When it comes to self-expression, everyone has their own unique way of doing so. Some choose to create elaborate paintings while others feel more content pouring their feelings into poetry. For some, self-expression is all about fashion and following the trend or setting their own. However there’s a lesser-known way to set yourself apart from the crowd: architecture. Why settle for normal when you can live in a transparent house?
We want you to understand that putting together a quality house isn’t an easy task; you’re creating more than just walls and windows. You’re creating a space where people can live, grow, and refresh themselves at the end of a long day. But for the people on our list, their houses are even more complicated than that. Not only must they feel comfortable inside, the outside must set itself apart from others on the block.
So while most architects design homes to blend flawlessly into their neighborhood and surrounds, there are a few that bucked the system and decided to stand out from the others. These homes make a statement
If home is where the heart is, then these people have some seriously strange hearts! But without further adieu, here’s our list of some truly “wtf where they thinking” homes from all around the world.
1. Transparent House (Tokyo, Japan)
When it comes to being home, most people value their privacy. Sure, we all open windows or draw back the curtains/blinds from time to time, but we prefer to keep the world shut out for the most part. However, the same cannot be said about the Transparent House in Tokyo, Japan.
The Transparent House is exactly what its name implies: a fully windowed house that not only allows people on the inside to see out into the world without being blocked by walls, but also puts the people inside on display for those on the outside.
The home was designed to be reminiscent of our days spent living in trees some odd thousand or so years ago. The Sou Fujimoto Architects wanted to pay homage to our ancestors and in addition to all the windows that make you feel as if you’re outdoors, there are a few platforms that you can step out onto that are outside.
You also might be wondering, “how do they sleep or use the restroom when they’re on constant display?” Well, there are a few areas with windowless walls in the home so we assume that the bedrooms and bathrooms are located in those areas. However, not much is really said regarding these areas where you’d want total privacy.
2. Tree house Home (Miami, Florida)
One look at this house and we’re immediately transported back to our childhood spent in tree houses and adventure forts. We just want to climb the stairs and chill with our friends inside, sit outside under the patio canopy sipping tasty drinks, and play on the ropes. And sleeping at night high in the branches of the tree? Sign us up because it honestly doesn’t get much better than that!
Lucky for us, this home is frequently rented out to travelers via Airbnb and Couchsurf. The homeowners have graciously allowed others to relive their childhood by renting out their stellar pad that’s tucked away in the woods of Miami, Florida. And price wise, it’s incredibly fair! You can sleep close to nature in a tree house for about $61 a night.
And if you’re expecting less than luxury accommodations, think again. The guest quarters features a comfortable king size bed with plush pillows and if you’re worried about the cold showers from camp, rest assured that the tree house has hot water. Staying here is the very definition of glamping so if you’re tired of having to stay in old lodges just to get those nature vibes, then look this place up.
3. The Keret House (Poland)
You’re probably looking at the picture and thinking to yourself, “well, that looks like a pretty normal house aside from the strange white connector.” However, we’re not talking about that beige building; we’re talking about the white connector. Yes, you read that right: the white connector is the house.
If your first thought was “damn, that’s narrow” you’re probably not going to be surprised to learn that it’s the world’s narrowest house. Just how thin is it? Well at its widest, the house is just 59 inches.
But why so small? Designer Jakub Szczesny, who is also the home’s resident, wanted to insure that no urban spaces were wasted. In order to do this, he retrofitted his home to fit snug between two buildings.
If you’re like us, you’re probably wondering just how comfortable the tight space is. According to Jakub, “it’s very comfortable and plenty spacious.” The home apparently also has all the amenities you’d expect like a kitchen, living space, bedroom, and bathroom.
4. The Toilet House (Suwon, South Korea)
Yes, we said Toilet House and yes we’re serious. This house is designed to look like a giant toilet. And if you’re wondering why in the world someone would build a house to look like of all things a toilet, then we’ve got your answer.
In 2007, the Mayor of Suwon, Sim Jae-Duk, put together the design of this house in order to commemorate the World Toilet Association’s founding. Sounds made up, right? Well, we can assure you that the World Toilet Association is seriously a thing.
The toilet bowl cost about $1.1 million to complete and we can’t help but think that that’s just money down the toilet. Sorry not sorry for that pun. However, the home has a really cool looking balcony on the rooftop that allows for stunning views of the surrounding lands. Of course, you’ll have to get past the notion that you’re standing on the toilet seat in order to see these views.
5. The Hobbit House (Wales)
Lord of the Rings fan rejoice because this house is straight out of the books/movies! While it’s unclear whether or not you can actually stay here, we don’t think so since it’s the designer’s personal home, you’re certainly welcome to visit and snap pictures of the unique space.
Obviously, the house was built by a LOTR fan; given the architecture, attention to detail and design, there’s no doubt in our mind who this designer’s favorite race was. The interesting thing is that the designer isn’t an architect by trade; he’s actually a photographer! This is probably why the house looks so strikingly similar to the Hobbit houses.
