A beautifully designed house can stop even the least architecturally curious in her tracks. There’s just something about a bold, unique design. It says something about the architect and the homeowner, suggesting an approach to life that doesn’t toe the line. Here we’ll explore some of the most architecturally unique homes from around the world. This is a celebration of architectural audacity, but this isn’t audacity for audacity’s sake. These homes are designed for practicality and function, as well. They are places created to breathe life into their surroundings and their inhabitants. If you’re looking for inspiration or unique architecture, this list has you covered.
6 Homes Around the World Known for Their Unique Architecture
⎆ Fallingwater, Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Perhaps the most beloved of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpieces, Fallingwater in Bear Run, Pennsylvania is among the most ingenious homes ever conceived. Wright was famously brash, and with his Fallingwater design—the house is built over a waterfall—he seemed to be thumping his chest and declaring he could do anything. Wright completed construction of the home in 1937 and, despite the unique challenges posed by the project—the water, the fairly remote location, the lack of modern equipment, including today’s concrete tools—it stands as a proud testament to his daring and genius. The iconic house, a museum since 1964, attracts 150,000 visitors each year.
⎆ The Heliodome, Cosswiller, France
At first glance you wouldn’t think it was a home. A strange piece of art, maybe. But The Heliodome, which looks like a big glass top resting on its side, in Cosswiller, France, is perhaps the home of the future. At least that’s kind of the goal. Designed by the prominent cabinet-maker who resides there, the solar-powered house is tilted to maximize the sun’s power, year-round. Its angle keeps the house from getting too hot in the summer while milking every bit of energy the sun has to offer during the winter months.
⎆ The Futuro House of the 1960s
While The Heliodome focuses on the green lifestyle that the world is inching toward, The Futuro House was a mass-produced, prefabricated design fueled by the zeitgeist of the 1960s. The Finnish design, marketed for its easy transport, seized on a post-war desire to get up and go and dominate new terrain. Everything was possible, the world—the universe!—was yours. That was the idea, at least. While The Futuro House never quite caught on like its designer dreamed, the style has a devoted following to this day. It can still be found all around the world.
⎆ The House on the Cliff in Granada Spain
Granada, Spain has some pretty famous architecture, including the legendary Alhambra, so it takes quite a bit of audacity to garner much attention. But The House on the Cliff by GilBartolome Architects does just that. The striking home, built in 2015, peers over the Mediterranean Sea, looking both otherworldly and perfectly natural in the hillside where it stands.
Part of that otherworldly appeal comes from the intricate tile pattern on the undulating roof—on top of being design geniuses, the GilBartolome team must be pretty adept with a tile cutter. It’s hard to overstate the jaw-dropping, wholly unique beauty of The House on the Cliff. Who knows? Perhaps its legend will continue to grow and, one day, visitors to Granada will make a point of seeing both the Alhambra and The House on the Cliff before they leave town.
⎆ Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut
Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut is a mid-century modern classic. Its spare, transparent design leaves no secrets. Occupants can look out, and outsiders can look in. Johnson, who lived there from the time he completed the house in 1949 until his death nearly six decades later, wanted a house that was of the landscape, not detached from it.
In a 1991 interview, he said, “I thought it’d be nice to have a place that you could swivel all the way around and see the whole place which is what you can do here. I claim that’s the only house in the world where you can see the sunset and the moonrise at the same time, standing in the same place … I get it all the time here in the Glass House.”
⎆ The Gropius House in Lincoln, Massachusetts
You know a house has enduring appeal when it has its own app, and such is the case with the Gropius House in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Another mid-century classic, Walter Gropius designed the home for his family, pairing European inspiration with New England style. “I made it a point to absorb into my own conception those features of the New England architectural tradition that I found still alive and adequate,” he said of the house. “This fusion of regional spirit with a contemporary approach to design produced a house that I would never build in Europe with its entirely different climatic, technical, and psychological background.” This is truly a house with unique architecture.
Do you know about other special unique architecture delights? If so, please let us know in the comments below. Also below, you will find more links to take you to fantastic articles about ALL things DESIGN for your home or business.
Images Courtesy of Canva.