I love seeing how other people live, and it helps make me feel creative with my own dwelling space.
If you’ve ever had the urge to create your own hobbit hole or build a life-sized Lego house, you’ll find inspiration in these unusual homes. In this collection, I have included only actual-built homes, not Photoshop creations, of which there are many fine examples (such as the tilted, gravity-defying houses of San Francisco) sprinkled around on the web.
I have divided the collection up into four categories:
- Nature-Inspired Homes
- Modern Architecture
- Upcycled Houses
- Bizarrchitecture (what were they thinking?)
The architects of these houses are amazingly creative and clever with their ideas – I hope you’ll enjoy looking at them as much as I did!
Homes based on nature and natural surroundings. Often these designs awaken our caveman instincts, where protection from the elements, security from predators and the need to make do with whatever materials were at hand meant comfort and convenience was sometimes sacrificed for security. The architects of these homes are inspired by nature to create beautiful, breathtaking masterpieces that blend into the local landscape.
1. Hằng Nga Guesthouse, Dalat, Vietnam
Originally designed by Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga, the Hang Nga Guesthouse is also known as the “Dalat Crazy House” by the locals and vaguely resembles a giant tree. With 10 themed guest rooms, the house is open to tourists. It boasts lots of nooks, crannies, twists, turns, bridges, hallways and staircases and is promoted as a fairy tale themed house surrounded by sculptures and gardens. All of the furniture inside the house needed to be handcrafted to fit in with the organic shape of the interior.
2. Monsanto Houses, Monsanto, Portugal
There are many heavy and gigantic granite boulders in the village of Monsanto, which is why the residents chose to build houses around, between and under them long ago. The boulders form the walls, floors and roofs of the stone cottages. In some instances, there are doors fitted into the boulders.
Monsanto has not changed in hundreds of years and was given a heritage status by the Portuguese government, preserving a village-sized living museum of these prehistoric style houses which are still in use today.
3. Dar al Hajar, Wadi Dhahr Valley, Yemen
This rock house was built by Imam Yahya (an Islamic spiritual leader) in the 1930s as a summer home and offers amazing views from the top for tourists. A good example of Yemeni architecture, “Iman’s Rock Palace” is five storeys high and has a system to cool water in earthware jars. Originally Dar al Hajar was built on the remains of another building on top of a rock and has since become a famous icon in Yemen.
4. Eliphante Art House, Cornville, Arizona USA
Artist Michael Kahn and his wife Leda Livant started building this house in 1979 and finished it 28 years later, using found materials such as driftwood, rocks and waste building materials. Described as a handmade and sculptural home, the Eliphante was named for its unusual shaped entrance.
Inside is an underground artists abode with intricate wood, tile and stone mosaics and lots of curves and organic forms. Light comes in from light holes or beautifully made windows. Tourists can visit the house by appointment.
5. Cappadocia Rock Houses, Central Anatolia, Turkey
Cavelike rock houses, mansions and monasteries are a popular tourist attraction in Cappadocia, where the people have carved out houses and tunnels in the soft rock. Millions of years ago, volcanic eruptions covered the region with an ash which solidified into a soft rock, then the erosion of wind and rain created unusual formations in cones, mushrooms, pillars, pinnacles and chimneys that rise as high as 40m.
Due to being able to tunnel in the soft rock, the residents created an underground network of catacombs leading to towns with buildings up to 8 stories high beneath the ground. Today, some people still live in the rock homes and tourists are welcome to stay in rock hotels and take a hot air balloon trip across the Göreme Valley.
6. Flintstones-Inspired Home, Malibu, USA
TV legend Dick Clark of “Bandstand” fame built this single-story house in Malibu while inspired by the classic 1960’s Flintstones cartoon. Listed for sale at $3.5 million, the home’s carved and cavelike interior is reminiscent of Fred and Wilma’s rocky home. Situated on 23 acres, with views of the Serrano Valley, the Boney Mountains, the Channel Islands and the Pacific Ocean, it is still seeking a buyer.
7. Icelandic Turf Houses, Iceland
Known as the traditional houses of Iceland (as they date back to Viking times) these turf houses were the result of a difficult climate combined with a lack of other materials available. The foundation was made of flat stones, upon which was built a wooden frame which would hold a few layers of turf.
Often, the houses would be interconnected and the turf would give the buildings extra insulation against the cold.
Before the Vikings, communal toilets were built away from the house and large groups often attended the toilets together against the cold. When the people started being attacked during toilet trips, the indoor lavatory was invented.
8. The Ancient Cliff House, Guyaju, China
Over 110 rooms were carved into the side of a cliff about 92km northwest of Beijing in the Tang Dynasty. The Xiyi people lived in them and built the communal caves near a natural spring.
