People have been building shelters and homes ever since humankind existed in this planet. But unlike before, building houses is not simply about having a roof over our heads anymore. Homes have become, for some people, representative of their identity, advocacy, or the profession of their art.
Some of them have become a fusion of art and solutions to provide comfortable living while addressing the increasing need to minimize environmental impact. The result, in many occasions, are unusual homes from very creative and talented designers and builders which are truly amazing!
Now there are heaps of unusual homes out there that deserve recognition, but here are 30 examples to get you started. From this list we’re pretty sure each of you will find at least one unusual home that will tickle your fancy.
You might even be able to get inspiration from these unconventional homes if you’re planning to build your own house sometime in the future. Who knows, your home could end up being a top-ranked unconventional home too!
Are you dreaming of living in an unusual home like one of these?
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This home is the product of a low budget and an extreme concern for the environment. It’s made almost entirely of recycled materials or resources already on site. Owners Simon Dale and Jasmine Saville built their hobbit home in only 4 months, on a $3000 budget, using mainly a chainsaw and a 1″ chisel!
Owner-builder Steve Areen spent $9000 and six weeks to construct his dream home in Thailand. Mostly made out of natural materials, the home includes a hammock, a personal pond just and a lounging space. It may look like a play house, but this small space is a fully functional haven.
This 25-square metre house is one of the most organic homes we’ve ever featured. Every component is bio-degradable so that eventually, no evidence of the home will remain! It is also designed and constructed in such a way that it can be easily moved to a new location…
This home/office is built adjacent to a railway viaduct in Southwark, London. Despite being a tiny studio, sitting on a mere 52-square metre lot, Archway Studios stands out with its unique design and appearance.
Dragspelhuset is a mere extension to an existing cabin, but one that offers interesting visual drama. It can literally adjust itself depending on the season, weather conditions or number of occupants. It unfurls like a butterfly in the summer, and it falls back into a cocoon during the winter, allowing for protection from the cold with its double layer ‘skin’!
Here’s a tiny home that demonstrates innovative Japanese architecture. It’s located in a densely populated area in Tokyo and its floors measure only 4.2 square metres each. Despite the small space, the interiors are far from cramped. Its design allows for very pleasant living where the light and wind can come in through windows that swing out.
Owner-builder Alek Lisefski is now living a debt-free, simpler, more organized and efficient life with his $30,000 mobile home. It is an 8’x12′ house that he comfortably shares with his girlfriend, Anjali and their dog. It was built in Iowa but is now situated in California.
Want a room with a new view at work? Then move – if you’re living in this amazing log studio on wheels! Designed by Dutch designer, Piet Hein Eek, this music studio is built on a wheeled chassis for easy transportation. Look closely and you’ll notice that the bottom logs are loose infills.
If you need a getaway space perhaps this modern version of a gypsy wagon is what you need. You can pull and take it anywhere with a truck or tractor. You can use it as a tiny home, a weekend cabin or a home office/studio.
Architect Hank Butitta spent $6000 to buy this bus and $3000 to convert it into a tiny living space for his Masters final project. Inside this 225 sq. ft mobile home are 28-inch wide windows that serve as modular guide (the aisle is also 28 inches wide) that divide it into four primary zones: bathroom, kitchen, seating and sleeping. As shown in the full article linked through the title, the space can be configured in a wonderful variety of combinations.
A home away from home. Photographer Nick Olson and designer Lilah Horwitz salvage old discarded windows to build this unusual home in West Virginia. This house gives its occupants a wide perspective of the world around them – literally.
This home is made of two containers with a roof in the middle made from the scrap pieces of metal taken off its side to make openings for windows. Inside, the house has great lighting and ventilation, creating an internal sensation of openness.
Architect Christoph Kaiser’s home is one of the most ingenious conversion projects we have seen. He converted what was once a 1955 era grain silo into a comfortable and sustainable home with a very low carbon footprint.
This home, which the owner-builder calls ‘Japanese Forest House’, was built to serve as his sanctuary in the woods of Cape Falcon, Oregon. He used locally sourced materials and the total cost of the project was only $11,000!
This cabin was built by letting a cow eat it! First, the builders enclosed a stack of hay bales in concrete and earth. Once the concrete had set, they used a quarry saw to expose the hay bales. Then Paulina, the cow, stepped up to the plate and started eating! After one year she had grown from a calf to a 300 kg adult and the concrete structure was basically ready for furnishing.
This house runs on solar energy and was built by 25 Chalmers University students in Sweden. With its design concept ‘Shared space is double space’, the sustainable home accommodates four students.
The Earth House was built in honor of Korean poet Yoon Doong-joo. Though this tiny home is set deep in the ground, it is also known as ‘house of the sky’ because the only view you get from within is the sky above it!
Here’s another home that was built with great consideration of its environment. With its fully sustainable design, the homeowner is able to keep the house’s ecological footprint to a minimum. Learn how this home ‘works’ by clicking on the title!
This underground home, embedded into a hillside in Vals, Switzerland, includes a full patio outside that offers a wonderful framed view of the mountainside. It was designed by Dutch architecture firm SeARCH in collaboration with Christian Müller Architects.
This project consists of two homes for two families. Though the area is shared, its clever design provides privacy for both families. And though the building site and the homes are large, the use of natural materials has significantly reduced both the environmental and visual impact!
Another home that blends in very well with its environment! This design by DECA, camouflages the home in the middle of its desert location, allowing the beauty of nature around it to flourish.
Deliberately designed to appear as though it has washed ashore, this home’s internal spaces unfold room by room exposing its surrounding view.
This house was designed with an all natural theme. It has natural wood, organic shaped framing and furniture and decorations made of locally sourced materials. The home is totally open to the environment around it. Mosquito nets is the only thing that separates guests and nature at night. The open bathrooms all have waterfall showers and exquisite basins carved from wood and white marble by the Zambian artist Eddie Mumba.
82-year old TV icon Dick Clark built and lived in this one of a kind house in Malibu, in the final years of his life. The house looks every bit the suburban Bedrock palace. It sits on 23-acres of incredibly gorgeous land with views of the Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands, Boney Mountains, and Serrano Valley.
This forest retreat was built with the objective of minimising environmental impact, especially retaining the site’s cherry and pine trees. The result – a home of many pavilions weaving its way among the forest!
A house among and within the trees. This home was designed to be visually in harmony with the environment. The house was built entirely of off-site fabricated elements and ready-made components. It was assembled from the platform and was up in less than six weeks!
Fallingwater was designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It was listed by National Geographic as one of the “50 places of a lifetime” and was also included in Smithsonian magazine’s Life List of 28 places “to visit before you die.” In 1991 the members of the American Institute of Architects voted it as the “best all-time work of American architecture”.
Is there anything better than this weekend getaway home? Great Ocean Road, where this house is located, is one of the world’s great scenic destinations. And the views that this seemingly hovering house gives is undeniably stunning. Have a feel of what it’s like to be in the Pole House by clicking on the title.
The home shown here, although made of concrete, brick and iron, meets any standard of ‘green’. Twelve vertical gardens front and rear and a roof garden separate the owners from the outside world, offering a filtered light and cooling shade in the otherwise tropical climate of Vietnam.
This home costs $18 million! It has four large working clocks, three bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, incredible natural light, a glass elevator and a very private roof deck complete with a solarium. It also has a separate master bathroom that’s pretty much to die for 😉 Would you like to buy this penthouse?