Unusual Designs

Home Architecture Unusual Designs

Seattle’s 5-Foot-Wide “Spite House” Up For Sale

2022 24th Avenue E of Montlake in Seattle, Washington seems like any other tiny home recently inspired by the Tiny House Movement. The home is 850 square feet, barely five feet wide, is currently on the market for $519,000 – and is in the heart of local legend.

Montlake

In 1925, a judge presiding over a vicious and bitter divorce ruled that the husband would keep the marital home, and his wife was awarded a sliver of land just in front of the home. To add insult to injury, the husband offered what was to her an unacceptably low offer to purchase the land. As a result, she began construction of what has now come to be known as “The Montlake Spite House” by the community. She even went as far as to paint the wall facing their formal marital home black as to further obstruct his view!

In this photo, you can see just how narrow this house really is!

Montlake1

A view of the living room. While it may be too small to hold a television set, it has plenty of space to seat guests comfortably!

Montlake4

The master bedroom. Believe it or not, this home has two bedrooms, and two full baths!

Montlake2

The place where you really begin to feel cramped may be the kitchen – but it’s worth it just to be able to look at your ex-now-neighbor through the kitchen window with a look of triumph!

Montlake3

Montlake5

There’s even a two-car garage!

Montlake6

She proved her point to her ex-husband, and since then the house has only ever steadily increased in worth: The Montlake Spite House sold in 1996 for $140,550; $235,500 in 2000; and $375,000 in 2014. How much of a factor the notoriety and legends surrounding the of home plays into that increase is up for speculation.

Woman Converts The Bank She Once Worked At Into Her Dream Home

Before Cathy Calhoun eventually became a jewelry store owner, she worked as a bank teller at The National Bank of Spring City in Spring City, PA. In 1989, the old bank went up for sale and Cathy jumped at the opportunity to own it, paying a paltry $52,000 for the vacant building. She had a vision. A vision that would take 24 years of tireless renovation to become what it is today: a Pennsylvania girl’s dream home.

desktop-1427744598

Scroll down to watch a video tour of the up-cycled old building, which includes a trip through the 2-story boardroom-turned-master suite complete with seating, a fireplace, jacuzzi and a big-screen TV. What she did with both the original vault and the newer one is truly unique, but we’ll let the video do the talking for that one.

bank-house-vaults

A spiral staircase adds a dramatic curve to the otherwise boxed layout of the bank.

bank-house-interiorPhoto Credits: YouTube

Cathy’s modern updates are extensive and eclectic, but have managed to preserve, even celebrate the bank’s historic aesthetic. All said, it’s clear that the money she put into this bank was a very wise investment, indeed.

Incredible Hobbit Home Sculpted By A 1960’s Hurricane

If Bilbo Baggins lived in the 21st century and had an architectural inclination for clean lines and subdued interiors, he would be right at home in this modern subterranean dwelling. The unique duplex was built upon a foundation that was caused by high off-shore hurricane winds back in the 1960’s. Rather than build up upon the dune, the property owner (who happened to also be architect William Morgan) decided the best course of action was to carve into the mound, exploiting the space below the earth.

Large circular openings bring in natural light and expose spectacular ocean views. The organic forms and curvilinear nature of the structure is consciously juxtaposed to the strict, rigid treatment of the interior build-out. It’s an interesting and obvious statement about man vs. nature, and how we symbiotically shape each others environments.

10+ Wineries With Absolutely Stunning Architecture

Opus One

Scott Johnson of Johnson, Fain & Pereira designed this iconic winery and finished the build in 1991. It brings together traditional European architectural elements and New World aesthetics, a combination that mirrors their epic Cabernet.

opus-one

Bodegas Ysios

This spectacular winery is located in Spain’s Rioja region, and was designed by Santiago Calatrava, completed in 2001. The undulating aluminum and cedar roof mimics the mountainous terrain surrounding it, and the name honors Isis and Osiris, two Egyptian gods with close ties to the world of wine.

Bodegas-Ysios

Castello di Amorosa

Dario Sattui wanted to build one of the most impressive wineries in the area, and did so by importing an actual castle from Italy, piece by piece, and reassembling it in Napa Valley.

Castello-Di-Amorosa-Winery

Lapostolle Clos Apalta

Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle, most known for producing Grand Marinier, began making wine in Chile and completed this estate in 2004. It was designed by Amercanda Architects and features six levels reminiscent of a bird’s nest.

item10.rendition.slideshowHorizontal.best-designed-wineries-11-lapostolle-clos-apalta-chile

Vik Winery

When Alex and Carrie Vik wanted to build a winery in Chile, they hosted a competition and this was the winning submission. It features a long, low slung building positioned in the middle of their 11,000 acre estate in Santiago. The shallow pool dotted by boulders not only looks cool, but also keeps the underground levels cool.