The Guyaju Caves are known as the largest cliff residence ever discovered in China and are also known as “the biggest maze of China”. Stone steps and ladders were used to connect the different levels, and inside were found stone hearths, wardrobes, beds and mangers. At the highest level of the communal cave was found a two storey stone house, featuring furniture which may have belonged to the leader of the tribe.
9. Jayson Fann Spirit Nest Homes, California USA
These nest homes are used as forest getaways or beach homes in California. Invented by artist Jayson Fann, they involve twining eucalyptus branches together to create a sturdy, small house for sleeping or relaxing.
You can commission a customized nest from Jayson on his website.
They are strong enough to accommodate up to 8 people and usually require a ladder to enter.
The floor of the nest has a strong woven mat upon which furnishings can be placed to make it more comfortable.
10. Beehive Houses, Syria, Iran
Made from mud, dirt, straw and stones, these beehive houses originated around 3,700 BC and can be found in rural farming communities, deserts and cities. Each beehive has an oculus hole at the top, which lets in light and sucks out hot air. When there is rain, the conical shape of the beehive keeps the interior dry. They are very cool inside, due to the insulation of the thick walls and are still in use today as residences and storage barns.
Often inspired by problem solving or environmental considerations, modern architecture can sometimes manifest itself unusually in design. You'll find lots of eco-friendly, micro-houses in this category, as well as compact houses that take advantage of using small pieces of prime real estate. Some of this architecture can be described as "visionary" because it focuses on a variety of home building solutions for future generations and oversteps the boundaries of traditional home building design.
11. Keret House, Warsaw, Poland
Known as the world’s narrowest house, Keret House is only 122 cm wide and is squeezed between two buildings in the centre of Warsaw, Poland. Designed by Polish architect Jakub Szczesny, the house is meant to provide a home for travelling writers, as no one can stay too long in the small space. The house is supported by stilts and at its narrowest point is 72cm wide. “It has already become a Warsaw icon and is already on the tourist map,” says Jakub of his creation.
12. Kvivik Igloos, Faroe Islands, Denmark
Based on the Icelandic tradition of the turf house, the Kvivik Igloo features a turf roof for insulation (the igloos are heated by wood stoves). A pair of igloos were built near the town of Kvivik and are designed to offer temporary, novelty accommodation for tourists in a panoramic setting between the mountains and the bay. Described as “micro houses”, the igloos have a kitchen, lounge area and double bed in a loft. The unusual geometric design draws many visitors throughout the year.
13. The Mobile Aquatic Pod, Exbury, England
Designed as a personal experiment by Stephen Turner, the “Exbury Egg” was intended to be an art installation but turned into Stephen’s home on the water. Described as an ultra minimal living solution, the egg is towed by boat to its residence and the wooden exterior is meant to weather over time to blend in with the marshes in which it resides.
There is a one-room living space in the pod and a basic shower, hammock and cooking devices are contained within. A removable dock was built to the egg to allow entrance. The ergonomic egg shape bobs lightly on the tide and is moored by ropes, making it an ideal mobile floating home.
14. Element House, Star Axis, New Mexico, USA
Designed by MOS Architects, the Element House is a prefabricated, modular house that can be customised and then re-customised to grow and change as required over time.
Parts of the house can be combined in a Fibonacci sequence to rapidly make different layouts and expand the space, and extra units can be added or removed to accommodate the needs of the homeowner.
Of interest are chimney-like towers in the house, which bring light and ventilation into the interior. Built with a strong environmental focus, the Element House is MOS Architect’s answer to modern family and village living. The first prototype is currently nearing completion in Mexico.
15. Villa Vals, Therme Vals, Switzerland
Built into a hillside to blend in with its natural surroundings and provide unobstructed views of the alpine local scenery, Villa Vals is located near the famous thermal springs of Vals. To reach the front door, the visitor must enter through a barn and walk through an underground tunnel. Christian Müller Architects and SeARCH designed the villa, which has a smart interior and is available to rent for tourists to Therme Vals.
16. Malator House, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK
Known locally as the Teletubby house, Malator House is built entirely underground, and only the front glass view of the house shows its existence in a hill.
Built in 1998 by Future Systems architects for a Member of Parliament (Bob Marshall-Andrews QC), Malator house showcases how the landscape can be preserved with thoughtful architecture.
From an aerial perspective, the house cannot be seen at all, as the top is completely covered with native grasses and blends perfectly into the scenery.
17. Citadel, Naaldwijk, The Netherlands
Due to begin construction in 2014, the Citadel building is the first floating apartment complex in the world and is one of six of the “New Water” developments in the polders of the Netherlands.
