When you think about a house, most people picture a white pitched roof building with a garage to the side, a garden at the front and a pool at the back. Over the years houses have taken on lost of different forms.
From caves, to tents to grass huts and even tree houses. With modern building materials and, almost anything is possible.
A house however is so much more than a building. Its personal. Often times people express themselves though their home. We all want a place to call home and personalizing your home is one way to make it feel like its your place and that you have more than mere physical protection against the elements.
Architects are known for sometimes designing some really wacky houses. Its often to make a statement but its also in response to clients wanting something unique and wonderful (see #17). Sometimes these designs take it too far and end up just plain weird.
Below is our top “weird and wonderful”houses. Some of them are truly amazing but most of them you probably won’t want to live in.
Whether is a UFO inspired home (see #11), living under a rock (see #8) or living inside a giant toilet (see #14), these homes all have one thing in common: they are truly unique and different. While some of them or not occupied any more, most of them started off as someone’s dream home.
We all have crazy ideas, but very few follow through and make it real. This collection of homes will make you appreciate juts how normal your life.
This radical home was designed by Hungarian architect Anitt Lovag for Pierre Cardin and consists of a series of interconnected ”bubbles” on a hilltop near the town of Théoule-sur-Mer in France. It offers some breathtaking views over the Mediterranean from virtually every room as well as from a series of pools and hot tubs. As if the bubbles are not strange enough the home also has a full sized amphitheater.
One of the architectural icons in The Netherlands, this Rotterdam housing complex quite literally turned modern living upside down. A series of cubes that are tilted 45 degrees it actually makes for a very interesting space-saving design that has since become a model for high density urban living. While it is very modern, it has many references to traditional Dutch houses and despite the strange appearance, its hugely successful and highly sought after places to live.
Designed by an artist, this house is based on a Beagle. When you think of building a house you rarely take your inspiration from a dog, but actually building a giant dog shape house is strange by any account. The Dog Bark Inn is now used as a hotel and has become a landmark building – mostly because its so quirky and many people want to stay there for a night as a novelty.
Habitat was designed by acclaimed Canadian architect Moshe Safdie and its still one of the most recognizable buildings in Montreal. It consists of 354 identical prefabricated concrete boxes which is arranged in different ways to create both an aesthetic and functional goal. Its considered an architectural masterpiece because it pushes the boundaries of design on so many different levels.
While this may look like a giant satellite dish, the Heliodome is actually one of the world’s ”smartest homes”. Its located in Strasbourg and conceptually its a giant 3-dimensional sundial. Its set on a fixed angle in relation to the sun’s movements which ensures that the house is cool in summer and get maximum sunlight during the colder winter months.
Built by architect Terry Brown, this fanciful house looks even more bizarre when seen in its context. Built in a very middle class suburb it really stands out as something truly unique. Apart from its unusual shape and materials it also features some unique elements on the inside like copper ceilings. Its become a very prominent landmark in Cincinnati and a testament to the architect himself.
Designed by Arquitectura Organica’s Javier Senosiain, the concept behind the house is a seashell. Its heavily influenced by the works of Antonio Gaudi and the smooth round shapes reminds a lot of his work. The colorful mosaic window wall really makes it feel like you are in another world. Every space inside the house is ”different” with a living room that features a 360 degree couch, indoor gardens and a circular kitchen.
If you ever wondered what it would look like to actually live under a rock, then this will satisfy your curiosity. The house is actually built between 4 large boulders that where on the site and by filling it in with local stone has the appearance of a house inside one big boulder. It was built in 1974 as a family retreat but has seen been swamped by tourists – and burglars. After several robberies the house was reinforced to help protect it.
If you ever had problems with your neighbors then this house is for you. Located on a very exposed stretch of the Drina River the house has been battered by the elements – even surviving a flood or two. The house came about as a group of friends decided to built some shelter on their favorite summer rock where they rested during their swim. 45 Years later and the house is still standing strong.
Living inside a shoe is not just for fairy tales. Built by shoe salesman Mahlon Haines in 1948 it was intended to be an advertisement. The house is 25 feet tall and has 5 storeys. While it used to be occupied its now open to the public as a tourist destination. The house has gained a lot of fame after it was featured in the popular TV show The Amazing Race.
Built by Curtis King for his son in 1972, this house was deeply influenced by the UFO and Alien themes that dominated the media and movies during the time. Its primarily built from steel and concrete and features 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Everything inside stays true to the UFO theme – including the furniture.
Artist and architect Robert Bruno spent a lifetime working on this house. He lived in the house but since his death in 2008 the house has been unoccupied – and unfinished. Despite him working on the house for about 30 years he never managed to complete it. A strange design, its a testament to his unusual approach to art and architecture. Its a very striking and dominating landmark and attempts are being made to preserve and even complete the house.
The three storey building in Japan takes the strawberry theme to the max. Its designed for children as a playground and although it was intended as a house its become a strawberry fest for kids. With a playroom and merchandise this wonderland really does capture the imagination of kids on the inside. Its the outside however that makes it such a famous landmark. The large strawberry house is flanked by a smaller strawberry and mushroom on the sides.
This house really is inspired by a toilet! Built to commemorate the 2007 World Toilet Association’s inaugural meeting. Owned by the mayor of Suwon he spent his lifetime advocating for proper sanitation to the more than 2 billion people living without it. A truly noble cause but a truly strange building for a man who was even born in a restroom.
Created by Polish architects Klaudiusz Golos and Sebastian Mikiciuk this house was intended to spark curiosity. Everything about the house is inverted upside down including the furniture, the bathroom and even toys in the kids bedroom. While the house was never intended to be a living space it has everything you will find in a normal house. Its currently open as a tourist attraction.
Inspired by the VW Beetle car, this house really does take inspiration quite literal. The house is complete with 4 wheels, a ”windscreen” ”headlights. While its quite quirky and unique is does have all the creature comforts of a modern home. It even has some rather clever eco-friendly design features. The owner liked his creation so much that he built an even larger and more improved version to host his restaurant.
Dubbed the “Flinstones House” this cave like mansion was dreamed up by TV personality Dick Clarke who recently passed away. The house looks almost unreal as its made to look like a cave. It features some really amazing spaces with everything in a totally free-form organic look. Even the kitchen cupboards are molded and looks as organic as the rest of the house. It was recently sold $1.7 million.
Even though its called the Gingerbread House, it resembles more a doll house than anything else. While its not occupied or used as a house for living in, it could very well be. Its actually a fairly “standard house” but its the paint colors, decorations and plastic like look that makes it look utterly unique.
An inverted steel sphere with a shingle roof is probably not the strangest thing you will find in Galveston but this house is fairly strange in the real estate department. Dubbed the “Kettle House” for its resemblance to a kettle this steel structure has endured a lot over the years. A structure that should have rusted away by now, its no stranger to rumors. According to folklore it used to be the top of a water tower that collapsed but the truth is that it was built by a man who made storage tanks for a living.
This disused 1965 Boeing 727 forms a house with some truly spectacular views. Perched on a 15 meter high platform it offers fantastic ocean views as well as views over the forest canopy. Its actually being rented out as a hotel/apartment and has 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom, dining room and outside terrace. The interior features wall to wall teak paneling and much of the furniture also features hand crafted wood from the local forest.
Also known as the flying saucer house and the UFO house, this prefabricated house was designed and built during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Its approximately 4 meters (13 ft) high and 8 meters (26 ft) in diameter and made from a light weight fiberglass and plastic. Fewer than 100 where made and its unknown how many is still around today but there are a number of them still in use all over the world today. The architect had big plans for this to become a model prefabricated house to be used worldwide.