Plenty of animals live in shells. From oysters to hermit crabs, hundreds of organisms make their homes in these beautiful, organic structures. But if you’re a human and you want to live in a shell, you’re out of luck. Or are you? One intrepid architect in Mexico City decided to take the principles of shell-living out of the ocean and onto land when he built a nautilus-inspired home for a young family that was ready to live outside the box … and inside a shell.
Architect Javier Senosiain specializes in what he calls “Bio-Architecture.” This unique brand of home design draws on organic forms and naturally-occurring patterns to create domiciles that are more in harmony with nature than your average home. Drawing inspiration from the organic style of Gaudí in Barcelona and expanding upon Frank Lloyd Wright’s principles of “Organic Architecture,” Senosiain has built a home that’s truly one of a kind. As much modern art as it is modern living, the Nautilus (as it’s known) is like stepping into a fantasy world. Senosiain explains the home’s appeal: “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.” As harmonious and majestic as his description sounds, it’s nothing compared to the striking visuals the house contains. With cozy rooms, beautiful glass and stone features, and incorporated vegetation, the home is absolutely breathtaking.
This view of the Nautilus, built in 2007, shows its stunning blend of organic design and artistic beauty.
Senosiain is a pioneer of Mexico's Arquitectura Organica (organic architecture), building homes that take their cues from nature and seek to provide a balance of natural harmony.
He calls these spaces "Bioarquitectura," domestic living spaces designed to feel similar to a womb.
He makes liberal use of curved, organic lines.
His avoidance of straight lines and angles gives his rooms a pod-like feeling.
The floor plan follows a logarithmic spiral, mimicking the Golden Ratio of nature.
Small, customized windows bring light into the space, while the adobe walls maintain warmth and intimacy.
Glass marbles mimic thousands of tiny bubbles in this gorgeous shower.
Senosiain paid special attention when designing the plumbing features of this seashell home.
Where the belly of the crustacean would be, you'll find the TV room and built-in conversation pit.
The Nautilus has a particular gift for the perfectly seamless built-in features, like this stove hood vent.
The spiral shape throughout gives the home a natural flow from one room to the next, while the foliage integrates the interior space with its natural surroundings.
The Nautilus house is a perfect example of Frank Lloyd Wright's principle of Organic Architecture: "What matters most now is that the form and the function are one."
Take a home tour of the Nautilus house here:
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