Houses are a means of living a comfortable life. However, a few unique homes across the world are awe-inspiring. They are built by brilliant architects who took innovation in architecture to the next level. These unusual houses are nothing less than masterpieces. With luxurious facilities and magnificent views, they offer a lifetime of experience. The process of building these marvelous houses was not only incredibly rewarding for the architects but also extremely challenging. We bring to you 12 incredible houses that you won’t believe exist.
1. Falling Water – Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, this house is built over a waterfall in Pennsylvania.
Edgar J. Kaufmann, a Pittsburgh businessman, owned a small cabin near a waterfall in Bear Run, Pennsylvania. He called Frank Lloyd Wright, an architect, to recreate the house in 1935. Frank decided to build a house over the waterfall. After a lot of conflicts between Edgar and Frank over the construction of the house, it was finally built in 1938.
After his father’s death in 1955, Edgar Kaufmann Jr. inherited Falling Water. He used the house as a weekend retreat. However, in 1963, he decided to donate the house to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy as a tribute to his parents.
Even after donating the house, he acted as a guide to Falling Waters’ administration, care, and education programs. He often visited the house as a tourist. Kaufmann’s partner, architect and designer Paul Mayén, also contributed to the legacy of Falling Water with a design for the visitor center, completed in 1981.
The house attracts more than 160,000 visitors from around the world each year.
This house is a masterpiece as it beautifully integrates the building with its striking natural surroundings. The members of the American Institute of Architects named Falling Water the Best All-time Work of American Architecture in 1991, and in 2007, it was ranked 29th on the list of America’s Favorite Architecture according to the AIA. (source)
2. Joshua Tree Residence – James Whitaker, a designer, created a starburst-shaped house by combining shipping containers in the most unexpected way forming this house.
Designer James Whitaker, a London-based photographer and architect, designed a unique home using shipping containers in the California desert in 2017. He arranged shipping containers at different angles to create a visually aesthetic effect. The 200-square-meter home includes a living room, kitchen, and three bedrooms.
It is a sustainable home with solar panels covering the garage roof. The containers appear to be like a starburst, with cuboids pushing out in all directions. James used concrete columns to lift the house off the ground.
James explained the placement of containers, “Each container is orientated to maximize views across the landscape, or to use the topography to provide privacy, depending on their individual use.” (1, 2)
3. Haewoojae – Sim Jae-Deok, the mayor of Suwon, South Korea, demolished his own house and built the world’s first toilet-shaped house in 2007.
Mr. Sim Jae-Deok built a toilet-shaped house in Suwon, South Korea in 2007. He later became the chairman and founder of the World Toilet Association. To build this house, he destroyed his own house where he lived for 30 years.
His main motive behind creating this house was to increase awareness around sanitation and hygiene. He wanted to set international standards on how to clean public toilets. He named this house “Haewoojae.”
This means “a place of sanctuary to solve one’s worries.” This innovative house has two bedrooms, two guest rooms, and three deluxe bathrooms with water conservation devices. The entire house is made of steel, white concrete, and glass.
After Sim died, the house was donated to the city and turned into a toilet museum. The house itself is the largest toilet sculpture in Korea. It has two floors of exhibitions about how important toilets are to the health of a society. (1, 2)
4. Transparent House – This house is a unique, 914-square-foot home designed by Sou Mojito architects.
Sou Mojito Architects, a Tokyo-based architecture firm, built a sleek and contemporary transparent house in 2012. Yes, there is absolutely no privacy in this house. However, this ensures that there is plenty of light in the house.
The house is made of see-through glass with a white steel frame and is designed on different small plots and platforms, connected by staircases and ladders with six steps. The spacious interior consists of 21 individual floor plates, all situated at various heights, allowing the house to be used flexibly. Some floor plates are equipped with in-floor heating for the winter months.
The structure of the house replicates the branches of a tree with multiple stairs. In an interview, Sou Mojito explained the idea behind the house, “The white steel-frame structure itself shares no resemblance to a tree.
5. Keret House – It is the narrowest house in the world, designed by Jakub Szczęsny.
Built within a narrow space between two buildings, The Keret House in Poland is the narrowest house in the world. Jakub Szczęsny, a polish architect, designed this house in 2010.
The house has just 46 square feet of floor space. Jakub has managed to utilize every foot of the space wisely by fitting in a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a two-beverage refrigerator in the span of three floors.
The foldable stairs in the house create more space in the house. Also, the entire interior is painted white to make it look spacious. Due to the limited size, the building’s electricity is obtained from a neighboring building.
The house was legally classified as an art installation as the house does not adhere to the Polish housing standards.
Jakub constructed this house as a memorial to his family killed in the Holocaust. This house is named after Etgar Keret, the Israeli filmmaker and author. Jakub asked Etgar to be the first tenant of the house.
Etgar agreed and spent a few weeks in this unique house. Constructed as a memorial to his family killed in the Holocaust, the Keret House was named spontaneously when Etgar Keret was asked by Szczęsny to be the house’s first tenant. Later, the Keret House became open to traveling writers for a night’s stay. (1, 2)