Inhabitable Sculpture: Curvy Cave Dwelling and Pool House



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Looking like something straight off the set of a retrofuturistic sci-fi movie, this organically shaped structure by Dutch studio Atelier van Lieshout is an inhabitable sculpture that could be used as anything from a ‘cave dwelling’ to a luxurious and highly unusual pool house. The designers envision it housing a ‘fictional tribe,’ equipping the interior with built-in seating and adding skylights and port holes to the roof.

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Known for an eclectic mix of surreal sculptures, practical furniture designs and modular structures, Atelier van Lieshout created ‘Original Dwelling’ as part of an ongoing series called New Tribal Labyrinth “which presents a vision of a future, yet primitive, world inhabited by imaginary tribes where there will be different ethics.”

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Inside the free-form structure, you’ll find hand-sculpted surfaces including countertops, storage niches and benches. The ten-by-seven-meter space includes a playroom, lounge, bar, bedroom and dressing room. The arched and rounded shapes suggest those of domiciles carved into caves by our distant ancestors thousands of years ago, but from the outside, there’s something vaguely space-age about it.

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To gain entrance, you must climb through one of  the large openings in the structure’s skin. Addition seating projects from the exterior, and protected niches are created by overhangs. Whether or not you subscribe to the design firm’s hypothesis that a ‘new world order’ will reorganize society around farming and industry, creating these ‘tribes,’ it’s not hard to imagine structures like this popping up as pavilions at music festivals or in the backyards of ultramodern abodes.

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