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Famed Dutch architect Ben van Berkel is once again bringing his innovative type of thinking into the world of architecture. If you remember van Berkel, along with his partner Caroline Bros, they created the UNstudio 30 years ago. Some of his most notable designs are the Möbius House in the Netherlands, the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, and the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, to name a few. 

Now, van Berkel wants to create technologies to pair up with the architecture and construction industries to make our future living quarters healthier and stress-free. Van Berkel is quoted as saying that “70% of our lives are indoors.” He goes on to say that “Most of the time, the indoor environment is very unhealthy.”

So, van Berkel feels that sensors could be developed to regulate airflow and remove bacteria and other such offensive pollutants, thus making the indoors a healthier environment. He also added that building these technologies into schools would greatly reduce the absentee rates.

His innovative thinking has always been a trademark of his brand. In the Möbius  House, he incorporated the use of the Möbius Strip. This was based on the studies of 19th-century mathematician August Ferdinand Mobius, from a concept based on geometry, which takes a one-sided surface in a continuous curve that is created by taking a rectangular piece of paper and twisting and joining the corners. There are also levels or different floors involved that travel alongside but in a different space.

The Request From a Family Fueled His Innovation

A family with two very different professions wanted to work from home so that they could spend more time with their children. They also wanted “an intense relationship with landscape.” 

The Möbius House was built with all of the conveniences of having private space for their different professional needs as well as set patterns so two people can move along their necessary daily routes and share certain moments. As in a normal day at work, time and duration must be a natural discipline. 

To fulfill the relationship with the landscape request, the house was built in a chosen site surrounded by meadows and trees. The large wall windows brought in the landscape and added an airy, cozy feeling. 

The innovation from van Berkel and his team at UNStudio continue. They also developed the RESET Stress Reduction Pods. They created these stress reduction pods after learning that stress-related illnesses cost the US economy an estimated $300 billion a year. We commend this innovation!

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting