Unusual Designs

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Darioush Winery

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


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.


Irius Winery

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


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.


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.


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.



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.



Star Wars Inspired House In South Korea

Star Wars fans are a dedicated bunch, as this unusual home in Korea demonstrates. Built by architecture firm Moon Hoon, this inspired home takes a detour from its neighbors, bringing a spaceship-like design into the mix. The exterior draws its geometric inspiration from the Sandcrawler, which appears in the beginning of A New Hope, and a touch of gray from the Death Star.


Inside however, the theme is much more subdued, with its bright and open layout that’s decidedly modern, showing off a minimalist approach to decor and furnishings. The couple who built this home wanted to upgrade from their apartment to a small countryside home where they could raise a family, and spent about $200k to complete the build.
















Raw Concrete Home Wedged Between Rocks And Earth

A bit of imagination and a crate of dynamite was all it took for Olsen Kundig Architects to turn this giant bolder into a luxurious, modern dream home. Raw materials such as exposed concrete were used to compliment the natural feel of the rocky backdrop which flanks the home on two sides. There are even areas where the remnants of the existing stone pokes though on the interior, creating a grotto like feel that offsets the stark finishes that accompany the new space.



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The home was outfitted with rustic antique furniture and artwork, which matches the rugged design.

The-Pierre-by-Olson-Kundig-Architects_dezeen_5 The-Pierre-by-Olson-Kundig-Architects_dezeen_6Leftover rock from the construction was crushed into a work of art and mounted on the wall.

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The bathroom includes a sink basin carved into stone, with three separate bowls where the water cascades through before draining.

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The-Pierre-by-Olson-Kundig-Architects_dezeen_14Photography is by Benjamin Benschneider and Dwight Eschliman

This Crooked House Warps The Mind With Its Crazy Facade

Like the twisted beauty of the Polish language, the Krzywy Domek or “Crooked House” by Szotyńscy & Zaleski elegantly distorts familiar architectural convention. The street-facing facade presents an unusual collage of undulating forms that looks like it was tailor-made for the setting of Disney’s next animated film.


The building is a popular destination on Sopot, Poland’s famed Monte Cassino Street, and contains shops, restaurants and cafés. A central gazed section is bookended by two stucco masses that would resemble traditional vernacular if they weren’t pinched and bulbed to appear more fantastical. The architects were inspired by the illustrations of Jan Marcin Szancer and Per Dahlberg in addition to legendary Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi.

Krzywy-Domek-Crooked-House_8At night, the structure glows like a warped jack-o-lantern. The deep-set window openings cast dramatic shadows adding to the dream-like appearance of the facade.

Krzywy-Domek-Crooked-House_2 Krzywy-Domek-Crooked-House_3 Krzywy-Domek-Crooked-House_4 Krzywy-Domek-Crooked-House_5 The inside follows suit, imitating the the same playful forms and details, seamlessly blending the conceptual force behind the design’s iconic exterior.

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She Built This “Prairie Castle” From A Recycled Grain Bin

For a long time Kate Morris held close a dream inspired by the undulating hills and vast expanse of the Montana prairie. She had always been awe-struck by the serene countryside and the structures that rose from it out of nowhere. Specifically, she had a fondness for massive, cylindrical grain storage bins. Her dream was to one day to build a house out of one of them.


Her dream took flight when she purchased an old grain bin and assembled it on the 250 acre lot that she inherited from her father. Shortly after, she realized that building a house was quite a bit more work than she thought, especially when involving such an unorthodox starting point.


That’s when she enlisted Nick Pancheau, an architect who she had taught in grade school many years before. The two were off to the races, adding boxy punched openings for windows and designing solutions that would transform the cold steel bin into a 900-square-foot home with a cozy and efficient layout.





She came up with creative solutions, like using a mechanic tool bin for a kitchen island, and fashioning a kitchen table with two sawhorses and a piece of plywood.



Using OSB boards with a polyurethane finish helps keep the costs down, and keeps in line with the utilitarian nature of the space.



While many windows afford her that precious view of the prairie, a line of windows in the kitchen faces the interior wall of the bin.


Given the extensive customization needed, the total cost for this project wasn’t too bad, coming in at just over $200k (not including the land). Kate Morris’ couldn’t be happier with her prairie castle, and enjoys the creative approach involved with making it a comfortable place to spend her days.

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…



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.


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.


Giving his son a lesson on structural safety…


“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.


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



A living roof of grass and moss covers the roof.


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



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

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.


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.


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.

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?

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.

A Creative Solution For Homeless Housing, Or Just A Pipe Dream?

Homelessness remains a worldwide issue, and in nearly any city or town with a prevalent number of homeless, you’ll find a number of solutions in place. The most popular being a shelter. But what if there was another solution?


This concept from DesignDevelop might seem a little far-fetched at first, but the fact remains they are generating a discussion about the issue, regardless of whether or not their solution is viable. What is their solution you ask? The design firm created a 178 square foot triangular-shaped home with sides that double as a billboard.


Step inside the dwelling and you’re met with a decidedly luxurious looking design. We have to wonder what sort of maintenance would be required should something like this actually serve as a home for the homeless.


The “live-in” billboard is raised off the ground, and is accessible via a small staircase. The only visible hint of what’s sandwiched between the billboard is the rear of the structure, which has a few windows.


There’s a bathroom, shower, toilet, and a raised bed with storage underneath. You’ll also find a galley kitchen and a study area opposite the bed.



While the concept is pretty cool, we have to imagine that living next to a highway would itself violate most zoning laws. Regardless, we comment DesignDevelop for the thought behind their billboard home.

Photos courtesy DesignDevelop