Hatcher, Algebraic Topology, Chapter 0
8. For , construct an -room analog of the house with two rooms.
Proof. First, consider Dr. Hatcher’s description of the house with two rooms, shown in Figure 1 below.
To build this space, start with a box divided into two chambers by a horizontal rectangle, where by a ‘rectangle’ we mean not just the four edges of a rectangle but also its interior. Access to the two chambers from outside the box is provided by two vertical tunnels. The upper tunnel is made by punching out a square from the top of the box and another square directly below it from the middle horizontal rectangle, then inserting four vertical rectangles, the walls of the tunnel. This tunnel allows entry to the lower chamber from outside the box. The lower tunnel is formed in similar fashion, providing entry to the upper chamber. Finally, two vertical rectangles are inserted to form ‘support walls’ for the two tunnels. The resulting space X thus consists of three horizontal pieces homeomorphic to annuli plus all the vertical rectangles that form the walls of the two chambers. – Allen Hatcher’s Algebraic Topology, pg 4
The most obvious extension of this construct for would seem to be as follows: Take a box with no top and no bottom and divide it into chambers by horizontal (interior) rectangles , , where – without loss of generality – we assume the dividing rectangles are equally spaced among the height of the original box . For convenience, assume the numbering of the increases from bottom to top. Next, close by attaching a “floor rectangle” and a “roof rectangle” , resulting in a closed box with layers constructed by way of horizontal rectangles.
Next we create a tunnel using a sort of induction. As in Dr. Hatcher’s construction, create two tunnels, one going from the “roof” to the “floor” of the “story” and the other going from the “floor” to the “roof” of the first “story”. Insert the vertical support walls as needed. If these two tunnels end on the same , then connect them and stop. Otherwise, create the “intermediate” tunnel(s) by (without loss) a bottom-up construction where is connected to by a tunnel + support walls, to , etc., until the sequence of intermediate tunnels ends on .
When this happens, connect the last intermediate tunnel to the tunnel connecting to and stop. The result is analogous to the construction given above and consists of rooms, one tunnel in each, built from a box with horizontal rectangles.