Are you set to do some travelling soon? Why not leave the tourist trail for a bit and track down some of these unique homes for a quick sticky beak (as long as you remain on the right side of the law). There are too many incredible examples of architecture to narrow down into any kind of a list, let alone a list of ten properties. So, here are ten of the world’s most unique homes!
10. The Truffle
Called The Truffle, this home was built in 2010 in Costa da Morte, Spain. Using hay bundles to construct the main frame and walls of the building, the designers of The Truffle aimed to create a home that seemed to sprout out of the ground, like something that was being breathed life by the earth. It sits by the sea and while its exterior is shaped to be as natural looking as possible, its interior design is built around a series of cubes, making the floorplan very similar to any normal house.
Built in 2014 in Sandefjord, Norway, the Knapphullet house was designed to make the most of the natural shelter created by its surroundings, a rocky landscape overlooking the sea, by building its roof to be a platform from which you can view the sea. The design of the home and its positioning creates a natural wind breaker and shelter, while the floor-to-ceiling glass opens it up to invite the huge stone slabs into the home.
8. Peninsula House
Peninsula House is a strong example of how many unique homes can be found in Australia. Designed by Sean Godsell Architects, it was built with oxidized steel and constructed into the side of a sand slope. This interaction of oxidized steel, timber, rocks, concrete and sand is an increasingly popular playground for adventurous architects who want to play with scale, textures, place and layout.
7. One Central Park
Another Australian-based home, apartments at One Central Park in Sydney, which was completed in 2013, seem to be a part of a relatively normal building until you turn a corner to see the incredible floating cantilever in which there are penthouses. The building was designed by Nobel prize winner Jean Nouvel and includes over 250 Australian plants that climb the building’s exterior to accentuate the connection with the land for those lucky enough to live inside its glass walls.
6. Stamp House
Stamp House was designed by Charles Wright Architects and sits on the edge of a lake at Cape Tribulation. Despite its incredible presence that sits juxtaposed against the tropical surrounds, the building is self-sustainable with a 250,000-litre water system. The design of the building, looking more like a spaceship from one angle, a bunker from another and a sleek cruising ship from the next, manages to look like it is both floating above the water and like it was built to last 10,000 years.
5. The Earthship
This is the brainchild of architect Michael Reynolds, who prefers to be thought of as a biotech, as his philosophy is fuelled by a desire to construct self-sustaining buildings. The Earthship’s concept is simple, it’s off grid. It produces its own energy and crops, recycles its water and is constructed out of as many recycled materials as possible (especially rubber tyres). Reynolds is an advocate for homes producing their own energy, as having centralised energy production slows down the evolution of energy production due to the slow grinding pace of change inherent in governments.
4. Bianchi House
Built in 1973 by Mario Botta, this home in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland sticks out like a sore thumb, but for good reasons. There are various ‘voids’ of different heights in the home’s design, which lightens the building’s impression and offsets the heavy shell. This property is all about its size and looking up to the sky, just as the mountains do that surround it. While unique today as a home, its design stemmed from a very common building type called ‘Roccolli’ in the area, which were towers that were often used for bird hunts.
3. Dancing Living House
Designed by A.L.X Sampei Junichi and built in 2008, the brief for this home was for a dance studio as well as a dwelling. Famous for its use of large uninterrupted white space in its architecture, A.L.X created Dancing Living House to be both an inspirational place in which students could learn to dance as well as a unique home that jumps out from the homes usually seen in Yokohama, Japan. Its most unique feature, beyond its scale and use of white space, must be the effect that ground lighting has on it at night, making it seemingly melt into the sky.
2. Tree Hotel
Designed by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter, the Tree Hotel in Harads, Sweden deserves to be on any list of the most incredible homes in the world. The idea is simple but rarely done (perhaps because of the risk to birdlife), but the aluminum structure is clad in mirrored glass, while the plywood interior instantly contrasts with the exterior impression by grounding you in something very real within a structure that seems very unreal.
1. The Seventh Room
No list of unique homes in the world is complete without a brooding Scandinavian tree house. Designed by Snøhetta, the building gets its name because it is the seventh room on the property and is part of TreeHotel in Sweden. Simple in its architectural style, its unique nature lies in its position high up in the thin trees, looking like it has partially stepped out of the forest to peer out at the snow-covered field before it retreats again.