Would you, could you, live in a box? A significantly tilted box – suspended above the street?
Well some hip urban folks in Rotterdam in the Netherlands have been embracing the concept for several decades now. This cluster of cube homes was designed by architect Piet Blom in 1984 to address high density housing issues while allowing for sufficient space on ground level for pedestrian activities.
Each cube house is tilted at a 45 degree angle and perched upon a hexagon-shaped pylon. The entire cluster of cube homes is meant to represent a village within a city where “each house represents a tree, and all the houses together, a forest.” [source]
A forest………. interesting.
Known officially as Kubuswoningen, there are 40 cube houses that make up the development.
On the eastern side of Italy’s Isle of Capri is an unusual house known as Casa Malaparte.
The design was conceived around the year 1937 by famed Italian architect Adalberto Libera. The client he prepared the plans for, however, rejected Libera’s drawings and fired him. The client – writer Curzio Malaparte - went on to build the house himself with the assistance of a local stonemason.
It would not be overly dramatic to say that this home was born of conflict. Architects can be cantankerous creatures. When they are paired with artistic clients who have a strong vision of their own, conflicts are inevitable.
Nonetheless, Casa Malaparte came into being and has been enchanting the waters of Gulf of Salerno for over 70 years now.
The structure is basically a masonry box with reverse pyramidal stairs leading up to the wide roof-top patio. The design alone is daring, but add in the fact that Casa Malaparte is perched precariously 32 meters above sea level on a drastic cliff, and you have one spectacular home.
Since I am up in Canada for the summer, I thought I’d take a closer look at the largest house in Canada. No Queen of Versailles bling-bling here – this sleek thing is way out in the Canadian wilderness.
The setting is pristine and remote but the house clocks in at more square feet that the American White House!
65,000 square feet to be exact – that’s the same size as Bill Gates’ house!
It is located near the town of Haileybury in north-eastern Ontario, along the shores of Lake Temiskaming.
(See map below)
When you think of Frank Lloyd Wright, probably the last thing to come to mind is adobe constuction. Frank Lloyd Wright is famous for his signature prairie style of architecture so it is somewhat surprising that he designed one of the most beautiful abode homes in the American southwest.
Located just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, this home goes far beyond the traditional adobe box. The plans were drawn up by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1942 after he was commissioned by newspaperman Lloyd Burlington. He based his plans on an earlier design he first started working on in 1928.
Unfortunately, Wright died in 1959 so he did not live to see his design for the adobe completed.
Another developer eventually expanded the design and had the house built, but it was not actually finished until 1984. From first drawing to date of completion, it took a whopping 56 years!
At the request of a reader who is searching for a home in Big Sur, California, I am featuring three Big Sur homes today for comparison. So let’s see which one you would pick!
The first one is a Mickey Muennig designed remodel of a 1977 home.
[A quick note about Big Sur: Big Sur isn't really a city or a town, it is more of a sparsely populated area that runs along the California central coast, south of San Francisco. Most of the homes there have sprawling secluded properties, great views of the Pacific Ocean, and are très expensive.]
This particular home is listed for $2,995,000.
According to the Trulia.com website, the estimated monthly payment at that sales price (with 20% down) would be $13,409 a month!
But what a wonderful contemporary home – look at those gleaming dyed concrete floors and the triangular clerestory windows!