TEN UNUSUAL HOMES FROM AROUND THE WORLD – Type “unusual homes” into your computer’s search bar and you will see some of the most oddly placed, interestingly designed homes made from materials you may or may not recognize. One lazy Saturday, I did just that and spent over an hour browsing and admiring the creativity and unique characteristics that have gone into creating some of the most unusual homes found around the world. Why not grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy a brief tour of “top ten homes you don’t see everyday.”
No.1. The Stone House-Portugal
photo via Feliciano Guimarães
A home that is both unique and unusual can be found in the middle of the Fafe Mountains. Oblivious to winds, rain or anything else Mother Nature may throw its way, this sturdy two-story home was built in 1973 and features a working fireplace and a swimming pool. With its furnishings made of stone and wood, it has been affectionately known as “The Flintstone House” after the famous 1960′s cartoon.
Along with all the tourist and media attention, it is unfortunate that the home has also been the object of robbery and vandalism; so many times that it is now sporting bulletproof glass in the windows and a steel door. With the constant stream of visitors and lack of privacy, the current owners have since moved and the home sits empty.
No.2. Nautilus House-Mexico
The Nautilus was built in 1960 and was initially home to a growing family with two young children. How fun it must have been to tell their friends that they lived in the house that looks like a seashell! As you can see from the picture, the front of the home is covered in stained glass, and I can only imagine how beautiful it must be on the inside as the sun shines through. If you look carefully, you will notice that the walkway leads to the double front doors.
Inside, the home is just as magnificent; with sloped walls and gently curving walkways that appear to be made out of sand and spots of beautiful blue tiles; it re-creates an undersea atmosphere that encourages relaxation at the end of a long day. Built using chicken wire and two inch thick concrete makes it both earthquake proof and maintenance free.
No.3. The Mushroom House-New York
The 60′s must have been a time for unusual home design, for this home too, was first imagined in the mid-sixties by the home’s original owner. She provided the inspiration and worked alongside designers and architects to have the construction finished by 1971, followed by an addition that was added in 2,000 achieving the look you see here.
Styled with privacy and natural elements in mind, the inside is minimally furnished and makes use of mahogany wood, concrete and mosaic tiles. There are five connected ’shrooms or pods; one for the kitchen and sitting room, another for dining and living space, two additional pods for sleeping and a smaller fifth pod for outdoor entertaining.
As you can see in the picture, each section of the home is built on a single, central leg which is another feature that adds to its unique architectural design. It carries a list price of $1.1 million and is currently on the market.
No.4. The Upside Down House-Poland
A popular tourist destination, the upside down house was actually built as a response to communism and as a warning to future generations. Daniel Czapiewski, a philanthropist and businessman came up with the concept of this design and has emphasized his point by hanging paintings that show communism, fascism, terrorism, concentration camps, poverty, famine and more along the interior walls.
During the 114 day construction, workers took breaks every three hours because of the disorientation this home creates.
No.5. The Crazy House- Vietnam
photo courtesy of Dalat Trip Co., Ltd
This home is striking and looks as though it popped out of a Fairy Tale book. Yes, the foundation and base of the home is an actual tree and the upper floors are constructed of wood and wire that have been smoothed over in concrete. As unconventional as this may seem, the interior is even more so; filled with concrete ladders, tunnels, hollowed out nooks and themed rooms. Tourists walk through the home with swiveling heads, trying to take it all in.
One room reflecting the culture of Vietnam is found near the back and houses the small family shrine. The architect and owner of the home is Miss Nga, who she makes herself available to tourists, often answering questions and occasionally conducting the tours herself.
No.6. The Underground House- Switzerland
Situated inside a hill, this home offers unique views and privacy to it’s owners that cannot be captured by traditional housing. It is constructed of concrete, oak doors and features an outdoor terrace complete with a spa, barbecue, dining area and a stunning view of the Alps. The front entrance is used when receiving company, while an underground tunnel provides family members access to the barn from the rear.
Efficient and environmentally friendly, the home holds a moderate temperature year round, minimalizing the need for additional heating or cooling no matter the season. Large windows allow for natural lighting and energy needs are met through hydropower, supplied by a nearby lake.
No.7. Bubble Houses- France
Situated along the coast of France, the Bubble house has access to incredible views of the Mediterranean Sea and all the stars in the nighttime sky. Stretching over 1200 meters, this home includes ten suites, each decorated by different artists and features a garden located at its center.
Currently owned by Pierre Cardin, it has already been declared a historic monument, despite the fact that is not yet, even forty years old.
No.8. The Alligator House- Abidjan
Located in the middle of a courtyard, this unique home is adequate for a family of four, complete with a small living area and areas for sleeping. With gardens and cooking outdoors, every need is met and easily accessible.
The owner of this interesting home worked as an apprentice alongside it’s architect who died a few months before completing the project in 2008. What a delightful and frightening home!
No.9. The Rotating House-Australia
This three bedroom home may seem pretty standard, despite its octagonal shape; that is, until you realize that it has been built on a rotating platform that is powered by two motors about the same size as those found in a washing machine. One revolution can be completed in as little as thirty minutes or as long as two hours, depending on the set speed and this unique feature ensures the homeowners a sensational view no matter what room they are in.
With expected amenities like under-home storage, an internal garage, an outdoor deck, and a second story veranda, the owners who came up with the concept were quite surprised to learn that building costs were comparable to a fixed structure home of the same size. Allowing for its shape and rotational design, rooms are of varying sizes and shapes and all electric and plumbing are located in the central core of the home.
No.10. The River House- Serbia
photo by Uros Petrovic
For the water lover, a home would not be complete without the sounds of softly splashing waves or jumping fish; and who wants to live near the water when you can live on the water! Built by a group of friends, this little home was seen as an ideal get-away for when it was time for fishing. Extremely private, it is completely livable and is currently inhabited by one of the original builders.
The little home has suffered repeated damage when the river floods and has been renovated and even completely re-built. It’s uniqueness inspired Rock Restaurant to be built farther downstream. I’ve added a picture of the restaurant below.
Every home is unique simply because of the families who live there, but there are those few homes that stand out and seem to scream: “Look at me!” I hope you have enjoyed this break from normal housing and maybe even picked up an idea or two for your next home. Do you dare to be different?