Amor Vacui – House in the Wadden Sea

Dominik von Moos (website)
ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich)
Semester 8
Faculty: Pascal Flammer (website)


What’s space? Where is space? And how is space even perceived?

Starting with the entity of ‘space’, it was sought for different concepts of spatial constructs for approaching the phenomenon of three-dimensionality. Acting on a own thesis/statement, an architectonic answer on the topic of space should be designed.

Based on a dualistic model of physical (outside, objective) space and a mental (inside, subjective) space, where our perception even takes place, a third spatial model is presented. In this model of the ‘absolute space’, space or three-dimensionality is seen as nothing more as an abstract shell with its ability to carry content. It’s the idea that space is defined by the only characteristic of being spatial. With this assumption, this ‘absolute space’ is becoming that primeval space – as an underlying model for further spatial conceptions.

Due to this abovementioned theoretical layout an architectonic design is pursued, where this three different spatial concept with their relation is thematised.

With the belief that architecture as a room-generating discipline must be able to produce or shape every kind of space – inclusive nonphysical spaces – a design should be generated answering questions of conception, perception and relocation of space.

As a consequence of that personal topic housing was chosen as program. Therefore, a holiday house in the Wadden Sea near the Dutch coast was set. The holiday house as a personal intimate hideaway for relaxing and find back to yourself. The house contains like the three mentioned concepts three different spatial universes.

The first universe deals with the physical, limited, and clearly defined architectonic room – with the theme of surrounding landscape, massive structure and textile shell. Depending on flood or low tide, you enter the building by boat or by foot.

The second universe or spatial construct deals with the mental, the inside or subjective reality. Where thoughts, dreams and perception of the outside world takes place. It’s a try to give our infinite and hard to comprehend space of ourself a physical presence. A space, where you break up with the outside physical space to the mental space where no centre, mass, or structure can be identified (any more).

Spatially it’s the idea of a shell where infoldings do generate an enlighted accessible image frame. Where just light forms space. Where only surface is present and mass is gone. It’s in this place of those framed images between inside and outside where live is happening. It’s happening at that point where the outside perception appears in the inside mental space.

The third spatial concept stands for the absolute space. It’s the one room in the house to hide and think, and to just be in that kind of absolute vacuum .There, the idea of the absolute space as just a shell or container becomes physically experienced. It’s the space without any content. The most abstract place, where no scale, distances, boarder, or space-forming elements seems to exists.

It’s wether in- nor outside – it’s a place beyond. . It’s the place of the potential.


01_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 02_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 03_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 04_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 05_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 06_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 07_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 08_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 09_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 10_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 11_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 12_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 13_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 14_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 15_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 16_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 17_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 18_house-wadden-sea_von-moos 19_house-wadden-sea_von-moos

Leave a Reply