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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Dune House by Gianluca Santosuosso

April 15th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

The concept behind the DUNE House project is to create a flexible tool* more than a design where the client has the possibility to define his own house. Mainly, the idea is based on a system composed by different volumes where each of them represents a program or a cluster of it (bedroom and bathroom, kitchen, swimming poll, etc.) and the client is able to distribute them on the plot and creating every kind of space and connection that he prefers.

Dune House

  • Designer: Gianluca Santosuosso (engineer- architect )
  • Professor: Jordi Pagès and Ramon and Lluis Viu – IaaC tutors
  • University: Architectural engineering, Via Scrivanda 9 Cantalupa – Turin, Italy, 10060 (+39) 335 74 05 423, (+39) 0121 35 45 72
  • Web:
  • Software used: Rhinoceros and Grasshopper (parametric design plugin for rhino) and rendered with Maxwell

Dune House

In this project, the most important parameter is the wind, so the base geometry of the house (the sequence of air flow analysis shows some of the wind test) is organised in order to maximise the wind flow and consequently the natural ventilation inside the building. To increase the effect of this mechanism all the house volumes (made of reinforced and insulated concrete shells) have been thought on the top of small artificial dunes working as thermal mass with the aim to regulate the income air temperature .



The catalogue is showing, from the left, the growth of the house, from step 1 to step 5; and from the top to the bottom, 3 of the, almost infinitive, possibilities of distribution of the house. This system is working with different parameters in order to create the edges in which this tool can operate ( each of them operates following a non-linear logic but an iterative logic). The second parameter evaluated is the view exposition of the house toward the sea. In order to understand and maximise this aspect has been done a diagram where is possible to define where collocate the windows. The grasshopper definition gave the possibility to evaluate the surface vectors direction according to the costal line; the gradient is showing the direction of these vectors that we can considerate as the human view. So, as much the vector is directed perpendicular to the costal line as much the gradient colour is yellow. The cut is happening between the orange and the red to give a sufficient surface of windows perfectly directed to the sea.


Moreover, the shell insulation is given by a covering envelope composed by different soil bubbles working as a green wall where the plants are able to grow and consequently regulating the microclimate surrounding the house. The house is growing as an artificial organism that is taking advantage from the natural resources; also the solution to “melt” the shell of the house with the ground (starting from the level 0.00 with an artificial dune and transforming in spheres of soil, seeds and natural fabric) allows to use as much as possible the thermal inertia to save energy for the cooling heating system.


*= Tool means a parametric definition made with a software where the user doesn’t have to draw a new house every time that I likes to change something but simply he can change the parameters that he prefers and the design is going to self-adapting to the new scenario. The renders that I present in this panel are just to explain one possibility of the catalogue (dash line rectangle).



Wind Test


DUNEhouse Plan

DUNEhouse Plan


DUNEhouse Insulation

Related posts:

Contact Gianluca Santosuosso

Categories: Grasshopper, House, Maxwell, Rhino

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