The Netherlands has over 3,500 polders, which are areas of land below sea level that are prone to flooding. Usually polders are protected by dykes and the water is pumped out, but the Citadel floats on the wetland water, requiring none or minimal land modification and maintenance.
Containing 60 luxury apartments and a parking lot, each unit has a private outdoor space and berthing for a small boat. Using water pumped through submerged pipes as a cooling technique, it is estimated that the Citadel is 25% more energy efficient than if it was built on land.
The architects of the Dutch firm Waterstudio, are to be admired for their problem solving abilities in designing an attractive residence for traditionally problematic real estate.
18. M-Velope Transformer House, Various Locations
Designer Michael Jantzen created the M-Velope Transformer House to demonstrate how a house could rearrange itself to suit the needs of the occupant. The slated wooden panels slide on a steel frame to move the walls, doors and roof into new positions. Inside the house, benches can be folded away to allow more room when needed.
At just 230 square feet, the M-Velope fits into a small space and includes elements of renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable materials in its construction. There are only 10 M-Velope Houses in existence and they are ideal for using as holiday homes or relaxation residences.
19. Habitat 67, Cité du Havre, Montreal, Canada
Designed by Israeli-Canadian architectural student Moshe Safdie, Habitat 67 was built for the World’s Fair Expo in 1967. It is a housing complex with a revolutionary vision—the creation of high-density community housing incorporating gardens, fresh air and privacy in a multilevel design.
Up to 12 stories high, it is made of 354 prefab concrete units arranged in various combinations, allowing 146 residences in different sizes. Each unit has access to one or more private terraces.
Safdie’s initial objective of Habitat 67 was to provide affordable housing in cities, however the popularity of the landmark complex pushed up prices of the apartments and Habitat 67 became a prestigious address to live. A group of tenants formed a partnership and purchased the building in 1985. Habitat 67 launched Safdie’s career in architecture and he has since designed over 75 buildings around the world.
20. The Urban Cactus, Rotterdam, Netherlands
UCX Architects designed this rather amazing apartment building as an example of making the most of alternating patterns to allow more sunlight for outdoor spaces in future community housing. With 98 residential apartments and 19 stories, the unusual design allows each apartment access to sun, both on the garden petal and some of the interior. The project was designed to allow green space with residency near the Vuurplaat Harbour, as well as excellent city views. Construction of the building began in 2006.
21. The Earth House Estate, Dietikon, Switzerland
Built around a small artificial lake are nine “Earth Houses” that look like hobbit holes, containing modern apartment-like interiors, each including a modular kitchen and luxury bathroom.
Architect Peter Vetsch designed the houses to blend into the landscape, using the earth as insulation and protection from rain, wind and ice. Entrance to the estate is kept private. Due to the success of Earth Houses, Vetsch Architecture is creating and building many more such mini communities in Switzerland and Germany, using similar techniques.
Homes that are built using materials or structures that previously had a different purpose. Upcycling is a process whereby useless or waste products can be made into something better, without breaking them down into tiny bits or chemical compounds (unlike recycling). Due to the immense costs of demolishing, transporting or deconstructing structures and buildings, upcycling is seen as a modern way to create "green" housing, though in many cases extensive (and expensive) renovation may be required. For this reason, upcycled houses tend to be rather unique and one-of-a-kind affairs.
22. Sea Rescue Station, Binz Beach, Rügen, Germany
There are many sea rescue stations and lifeguard towers in the world that have been converted to housing, and this particular one is quite striking in design. German engineer Ulrich Müther and architect Dietrich Otto created it in 1968 and Ulrich renovated it again in 2004. He also upcycled and built a number of other buildings, including restaurants, mosques and planetariums in his career.
The Binz Rescue Station looks like an ideal beach house, but is currently used as a maid room of the registry office.
23. The Cosmic Muffin, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Named “The Cosmic Muffin," Howard Hughes cut the tail and wings off this 1930s Boeing Stratoliner and transformed it into a houseboat.
Only ten Boeing 307 Stratoliners were made in the 1930s and it was the world’s first commercial pressurized aircraft. Dubbed a one-of-a-kind creation, the Cosmic Muffin has passed through a few owners, who have lovingly restored and maintained it.
Today, the Cosmic Muffin is a historical and educational attraction offering charters and tours for many different groups, from corporate meetings to sponsored gatherings and schoolgroup visits. You can also hire it for advertising, tv and movie productions if so inclined.
24. Montesilo House, Woodland, Utah, USA
Designed by Gigaplex Architects in 2006, this converted grain silo house was built near the Provo River and was constructed of two corrugated silos that are linked together. Lots of eco friendly features are built into the home, such as a southerly aspect maximising daylight and solar heat in winter. The lower floor has an electric mesh built into it for heating the house and a propane stove provides additional warmth.