13-vik-chile

Darioush Winery

Located in Napa, this iconic winery pays honor to its owner’s Persian roots.

Darioush-Winery

Dornier Winery

The only winery here that was actually designed by its founder, Christopher Dornier. It’s located in South Africa and was meant to blend seamlessly with its surroundings.

Dornier-Winery

Irius Winery

A distinctly modern winery in Spain, the building was meant to resemble a butterfly.

Irias-Winery

Ledson Winery

This massive Sonoma winery became famous before the wine did, and attracted so much attention that they figured they should make some wine and open a tasting room.

Ledson-winery

Marques De Riscal

One of the most distinct wineries in the world, this beautiful structure is located in Elciego Spain and was completed in 2006 by Frank Gehry. The pink and titanium exterior looks like a ribbon as it wraps around the surface.

Marques-De-Riscal

Mission Hill Winery

This Canadian winery is most noted for its 12-story bell tower which welcomes guests with its bell.

mission-hillPetra Winery

Near the old Tuscan village of Suvereto you’ll find this masterpiece, designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta. It was completed in 2003 and features a unique cylindrical core with plants on the roof.

item2.rendition.slideshowHorizontal.best-designed-wineries-03-petra-winery-suvereto-italy

 

Bodegas Portia

Set amidst a barren looking valley, this winery in Ribera del Duero is one of Spains most distinct wineries. It looks like something out of Star Wars and the modern building was designed by Foster + Partners and opened in 2010.

bodgas-portia-spain

 

17 Magical Little Fairytale Homes To Ignite Your Imagination

1Casa dos Duendes in Campos do Jordão, São Paulo State, Brazil

2House in Zell on the Mosel River, Germany

3Winckler cottage on the shores of Vancouver Island, Canada

4Isabella’s Little Pink House, Orlando, USA

 

5Akebono kodomo-no-mori park, Japan

 

6Hobbit House in Rotorua, New Zealand

7Forest House, Efteling, The Netherlands

 

8The Spadena House, Beverly Hills, California

 

9Fantasy House in Zakopane

10The Doll House, Carmel, California

11Victorian Cottage in the Catskills

12Wooden Cottage in Białka Tatrzańska, the Tatra Mountains, Poland

13Cob house in Somerset, UK

14A cottage in the Hamlet of Marie Antoinette, Versailles, France

15Blaise Hamlet, Bristol, England

1615

The Mermaid Cottage

17the-mermaid-cottage-1

The Jack Sparrow House in Cornwall, UK

 

 

A Good Home Is Made Great With An Up-Cycled Spartan Trailer

A well-designed home with large open spaces, contemporary materials, and plenty of natural light can be a very good thing. But sometimes, there needs to be something truly unique as a focus for the home to be considered great. This is the notion architect Andrew Hinman took to heart when he designed this Texas home around a re-used Spartan Trailer.

The shimmering silvery cladding of the now immobile recreational tube is presented prominently in the composition of the home. Functionally, it operates in much of the same way it always has, only now it acts as a focal appendage to the sleek glass and steel enclosure that engulfs it. The architect wanted to celebrate the use of a recycled component in the context of a well-crafted modern structure.

spartan-house-by-andrew-hinman-architecture-1 A massive shed roof towers over the trailer and the interior space adjacent to it. A large sun room occupies this space, acting as an extension of the living quarters of the trailer.spartan-house-by-andrew-hinman-architecture-2 An exterior soaking tub ties the home in with it’s desert surroundings, emulating the feel of camping that the trailer once embraced.spartan-house-by-andrew-hinman-architecture-3 spartan-house-by-andrew-hinman-architecture-4 The space adjacent to the trailer opens up to the sunny desert vista.spartan-house-by-andrew-hinman-architecture-5 Looking back at the trailer from the interior, it maintains its original aluminum sheen.spartan-house-by-andrew-hinman-architecture-6 As you can see, stepping inside the trailer is like stepping through a portal into the past.spartan-house-by-andrew-hinman-architecture-7 The rest of the home feels quite new and contemporary, sitting in contrast to the retro presence the trailer provides.spartan-house-by-andrew-hinman-architecture-8 spartan-house-by-andrew-hinman-architecture-9 spartan-house-by-andrew-hinman-architecture-10 spartan-house-by-andrew-hinman-architecture-11 spartan-house-by-andrew-hinman-architecture-12

Photos by Paul Bardigjy.