The Hobbit House, which is constructed of purely natural materials, only cost about $5,200 from start to finish. We found the price to be shocking given the size and quality of the exterior as well as the nice, spacious interior. Since it’s composed of natural and resourced materials, the designer said “anything in the world that you could possibly want/need is in a rubbish pile somewhere just waiting to be claimed.” This is where the home’s wiring, windows, and plumbing came from.
6. Flintstone Cave House (Malibu, California)
At first glance, this house looks like it’s fresh off the set of the Flintstones movie. However, it’s actually someone’s house and no, that someone isn’t Fred Flintstone and his wife Wilma.
So who lives here? Dick Clark and his wife lived here for a number of years before Clark unfortunately passed. His widow sold the house for just above half of the asking price and the rest is ancient history. Why she sold it for so little given the property and its value is unclear.
The one bedroom house is constructed of heavy stucco with rock mixed in to give it the cave-like appearance. The home offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and every room has a gorgeous, breathtaking view since the house is nestled on 23 acres of rock bluff. It features one bedroom, two bathrooms, a living area, kitchen, and even comes with fast Wi-Fi so there’s no need to live like a cave person out here.
7. Fallingwater (Mill Run, Pennsylvania)
Fallingwater is one of the most gorgeous houses we’ve seen in a long time. Pictures really don’t do the house justice! This gorgeous home sits deep within the lush forests and works itself around a stunning waterfall.
In 1936, architect Frank Lloyd began the construction of the home alongside the Bear Run Waterfall. Deeply inspired by nature, Lloyd wanted to build a space that blended seamlessly into the forests and in 1939 his vision came to life.
The home was built to be a weekend getaway space for the Kaufman family. The family were the proud owners of Pennsylvania’s largest department store and when they’d had their fill of bustling city life, they could retreat to their home deep in the woods.
Fallingwater boasts an impressive three floors complete with four bedrooms, a study, living space, kitchen, dining room, and three bathrooms. Three of the four bedrooms reside on the third floor with the master being located on the second floor giving the parents a bit of space from their children.
8. Dr. Seuss House (Willow, Alaska)
With a name like the “Dr. Seuss House”, would you expect anything less than the strange building in the picture above? To us, it almost looks like the Weasley house from Harry Potter with its precariously perched rooms stacked one on top of the other.
However, the designer didn’t actually intend it to look something out of Dr. Seuss or Harry Potter; in fact, the home’s original name isn’t the Dr. Seuss House but rather Goose Creek Tower. Architect Weidner originally had plans for a two-story log cabin but his engineering degree and imagination soon took the wheel. He added floor after floor until he reached something between 14 and 17 floors. And unfortunately, there’s no elevator; you’ll have to climb the stairs to the top.
So how tall is this place? The home stands at a staggering 185 feet high. At the top, you can enjoy a view that spans 300 miles of breathtaking wilderness. Weidner calls the home his personal “poem to the sky” and once at the very top, you’ll quickly understand why. It almost feels as if you could reach out and touch the clouds as you stand towering above even the tallest trees.
9. Seashell Home (Isla Mujeres, Mexico)
This gorgeous home looks like something out the pages of a mermaid real estate book. However, you don’t have to be a mermaid in order to stay here; that’s right, you can stay in this Seashell mansion. Available through Airbnb, you’ll have your choice of 2 spacious bedrooms, and the home comes complete with two and a half bathrooms as well as a beautiful pool that you’ll have all to yourself. However, be prepared to be the center of attention as the home is a popular photography spot.
You’ll also enjoy the comforts of Wi-Fi (which the Airbnb calls “in shell Wi-Fi), a kitchenette, two plush king beds, one queen, a BBQ area, and of course air conditioning to keep you cool and comfortable in the Mexican heat. And yes, you get both shells when you rent out the home!
The house was constructed to blend into the beachy neighborhood and allow travelers the chance to feel as if they’re mermaids on vacation. The architect wanted something unusual and eye-catching that wouldn’t deter from the beach atmosphere of the area. Thus, the Shell House was born.
10. Beer Can House (Houston, Texas)
Not only is everything bigger in Texas, but we guess it’s also more extravagant and unusual too. And that’s exactly what the late John Milkovisch had in mind when he constructed the home in 1968. Plus, it gave him something to do with all those empty beer cans piling up in his attic. Why he didn’t just recycle them is beyond us, but we’re glad he didn’t.
Over 50,000 different beer cans make up the exterior of this wild home. The home is carefully maintained by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art. They’re currently in the process of restoring the house and want to remain true to Milkovisch’s original vision. They intend to keep as much of it the same as possible while extending artistic liberties where needed.
The house is open for tours at various times and is conveniently located near Memorial Park. However if you’re not familiar with Houston, you’ll want to avoid this area like the plague during rush hour, as traffic is a nightmare.
So many choices!
With so many architectural wonders at there, we’re starting to see our house as “plain” and wondering if you feel the same way. Do you know want to spice up your home? Maybe you want to decorate the outside with soda cans? Or perhaps this article has made you thankful that you live in a “generic” neighborhood where your neighbor’s house isn’t a toilet. We’d also like to ask, given the list which house would you most like to live in? Which house would you least like to live in?