The second storey deck provides shade in summer. At 1800 square feet, Monte Silo House is a comfortable weekend residence for its owner and his grandchildren, who enjoy sleeping in “Bed In A Box” cubbyhouse beds featuring stereo sound and a flat screen TV.
25. Shipping Container Guest House, San Antonio, Texas, USA
There’s many shipping containers around the world being upcycled into houses, offices and complexes these days, but this one designed by Texas architect Jim Poteet of Poteet Architects in 2010, is one of the cutest and most attractive I have seen.
The house is made from a standard 40 foot shipping container and is located in the San Antonio artists community. It has air conditioning and heating systems, as well as a roof garden to insulate the interior from hot weather. There is also a shower and sink.
The house is intended to be a visiting guest and play house and the unused section functions as a gardening shed. Jim Poteet’s creation looks bright and exciting and sets a new benchmark in shipping container house design.
26. Tower House, North Kensington, London, UK
It’s the last place you’d expect to see a converted water tower, but at 60 feet high and located next door to Sainsbury’s in Ladbroke Grove, Tower House offers great views of the city.
Design research studio Tom Dixon upcycled this 80 year old water tower with a modernist design after buying it in 2005. The water tower was put on concrete stilts, windows were cut into the walls and wooden panels were added to the exterior.
Three floors out of five have been completed so far, with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, 2 reception rooms, and a bathroom. Dixon plans to add an elevator instead of a staircase and system that will use water from the Grand Union Canal to heat and cool the tower. At project completion, it is estimated the total cost will be $1.25 million. Tower House is a modern landmark and a fine example of urban upcycling.
27. Heidelberg Project, Detroit, USA
The Heidelberg Project is a community organization encouraging locals to use art and creativity to make beautiful installations in the streets of rundown suburbs in Detroit.
The Project has been running since 1986 and amazing houses and street decorations have been built out of upcycled materials.
Previously, where modern ruins and abandoned houses stood in a two block area, there is now color and interest.
The founder of the Heidelberg Project, Tyree Guyton, loves upcycling discarded objects and wants to educate people about community through art.
The interesting artworks have resulted in over 275,000 tourists visiting the Project annually, spawning new jobs for the city and hope for the artists who are busily making a difference transforming their lives.
28. Casa Ecologica de Botellas Plasticas (La Casa de Botellas), Puerto Iguazu, Argentina
The Alfredo Santa Cruz family constructed this house from 1,200 plastic PET bottles, to promote ecological and social responsibility. A smaller playhouse was also built in a similar fashion for the youngest daughter.
As well as PET bottles, 1,300 milk and wine Tetra packs were used in the roof and 140 CD cases were used in the doors and windows. Couches and beds inside the house were also built with plastic bottles and the family invented their own way of fusing the plastics together, while retaining the symmetrical design.
29. The Kettle House, Galveston Island, Texas, USA
This upcycled 1800s water tower/silo was built by an anonymous architect in the 1950s, who was rumored to have built storage tanks for oil companies in his career. The Kettle House was originally built to be a convenience store, but never opened for business. It is made of steel, which is a strange choice for the local salty seaside air, where most of the houses are on stilts. However, it has withstood hurricanes and storms for over 50 years, with only a little rust to show for it.
For the last decade, it has been maintained but not lived in. The rusted roof has been replaced with a wooden one, the windows have been replaced, air conditioning has been added and a mailbox has been erected at the front. It has been rumored that the reason the improvements were made were because the local council wanted to demolish it. Many locals are curious about the mysterious current owner(s) who appear occasionally, perform some maintenance work, then disappear again, sometimes for years.
The Kettle House is named because it looks like a tea kettle and also inspires the tale about the tea kettle which floats during a flood (The Voyage Of Poppykettle).
30. Neverwas Haul, Academy of Unnatural Sciences, Berkley, California, USA
This three storey Victorian steampunk house runs under its own steam (pardon the pun) and doesn’t need towing to get around. Created in 2006 for the Black Rock Desert Burning Man Festival, bits and pieces have been added to it ever since. Inspired by science fiction works, it was built from the base of a travel trailer and 75% of it is upcycled waste.
Every year, Neverwas Haul does the rounds of the local art fairs and festivals. It is a veritable museum of Victorian-era wares on wheels and attracts a lot of attention. Neverwas Haul is available for rent from Shipyard Labs.
