Construction of this house dates back to 1592, but it didn’t acquire its trademark slant until 1718, when the structure was rebuilt using unseasoned green oak. Sure it’s slanted, but what really makes the house stand out is that its basement had a secret passage to Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the U.K.’s royal family. The passage was allegedly used for trysts between King Charles and a mistress, as well as for running supplies to the castle’s kitchen. The passageway has since been sealed off. Through the centuries, the crooked house has been home to various businesses, including a brewery and jewelry shop. It is now a restaurant.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
This beach house, which was designed by the firm McBride Charles Ryan, was named the world’s best home at the 2009 World Architecture Festival awards. A Klein Bottle is a complex mathematical concept that involves folding a cylinder into itself in order to create an unusual, spiraling form. This notion was the driving force behind the Klein Bottle House, which appears to bring the interior out to the exterior and vice versa. A steel frame was layered with cement and sheet metal, while the architects created a courtyard at the center of the house to allow wind to pass through easily.
at 8:08 AM
Designer Antti Lovag long rebelled against traditional structures, and the Bubble Castle is a perfect example of his radical approach to rethinking the built environment. The bulbous compound sits on the southwestern coast of France. There are no sharp angles or straight lines in this unusual design. Lovag unified the home with its natural surrounding by bringing outdoor elements inside, including palm trees and a waterfall. “This home is incorporating these outdoor rock croppings in a way that links them to the overall bubble concept,” architect Peter Koliopoulos says. The house has already been deemed a historic monument by France’s Ministry of Culture, despite the fact that it’s not even 50 years old.
at 8:06 AM
Sunday, August 19, 2012
This was the home and studio of Terry Brown, an architect who died in 2008. Brown, who was a professor at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, built the home between 1992 and 2006, bringing in students, on occasion, to contribute to the project. Undulating woodwork, bizarre shapes and an array of materials come together to form a cohesive, albeit zany, structure. “This isn’t something you draw up and say, ‘Go build it,’” architect Peter Koliopoulos says. “When you’re doing something this custom, you’re fabricating and designing simultaneously in the field.” The fantastical design doesn’t stop at the front door. The interior is adorned with angular cabinets and multicolored rock walls. “This is highly personal and artistic … it’s just a different way of living and thinking,” he says.
at 3:45 AM
This traditional farmhouse was created by London-based dRRM Architects with one major mechanical surprise. The 20-ton outer shell of this home can be retracted in six minutes, revealing a second, mostly glass, inner shell. Power comes from four 12-volt batteries that run a motor that pulls small wheels, built into the timber shell, along an old set of railroad tracks. This feature gives the owners control over how the house interacts with the surrounding environment, allowing them to make adjustments as seasonal temperatures and light cycles change.
at 3:43 AM
Ed Pedin purchased this defunct missile silo in 1983, but it took about a decade of renovations to make it a livable home. Pumping out more than 8 feet of rainwater that accumulated while the site was inactive was one of many makeover challenges. Not many homeowners can say their house once stored a four-megaton nuclear warhead. What was once the launch control station, Pedin says, is now a cozy living space. Transforming a nuclear launch pad into a residential castle has lots of benefits, such as an 11,000-square-foot garage and a 1,700-foot-long airstrip, which came in particularly useful when Pedin was experimenting with do-it-yourself ultralight aircraft. Since the completion of Subterra Castle, Pedin has become a mogul of sorts, creating 20th Century Castles LLC, a real-estate firm specializing in converting missile silos.
at 3:41 AM
Friday, August 10, 2012
Artist and architect Robert Bruno has been at work on his steel home since 1974. Bruno has said that he wants the shape of the structure to be somewhere between animal and machine. Most homes have an initial skeleton that is built upon throughout the construction process, but Bruno has approached this home like a sculpture, building it on the fly and making constant modifications. Architect Peter Koliopoulos points out that the four legs and cantilevered design minimize the structure’s impact by not disrupting the earth as much as a typical home design would have. Estimated weight of the structure is 110 tons.
at 7:06 AM
Gigaplex Architects created this unusual and award-winning weekend home in 2006. This house was created by joining two corrugated grain silos, the largest of which has a diameter of 27 feet. “This is an approach that is akin to sustainability,” architect Peter Koliopoulos says. “This silo home is a lot of fun and is a neat way to look at an existing product in a creative way.” With a modest size of 1,800 square feet, the designers saved space by placing the beds in cubbyholes that are cut into walls, each equipped with its own mini entertainment systems.
at 7:04 AM
This seashell-shaped home was completed in 2006. The stone steps running along the shrubs lead to the front door, which blends into the mosaic façade. Architect Javier Sensonian practices what he calls “bio-architecture,” a style that has led him to design buildings shaped like snakes, whales and several other creatures. The Nautilus was created to imitate the cephalopod’s shell, and its cavernous interior is filled with vegetation and small trees. “It’s not common that you would see a home of this design ascetic,” architect Peter Koliopoulos says. “However, it’s very enlightening and something that we can all learn from.”
at 7:03 AM
Thursday, August 9, 2012
at 1:50 PM
at 1:48 PM