosiain has made a career of analyzing and applying the principles he sees in some very creative writing and architecture.

The bath. This is where mermaids come alive! The faucet is in the shape of a conch. Pic: designrulz
The bath. This is where mermaids come alive! The faucet is in the shape of a conch. Pic: designrulz

Watch the Nautilus House Come Alive

How the Nautilus Home Came to Be

A young family with two children from Mexico City were tired living in a conventional home and wanted to change to one integrated with nature. The Nautilus House is wonderful to look at, walk through and enjoy for what it is – a blend of modern architecture and contemporary art. The sculptural whimsical house features a striking entry cut into a wall of colourful stained glass. Each element has been carefully chosen to coincide with the organic theme of the building.

More details of the bathroom and wash basin, inlaid with coloured glass. Pic: designrulz
More details of the bathroom and wash basin, inlaid with coloured glass. Pic: designrulz

As Senosiain Says

“In this work, the floor is the logarithmic spiral, adapting itself to the land. Work on the scale model generated many changes to find the volume which was required by the building.

The creation of the mind translated to plan. Pic: designrulz
The creation of the mind translated to plan. Pic: designrulz

The creative process has been interesting, recreational, fun … the best, as The Prince says, it is the process of growing the rose more than the result.

“When entering from the outside you go up the stairs and, when getting inside the Nautilus through a big stained-glass window, a space experience is generated as you live the sequence of the distance travelled, where neither the walls nor the floor or the ceiling are parallel. It is a fluid space in three dimensions where you can perceive the continuous dynamic of the fourth dimension as you walk in spiral on the stairs, with a sense of floating over the vegetation.

“This home’s social life flows inside the Nautilus without any division, a harmonic area in three dimensions where you can notice the continuous dynamic of the fourth dimension when moving in spiral over the stairs with a feeling of floating over the vegetation.” Senosiain. Pic organicarchitecture
“This home’s social life flows inside the Nautilus without any division, a harmonic area in three dimensions where you can notice the continuous dynamic of the fourth dimension when moving in spiral over the stairs with a feeling of floating over the vegetation.” Senosiain. Pic organicarchitecture

“Then the tour continues through the hall, past the TV room sheltered in the belly of the crustaceous and, up the  spiral stairs, you come to the studio where you can see the mountain landscape.

“At the back of the Nautilus it is the intimate zone and service area.”

Another perspective of the façade. Pic: arquitecturaorganica.com
Another perspective of the façade. Pic: arquitecturaorganica.com

 

More of Javier Senosiain’s Organic Architecture 

Architect Javier Senosiain sits in a hand-like fiberglass floating chair in the middle of a pond that serves as part of a water treatment and rain-water collection system for his architectural project, the “Nest of Quetzalcoatl,” on the outskirts of Mexico City. Pic: AP-Yonhap
Architect Javier Senosiain sits in a hand-like fiberglass floating chair in the middle of a pond that serves as part of a water treatment and rain-water collection system for his architectural project, the “Nest of Quetzalcoatl,” on the outskirts of Mexico City. Pic: AP-Yonhap

Forty-five minutes from Mexico City, stands a 10-unit apartment complex in the shape of mythological Aztec snake. It was designed by Javier Senosiain and serves as model of sustainability in a metropolitan area characterized by urban sprawl. Here water is captured from the rain and the residents harvest their own food.

Watch his Aztec Snake come alive by clicking on the link.

The Organic House or Green Igloo. Pic: arquitecturaorganica.com
The Organic House or Green Igloo. Pic: arquitecturaorganica.com

The Organic House

Senosiain’s Organic House is born with the idea of creating an area adapted for man, according to his environmental, physical and psychological needs. It’s origin is in nature, because it looks for areas similar to the maternal womb, to animal shelters, to those of man, who in the beginning, adopted the caverns without modifying its environment, to an igloo and to all the friendly spaces and concave that recall the arms of the mother that cuddles the child.

Believe it or not, this is a school ─ The Snake school. Pic: arquitecturaorganica.com
Believe it or not, this is a school ─ The Snake school. Pic: arquitecturaorganica.com

The Snake School

The Snake concept was developed in an area with volcanic lava located in University City, close to the circular pyramid of CuicuiIco, for the city of humanities research, which includes 12 interdisciplinary elements.

The access to each school is located by the cars’ circuit; the parking lots are located next to the schools following the topography. The libraries, because they occupy larger areas and have more weight, are located on the ground floor; the administrative areas on the first level, and in the second, the researchers cubicles. On the roof you can move to the different schools and to the “head of the snake” auditoriums’ and cafeteria area or, from the outside, through the jaws of the snake you can access between the two auditoriums.

The Satellite House Complex of half buried houses. Pic: arquitecturaorganica.com
The Satellite House Complex of half buried houses. Pic: arquitecturaorganica.com

The Satelite House Complex

The Satelite House Complex in Ciudad Satelite has independent access to each house. Because the ground has a slope of 1.5m in relation to the street, this advantage was used to partially bury the houses.

From drawing to real thing. Pic: arquitecturaorganica.com
From drawing to real thing. Pic: arquitecturaorganica.com

The whole fish and nothing but the fish ─ The Whale. Actually, the whale’s a mammal. (Knew that wink ). Pic: arquitecturaorganica.com
The whole fish and nothing but the fish ─ The Whale. Actually, the whale’s a mammal. (Knew that wink  ). Pic: arquitecturaorganica.com

The Whale

Medullar part of the architectonic concept, it is the result of man’s natural space search, his historic and cultural roots as well as the constructive traditions of Mexican art. In the façade, the stone slope, a reminiscence of the Prehispanic past, was used as a containment wall, combined with “recocho” brick domes that receive the earth pressure.The trims were coated with polychrome frets in bas-relief using parts of the ceramic tile brought by the spaniards to Mexico.

Inside the Whale’s belly. It is actually someone’s home. Pic: arquitecturaorganica.com
Inside the Whale’s belly. It is actually someone’s home. Pic: arquitecturaorganica.com

Much has been written about Javier Senosiain and his work. Read the Korean Herald’s take on the man by clicking on the link.

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