Weird and wonderful designs from the masters of unusual architecture. While these houses do not seem built to solve generic problems like those in the modern architecture category, they do solve dreams for their creators. Most of these houses are local landmarks and have a distinctive theme or artistic look about them. While many of us are probably wondering just what the architects of these houses were thinking, it goes to show that there are many ways of thinking about housing and thinking outside the box certainly produces some serious eye candy.
31. Lego House, Surrey, UK
Built with over 3,300,000 lego bricks, the Lego House is the creation of James May, who always wanted a house made of lego. With a working toilet, a hot shower, staircase and bed, all made with lego bricks, this two-story Lego House was built by volunteers and attracted a lot of international attention. Unfortunately, the house was demolished in 2009 as it crowded prime grape real estate in the local area and would have cost £50,000 to dismantle and transport (Lego refused to pay). James plans on building a life sized lego ship for his next project.
32. The Spaceship House, Signal Mountain, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Built by Curtis King in 1972, the Spaceship House has a long and interesting history, which featured in The Wall Street Journal in 2008. It cost $250,000 to build and has a lot of futuristic rounded furniture and unusual features.
A 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom Martian holiday home, it has 2,000 square feet of space, retractable stairs, a dropdown airplane door and a car park underneath.The Spaceship House is currently available for rent. Every year, the owner puts a festive inflatable alien on the roof.
33. The Cloud House, Melbourne, Australia
Australian architecture firm McBride Charles Ryan created the cloud house as an extension on a century-old Edwardian home. The aim was to add a modern touch and stir interest in the property, making it into a local landmark again.
Visitors walk through a traditional Edwardian interior and emerge into the ultra-modern extension, which features a red kitchen with box inspiration and lots of curved wood in the cloud shaped façade, overlooking the pool.
34. Fat House, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK
Disappointed with the 1950s architecture in Vienna, Austrian artist Erwin Wurm designed a series of “fat” objects, including a house, a truck, a sausage dog and a series of cars, to bring a sense of humor and lightheartedness to serious objects.
Wurm is well known for his unusual sculpture, which invites people to consider new possibilities in the way things are designed. His Melting House sculptures are based on the Fat sculptures and look like melted ice cream, using the same materials (polyurethane foam and Styrofoam covered with lacquer).
35. Free Spirit Spheres, Vancouver Island, Canada
Invented and manufactured by Canadian couple Tom and Rosy Chudleigh, Free Spirit Spheres are built for customers worldwide who want to experience life in a suspended treehouse. They are equipped with plumbing, electricity and insulation and rock gently in the wind as they are suspended on a web of rope. Sleeping in one is supposed to be a really relaxing experience.
The design imitates sailboat construction and rigging and each sphere is accessed by a spiral stairway and short suspension bridge. Made out of wood or fibreglass, Free Spirit Spheres are outfitted with a double bed, a settee, coffee table, sink, microwave, fridge and cupboards (everything except a bathroom and toilet – which is on the wishlist for future design improvements).
36. The Steel House, Lubbock, Texas, USA
Built out of 110 tonnes of steel over a 23-year construction period, the Steel House appears to be in the shape of a giant pig. Architectural sculptor Robert Bruno was a bit disappointed with the flat landscape and found something a bit more exciting he could work with at Ransom Canyon.
Initially, he wanted to construct a one story house, but after many adjustments and additions (including removing walls, adding legs so as not to impact the earth and adding more stained glass windows, etc), The Steel House ended up with more stories, an artistic, unique look and a magnificent view. Nearby, Robert Bruno also built the Lawson Rock House in Ransom Canyon.
37. Toilet Shaped House (Haewoojae), Suweon, South Korea
Sim Jae Duck, mayor of Suwon and Chairman of the Wold Toilet Association, was born in his grandmother’s bathroom and decided to dedicate his life to healthy ablutions, water conservation and improving global access to clean, efficient and working sanitation. In 2007, he rebuilt his house in the shape of a toilet.
Containing two stories and three toilets, Duck’s toilet shaped house is the only toilet themed house in the world and cost $1.1 million to build. It features a showcase bathroom in the centre and is equipped with rainwater harvesting technology.
Sim Jae Duck died in 2009 and his house was donated to the government, who made it into the “Toilet Theme Park” (a sort of museum). Statues of lavatorial exercises surround the house and tourists can even buy souvenir poo.
38. Heliodome, Coswiller, France
This bio-climatic solar house designed by Eric Wasser acts as a 3D sundial which follows the path of the sun in its daily cycle to capture solar energy for free heating in the winter months, while cooling the living space and storing the solar energy in summer.
An exceptional design in wood, glass and concrete, the Heliodome makes the most of solar energy and eliminates C02 emissions. It fulfills Wasser’s dream of an environmentally friendly dwelling, although the locals are uncertain about the architectural oddity, claiming it looks like a spacecraft.
