372 Degree Circle House

At the end of my Graduate Degree I took a course that involved a 1 month trip to Munich Germany in January 2007. A few other classmates and myself would share our experiences of the New Zealand Bach (otherwise known as a very small holiday home) with 4th year Architecture students at Technical University of Munich (TUM). We were then tasked to apply this thinking to the theoretical and practical notions of Micro Architecture.

In the space of just over 3 short weeks I put together a conceptual model of a small inside/outside home constructed as modular collection of 372 degree circles. The 12 degrees added to the circle had been such a substantial breakthrough, I decided to name the project after it. Later, upon returning to New Zealand, I had more time to prepare the imagery below.

As an Industrial Designer the crossover to Micro-Architecture was rewarding because the architects that surrounded me would approach problems in different ways to that of Designers in my field. Different thinking allowed my own theoretical ideas of the ‘home as a product’ to be considered at a much larger scale.

With manufacture and production on a mass scale the need for unique standardization is more relevant than ever. Everyone will have different needs and the way in which we accommodate this necessity will be important for large scale products. The 372 Degree Circle is a large prefabricated building block that provides very cheap, customizable and adaptive home solutions.

The concept is about providing a home that is adaptive in its design so that a series of customizations are available for each person or family. Just as important, the home is built to meld with the natural landscape while taking into account the configuration of the home. The foundation structure is left open so that the native flora is free to grow through the structure.

Roof, wall and floor panels are inserted into the structure along with pre-made indoor spaces, such as areas for sleeping, cooking and using the bathroom. The experiences gained at a Kiwi Bach are more about the time spent outside than in. So the Out-Bach is a product which provides shelter for its inhabitants, and the opportunity to make the most of the natural landscape.

This was the layout I prepared for publication within the guidlines of the given template. The article was to be published in both English and German.

Future-Proofing The Kiwi Bach: Initial Presentation

Future-proofing the Kiwi bach is about life, living and the importance of finding harmony between work and play. It is through this that we can increase the motivation for the days ahead, and inspire productivity and creativity for today.

Some of the current trends for our future is the ever increasing capabilities of our communication technologies to connect people. More people are beginning to see the advantage of working remotely, so it is not surprising that many New Zealander’s are moving away from the bigger cities in search of more exciting, inspiring and comfortable lifestyles. In effect we are escaping the security of what we know, in order to draw from the energy of the unknown.

For me the essence of the Bach is about movement: packing our bags, traveling long distances, and the last stairs we climb before we collapse into a familiar bed. It gives us the mental energy to want to do more, experience more and lead more active lives. The most compelling idea of the Bach is modest living, in beautiful places, offering rich and fulfilling experiences. While typically the Bach is a holiday retreat, the same ideas of a simple lifestyle could be said about the way in which we choose to work as well.

Potentially the Kiwi Bach may be a prelude to the way in which a larger portion of the international population choose to live their lives as well. Where the desire or even necessity of travel, may require many people to consider migration as a natural part of life. So it’s not so unrealistic to suggest that with Micro Architecture Living, families may own several designs throughout the world. And as families branch outwards, so does the sharing of social and communal experiences. With thes ideas for the future we have the opportunity to develop vehicles of living which are about travel, experiences, and alternative lifestyles. Something that many New Zealanders already find very enticing.

Design Experimentation.

The concept was first initially developed theoretically, and in this way it was about making use of forgotten principles and adapting that thinking for new practical purposes. Everything we know about mathematics, geometry, and spatial arrangement can be demonstrated by cutting away sections of a sphere.

Everything that could ever exist in theory will exist in side a sphere. So in theory when this sphere is flattened into a disk all the information that is within this sphere will exist in this flat disk. Through folding the circle you will achieve polygons that connect together in a variety of ways to achieve a variety of shapes.

Folding circles is about decompressing spherical information into 2-D information. This information is folded into the creased lines of the paper, and 3-D information is in the spatial configuring of the circle. This circle is folded into 6 segments creating two tetrahedrons connected along two opposite creases.

By removing the inside equilateral triangle and only leaving the creases to define the structure of the object, the form acquires very light weight appearance. The circles edges can be bent inwards so that they close to create a tetrahedron, allowing other tetrahedrons to connect on that face.

The 372 Degree circle was developed as way of fixing a critical flaw in the theory: Prisms will not fit together perfectly. A 2.4 degree angle on the edge of each triangle accounts for the 12 degrees of tetrahedron separation. The total angle of the circle means that it is no longer a 2d object.

The mass manufactured building block is constructed from 12 equilateral triangles, and are made from stamped aluminium and then locked together with flexible composite rubber on each edge.

At full scale the object would also have flexible joins so that the circle would be able to fold over itself. This means that the circle is folded to the size of a single equilateral triangle, and can then be stacked on top of each other for quick and efficient transport.

The final form of each structure will be unique to the purpose of its user; however each configuration will have a recognisable pattern that can be seen with the connection of 5 points of a tetrahedron. To some degree this will develop a more organic relationship between the home and the natural environment.


Each person and family will be unique, needing different experiences from their surroundings. The selection of components necessary to fulfill these requirements will be essential. With the ongoing advancement of communication technologies it will be increasingly possible to virtual construct and test your home before it is purchased. The flexibility of the 372 circle allows for the prefabricated pieces to be easily packaged and transported to the site for assembly.

The site selection and position in the natural landscape is important because it is the investment made for you and for future generations of your family. The foundations of the home are dug and the first triangles are inserted into the ground, they will create the deck structure which the floor is built on.

The circle structures are assembled with joining pieces that are connected to offer greater strength, stability and durability. The roof panels are joined to the structure, and the internal walls providing the facilities for cooking, sleeping etc. are inserted into the home.

Final Design Configuration

The experiences gained at a Kiwi Bach are more about the time spent outside than in. So the Out-Bach is a product which provides shelter for its inhabitants, and the opportunity to make the most of the natural landscape. It is a simple design that integrates itself within nature, but also responds to it by offering a contrast that appears organic.


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