Not everyone is content with building off a plan. Some wacky home builders and architects are more concerned with making a unique statement with their grand designs, rather than fitting in with the rest of the neighbourhood. If you’re currently preparing to build your own home, a great idea is to aim for a middle ground between conventional and unique. Ideas for the conventional side can come from the display homes of professional builders like Coral Homes. For more unusual inspiration, here are five of the world’s strangest houses and buildings.
Imagine a house that produces more energy that it consumes. And then imagine it shaped like a light bulb with a giant solar panel on its roof, looking more like a billboard than an energy generator. The Heliotrope in Germany is the country’s first eco and energy-friendly rotating house, built by architect Rolf Disch back in 1994. The house rotates to catch sunlight all day long and is equipped with a grey-water cleansing system and an inbuilt natural waste composing system.
The Church of Hallgrimur, Iceland
Standing at over 74 metres tall – and looking more ominous than welcoming, to be frank – the Church of Hallgrimur in Iceland is the 6th tallest structure in the country and its largest church. The church was the brainchild of architect Guojon Samuelsson and was finally completed in 1986 after some 41 years. Construction began just after World War II. According to Samuelsson, the building was meant to resemble a basalt lava flow. Google it and see whether or not you think he succeeded.
Transparent House, Japan
Would you say you’re someone with nothing to hide? Then perhaps you would feel most comfortable living in a completely transparent house, such as the one built by architecture firm Sou Fujimoto Architects. This 914 square foot home in central Tokyo definitely offers zero privacy. But it does let in tons of natural sunlight during the day and is an absolute marvel to be seen.
Park Guell, Spain
The Catalonian architect Antoni Gaudi and Barcelona go together like cheese and wine. Or should that be sangria and tapas? The Park Guell in stunning Barcelona is one of the strangest parks in the world. Perched on a hill overlooking the entire city, with the Mediterranean sea at the horizon, the park is a World Heritage Site and was officially opened to the people of Barcelona back in 1926. The park’s architecture reflects Gaudi’s naturalist and organic style, and is a must-see if you’re ever in town.
Old Water Tower House, Belgium
Built over 100 years ago and having served as a hiding place for Nazis during the war, this Old Water Tower was converted into a single family apartment by Bham Design Studio in 2007, and is today definitely one of the most interesting and unique homes in the world. It was an operating water tower right up to 1990 and is over 100 feet tall – more than enough room to fit the five floors plus terrace on the top. Most of the original elements of the building were preserved in the renovation.
Feeling inspired yet? Great! Have you come across a weird and wacky home or building? Share it in the comments below.