39. Upside Down House, Szymbark, Poland
Polish businessman and philanthropist Daniel Czapiewski finished this house in 2007, and it has since become a tourist drawcard for the village of Szymbark.
The house took five times longer to build than a conventional one, because the tradesmen became disorientated during construction. Visitors report feeling seasick and giddy when they enter the Upside Down House and walk around on the interior ceilings.
The house is meant to represent the end of communist rule in Poland, when a period of uncertainty occurred. Furnishings inside the house appear as from the 1970s, with a television broadcasting socialist propaganda and other items.
40. Pierre Cardin’s “Bubble House” (Palais Bulles), Théoule-sur-Mer, France
This bubble-shaped villa was designed in the 1970s by architect Antti Lovag, who sought to include natural, flowing elements into the design and was inspired by the flowing shape of ancestral caves and troglodyte habitats.
Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Palais Bulles features an open air amphitheatre, a reception hall which accommodates 350 seated people and a garden, pool and ponds on 8,500m2. There are even round beds to match.
Designer Pierre Cardin bought this 28 bedroom home in 1989, ironically having designed his iconic bubble dress 30 years earlier. It has often been used as a location for editorial fashion photography and film festival parties. Antti Lovag is still designing unusual houses at 90 years of age.
Thank You for Reading
Thank you for reading my article about the world’s most unusual and weirdest homes. There’s nothing like seeing how other people live (and have lived) to make you feel creative with your own dwelling or even just glad you didn’t end up with some of the issues of the more bizarre houses.
Inspirations for this collection came from Harriet Swindell's “Cute and unusual homes” Pinterest page, where an abundance of strange and eccentric properties abide in the real estate of cyberspace as well as in the real world. You can also see some great examples of expertly Photoshopped houses, which look very convincing, though I have not included them here.
I would like to say a big thank you to the designers and architects of these houses. Their uniqueness, and the persistence of the people building them in realizing dreams, make the world a far more interesting place for the rest of us.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2014 Suzanne Day
Robson (Brasil / Brazil) on March 23, 2020:
Sahel on September 05, 2017:
Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on January 05, 2017:
I never realized there is such a variety of odd houses. You organized this article very well into the different types of houses.
The Lego House is interesting from a mechanical engineering point of view, which is something I tend to consider. It's amazing how a two story home with all the amenities could be built with a solid frame just out of Legos.
Hey, I actually remember seeing the Habitat 67 when I was at Expo67 in Canada.
As silly as the Fat House looks, I bet it must be warm inside since it's made from polyurethane foam and Styrofoam, but probably not as warm as those hillside underground homes you showed.
After reading through your hub, I can't stop thinking about the Hằng Nga Guesthouse in Vietnam. It would be interesting to see the inside, since you mentioned that the furniture needed to be specially made. I'm curious to know how it looks. Maybe that could be the subject of another hub of yours Suzanne—"Inside Tour of Weird Houses". Just a thought.
Looking for egloo style on April 23, 2016:
Looking for egloo house small and compact mad in TX. I think
Cammy Walters on October 09, 2015:
I agree with you Marlene, here is a strange but true fact. The Dallas, Texas city hall was built upside down. The story goes that the Contractor read and built the building with the plans upside down. Hence, Dallas has an upside down building but not like the upside down house.
Marlene Bertrand from USA on September 28, 2015:
I can see where the inspiration comes from for many of these houses, and some of them are really cute. But, the one that scares me the most is the upside down house. I don't know about that one. I certainly enjoyed seeing and reading about all of these unusually-shaped houses.
CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on July 08, 2015:
Good job in putting all this together! Interesting indeed and I enjoyed it!
Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on May 20, 2015:
Great essay, incredible! Inspiring collection, well thought out and written, kudos! I want to live in a Jayson Fann Spirit Nest ! Share on FB, voted up!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 20, 2015:
Loved reading this! I enjoyed each and every house for different reasons. Fun hub to read. Pinning and sharing.
Besarien from South Florida on April 19, 2015:
This hub is fabulous! I could look at interesting architecture forever. Some of these are old favorites of mine. Some I have never even heard about before now. The toilet shaped house - wow. Thanks for this! Voted up!
Darcie French from BC Canada on April 13, 2015:
Super cool! Hubby and I would love to live in an upcycled "tiny house" one day.
Nichol marie from The Country-Side on April 13, 2015:
Wow great hub voted awesome, i love all this unique houses.
Cammy Walters on April 13, 2015:
This was an amazing hub. Thank you for sharing some of the most unique house that I have ever seen. I will be continuing to follow your interesting finds that you share.
Anne Harrison from Australia on October 25, 2014:
I'm still trying to decide which is my favourite and which I'd like to live in - probably 2 different things - but I do love the steampunk house (and trust James May to have a lego house!)
Tammy from USA on June 08, 2014:
This was a fun read. I have seen many of these homes on documentaries I watch. Have you ever seen the Earthship homes that are in New Mexico? They are really bizarre but yet economical and interesting. My favorite are the ones like hobbit homes made from cob. Great job!
Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on June 08, 2014:
What in entertaining and inspirational hub.thank you.I will share it around. Voted up and it's awesome . I have a collected a lot of the photos on my pinterest boards but loved reading about these out of the box creations.
Suzanne Day (author) from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on April 13, 2014:
Thank you everyone, for your kind comments! I couldn't tell you my favourite one, because I love them all, but Neverwas Haul is one of the most versatile homes, along with the Mobile Aquatic Pod because you can travel away to new scenery with them...
Dan Reed on February 26, 2014:
I really enjoyed this Hub. Being a "home guy" this is right up my alley. I've only seen a couple of these before. I believe "Neverwas Haul" was on the TV show, "American Pickers". The upside down house is so cool but I'm afraid I'd be nauseous in there. That said, I think I like the nature inspired homes the best. Thanks for sharing this eye candy and information about the homes. Voted up, awesome and interesting.
Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on February 19, 2014:
Wow that is for now my favorite hub for this Wednesday morning. Most of the photos i recognize from my PInterest board on unusual architecture . Now they have come alive . Well done
Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on February 10, 2014:
Really interesting collection! (I don't think I'd be comfortable living in most of these, though.)
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on February 09, 2014:
Wow, all it takes is an imaginative and creative mind and our 'dream' home can become a reality. Dick Clark's would have been so much fun. And the spirit nest...that would be lovely to have.
Angels are once again on the way to you. ps
Pinned Great hub.
Suzanne Day (author) from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on February 06, 2014:
Definitely! Come check out my wordplay hub too, looks like you might have a gift ;)
BigBlue54 from Hull, East Yorkshire on February 06, 2014:
Suzanne Day (author) from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on February 06, 2014:
That does sound intriguing - the equivalent of the upcycler's caravan! The steampunk house is another way of doing it too I think.
BigBlue54 from Hull, East Yorkshire on February 06, 2014:
I remember some years ago watching an interview with a German couple. They had bought a very large old crane, removed the cab and put their single story house on top of it. They had left the controls on the crane so when they wanted a change of scenery they just started up the engine and moved to somewhere else.
It was a while ago so I cannot remember how they dealt with power and water but as they lived in a small village the postman usually found them while on his round.
Be an interesting idea though. We could travel snail like, and snails pace, around they country until we found somewhere to live. then when we wanted a change of scenery off we would go again.
BigBlue54 from Hull, East Yorkshire on February 04, 2014:
There was one, cmoneyspinner, but someone walked off with it. :D
Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on February 04, 2014:
I like your article on the 40 most unusual houses arounf the glove. You did an excellent hub. A lot of time involve in your work Suzanne Day. Congratulations
Treathyl FOX from Austin, Texas on February 04, 2014:
All those houses and not one of them built like a shoe. :)
BigBlue54 from Hull, East Yorkshire on January 29, 2014:
I have been trying to find some house here in the UK which were cut out of the living rock. They looked just like regular homes with bedroom, kitchen and everything and were still lived in until about the middle of the last century. I may be wrong but I think they were in the Derbyshire Peak District. They were eventually abandoned but they are now being preserved.
I must admit that I love the cargotecture name as well. I am not sure why there is not more use of these containers to build houses. The 40 foot version can be picked up at a reasonable price, about £2000/$3000 for a used one. The can be fitted out before being taken to the site so one or two days and they will be ready to live in.
I did think that Habitat 67 used containers when I first saw it, bit disappointed that it was not. But it still look s fantastic.
I look forward to the next installment. :)
Suzanne Day (author) from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on January 29, 2014:
Thanks everyone for your compliments!
@BigBlue54 - Thank you for your suggestions. I thought the Nas montanhas de Fafe was built in a similar style to the Monsanto houses, though I couldn't find out its name at the time. I really love the cargotecture name - going to to use it now!
I also saw the Lego documentary a few years back, which was good. Keetwoman is indeed an eye opener, and I missed it in this hub, might add it to the next instalment!
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on January 29, 2014:
I love to look at houses, and must say that you have chosen the weirdest ones in the world. That's a compliment:).
BigBlue54 from Hull, East Yorkshire on January 29, 2014:
Thanks for posting this hub. I bet you had a lot of fun looking for them. Imagine coming home after a few to many beers and seeing the upside down house.
Love the Flintstones house and the Neverwas Haul, great play on words there. I was looking for the Hobbit's in the Earth House Estate.
I had seen a couple of them before such as the Lego house. I watched the TV programme showing its construction.
Did you come across Nas montanhas de Fafe in Portugal? It is a house built between two boulders.
I have seen a number of houses using containers. Apparently this is called cargotecture. Did you come across Keetwoman in Amsterdam. It is described as a container city and is used as student accommodation.
Anyway, thanks again for posting this hub. It has been hugely interesting and entertaining.
Jennifer Yamada from Oahu, Hawaii on January 26, 2014:
Very cool hub!
cbpoet on January 26, 2014:
I enjoyed your hub immensely. The mind behind the creative Artist continue to amaze me.. I would live in any of the homes shown in a heartbeat!
Milan Neupane from Doha,Qatar on January 26, 2014:
enjoyed the hub
Tirralan Watkins from Los Angeles, CA on January 25, 2014:
What a fascinating hub. This was thoroughly enjoyable. Great hub.
Nell Rose from England on January 25, 2014:
Hi Suzanne, what a great hub! Hằng Nga Guesthouse is probably my favorite, but I want all of them! lol! the steampunk house has to be the most bizarre, but how wonderful to live in these houses! and I never knew about the ones in England on the river, I like the hobbit style houses too, and maybe the rock ones in Turkey! Ah heck I love all of them! great hub, thanks!
Suzanne Day (author) from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on January 25, 2014:
Thank you to everyone for your kind comments. The layout is a fun one to use, try it yourself! I've found it useful for a few hubs as it is visually pleasing.
Yesterday I told my relatives about the Toilet House and the kids all giggled over the souveneir poos. It took me ages to track down Habitat 67 when I didn't know its name and I almost gave up, but then stumbled upon it by accident.
There were so many beautiful nature inspired homes, I had to cull about another 40 from my list as the world is full of inspirational examples in this category.
Glad you enjoyed my hub and I hope you liked the background info and stories behind the houses ;)
ologsinquito from USA on January 25, 2014:
This is an amazing article. It must have taken you forever to find all of these examples. I'm definitely pinning this one.
Amanda Littlejohn on January 25, 2014:
Wow-di-wow! Not only has that hub totally absorbed and distracted me for the last lordy knows how long - aside from the superb content it is a phenomenal achievement of 'hub architecture' in itself!
I really enjoyed that- have ticked and thumbs-upped and will now tweet.
Thank you so much!
PS My favorite has to be the Steampunk House but it ain't easy to choose. :)
Catherine Taylor from Canada on January 25, 2014:
This was such an interesting hub. I would love to plan a trip specifically to see many of these houses. I have been to see #19 in Montreal, Canada (we're not part of the USA btw, guessing that was just a typo,) and they are very cool. Really well researched and written. Will be sharing.
FlourishAnyway from USA on January 25, 2014:
Absolutely fantastic! This was a joy to both read and look at and I am definitely pinning right now. Oh yes -- and voting up+++ and sharing. Wonderful job!
Vivek Thota from Delhi, India on January 23, 2014:
this is really great hub - the work which u have done is amazing and for putting all together needs a lot of research , aw some work........
Donna Herron from USA on January 23, 2014:
Great hub - very interesting! I'd love a tour of each of these houses. Thanks so much for sharing. Voted up and interesting!!
Susan from India on January 23, 2014:
Wow... What an amazing hub. I simply enjoyed reading it. Voted up & interesting.
Jimmy Gent from California on January 22, 2014:
Without a doubt the Hằng Nga Guesthouse in Dalat, Vietnam, is the weirdest and yet most interesting property. I still can't imagine staying the night in this home. Hmmm,...scary movie and popcorn anyone?! ; ) Voted up for fun!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 22, 2014:
What an incredible hub. Nice job putting this all together. There are a few I would live in. I love the turf houses, and we have looked into the possibility of container homes on the property we are going to buy. Great job on this one.
Suzanne Day (author) from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on January 22, 2014:
Thanks Jodah, it took me almost three weeks full time to write it, and I could hardly wait for it to be released upon the world.....and the choices....how to pick the weirdest ones? Many of them needed extensive research just to find out their official names and locations. That's when I discovered that they all had interesting stories and facts behind them. Thanks for visiting!
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on January 22, 2014:
Wow suzanne, what an amazing hub. I thought your 'weird shoes' hubs were interesting but this is simply incredible. So interesting and well researched. I'd love to live in so many of these, particularly the flintstone inspired house of Dick Clark's.....Great stuff. Voted up, awesome.