This Postman Collected Pebbles During The Day. At Night He Built Something Incredible.

In 1879 a postman by the name of Ferdinand Cheval stepped on a small pebble, and after picking it up and examining it, he got an idea. He would spend the next 30+ years collecting pebbles of various shapes and sizes on his 18-mile-long route. After work he would mix together lime and concrete to build the Palais Idéal.

“I said to myself: since Nature is willing to do the sculpture, I will do the masonry and the architecture”

Located in Hauterives, the palace is a popular tourist destination and also serves as inspiration for artists. An example of “naïve art architecture”, . He spent 22 years building the outer walls, using stones he gathered in his pockets. Eventually he carried a basket and finally a wheelbarrow to collect the necessary stones to complete the project.

Ferdinand is an inspiration not just to artists, but anyone who rides a wave of inspiration to the finish. His efforts prove that with time, passion, and effort, you can achieve almost anything.

Photographs by EMMANUEL GEORGES and CLAUDE TRAVELS

Strange Home In Siberia Give New Meaning To “House Flipping”

If you happened upon this house while walking around Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, chances are you’d do more than a double-take. The surreal design of this inverted home comes courtesy They followed through with all sorts of details, from the upside down furniture inside, to the parked car in the driveway, and even the food hanging upside down in the kitchen.

I like shooting stories about people who belong to the “one in a million” category – unusual people doing unusual things. They can be amateur artists, builders, extreme sportsmen, winter swimmers, or people who live in difficult conditions in the modern world and manage to survive. (Source)

Photographer Ilya Naymushin took these photos, which capture the curious reactions of visitors touring the home. The house itself was constructed as a sort of tourist attraction, and we imagine it might be the main attraction in Siberia – why else would you take a vacation there?

He Built His Family A Hobbit House From Scraps For $4500

Simon Dale isn’t your ordinary father and this is no ordinary home. After he decided paying a mortgage and incurring debt wasn’t the greatest thing, he moved his family to the Wales countryside. Armed with a hammer, chainsaw, and a chisel, and with no prior building experience, he set to work constructing a home for his family that Bilbo Baggins himself would envy.

He began with some rough sketches to flesh out the idea…

9672ddaeca993765050db269f51642bc_image

 

While his wife and two children camped out nearby, he began framing the exterior using felled timber from the forest. The process took him four months.

ce2c4f68aea53d2ac9ad2b07f5793d74_image

If you can believe it, he had zero prior experience in carpentry and architecture! Regardless, he learned how to timber frame and use strawbale techniques just fine.

76041ce2e9ab9bb52c2dd5a17819af49_image

Giving his son a lesson on structural safety…

65dba5f59337fe96ed9ee88b4435a838_image

“Being your own have-a-go architect is a lot of fun and allows you to create and enjoy something which is part of yourself and the land rather than, at worst, a mass-produced box designed for maximum profit and the convenience of the construction industry.”

5312502c1629c285d8f8ccba17e1cba5_imageHe used lime plaster on the walls as an alternative to cement and other potentially carcinogenic materials.

aed9781d980b5ae2a936dd3ea1479c12_image

The interior is simply stunning, with a magical aura penetrating every corner.

bd427a1c689ac52d9affe9b9c16fbefc_image

eb9d2121880c94e3d914b2387d8cd3d5_image

A living roof of grass and moss covers the roof.

9bcbba4e105328ab1a12aefb3a148271_image

The home blends right into the hillside, becoming a natural part of its surroundings.

29b88da78996e6e580d87c9edb0d0a27_image

51c6a0231ed82f0cd4fbd03db803047c_image

Unfortunately the local government pushed the family out of this home, citing a lack of proper permits as the reason. However, since building the home in 2003 the family has since moved into a new home, but Simon continues to work on other similar projects, both for his family and others. This hobbit house remains intact and serves as inspiration for others, along with a place for You can see more of his work on his website, http://simondale.net

This Is What Happens When Architects Design Shelters For Cats

As if cats doing adorable things in weird contexts need any explanation. Feast your eyes on these creative design experiments that focus on the space occupied by everybody’s favorite felines.

cat arch1 Yarn? YARN!cat arch2 Stop. Just stop.cat arch3 Everyone can see you hiding there, pal.cat arch4 A saucer of scotch with my mahogany, please. 
cat arch5 I should not have had so much catnip. cat arch6 Make house for cat. Cat sits underneath house.

cat arch7

Should’ve dibsed top bunk.

The structures were built and put on display as part of an awareness project called “Giving Shelter” put on by Architects for Animals. The shelters were designed by various architects in the Las Angeles area and presented at a local Herman Miller showroom in Culver City, CA.