Having been in development for several billion years, structures in nature are great lessons for human study. Seashell is one of these. Being a natural home built by creatures on Earth, it symbolizes the soul leaving earth, the journey of life, eternity, strength, and relaxation. Besides, seashell is beautiful and minimalist, as well as simple enough to be reproduced, which makes it applicable to human architecture.
Inspired by the organic forms of a seashell, Athens-based 314 architecture studio has come up with a residential proposal that integrates aquatic elements with minimal design. Named H1003, or Yadori Kai, the apartment complex comprises three separate volumes volumes that look and function as one element. The team has opted for interesting façades without further ‘decorations’. Thin, curved slabs connect the volumes, which are rotated differently on each level, in order to complete the interesting form.
The proposal is based on the idea of a ‘glass house’: its construction appears lightweight due to the transparency maintained throughout the building. A number of organic-shaped atria in critical locations allow fresh air and natural lighting to penetrate the building.
Pools and ponds are seamlessly integrated in each floor. Their mirror-like surfaces reflect light and the shapes of the building, while the mirrors are also used to ‘open up’ and free space. The reflections, the form and the environment all work as part of one bigger synthesis.
Italian architect Wafai has also conceptualized a residential project that recalls the organic form of a shell found in nature. The speculative Scandinavian Seashell House is divided into three main parts. The open plan living area contains the kitchen, dining space, and living room with a large circular window, while the night space hosts two bedrooms and baths.
Both the living area and the master bedroom offer access to an internal garden, each expressed as large, roofless, glass cylinders. The lush greenery in the adjacent interior spaces allow seamlessly blending the inside and the outside. The third, exterior, area features a swimming pool and recreation area.
The whole project is driven by the desire for a small footprint and seeks to promote an environmental and sustainable approach toward housing. This is brought to life through the integration of such passive features as passive cooling, natural sunlight penetration, and recycled, reused materials.
The architect envisions the house to be fabricated with a structural system of glulam timber frames filled with natural straw insulation and clad with recycled found wood, which provides each wooden shingle with a unique shade. Assembled as a complete finish, these half circle shingles together form a complex façade of patterning.
Ocean-innovation company Ocean Builders has even picked the seashell as its emblem since they believe it speaks of their goal to make homes that are in line with the ocean and nature. Poised to develop luxurious floating residential homes Panama, the team has come up with three pod models complete with smart-home technology that will allow civilization to move onto the sea and in nature with quality of life.
According to the company, the SeaPod home is currently being built in Linton Bay Marina in Panama. The structure comprises a foundation of steel and concrete clad with fiberglass, gel coat, and foam. Like an iceberg, it floats through 1,688 cubic feet of air-filled steel tubes, which make the home buoyant. The all-white, minimalist interior of the pod is complemented by a skylight, so residents can enjoy direct sunlight and a view of the sky from the inside.
The GreenPod comprises a 37 feet high construction that seems to reach the top-level of the forest canopy. Requiring only a minimal footprint, the modern treehouse is able to sit amongst nature without disturbing the surrounding area. Inside, the structure has three floors and accommodates a spacious living room that can be altered as a second bedroom, a gym, or an office.
The EcoPod is the company’s attempt to create a super simple design that could be manufactured quickly, economically, and easily from anywhere in the world, shipped in a cargo container and assembled anywhere. Unlike the other two designs, this pod has a flat-round shape, much bigger windows and a large outdoor space that was protected from the sun.