Most unusual homes

Victor Moore’s Junk Castle in Washington State

image from: http://david-patterson.blogspot.com

image from: http://david-patterson.blogspot.com

There was this guy who lived in Washington State who wanted to do something funky for his Master of Fine Arts thesis so he built a castle out of junk in his yard.

image from: http://david-patterson.blogspot.com

image from: http://david-patterson.blogspot.com

He used all salvaged materials from a local junkyard and a nearby defunct rock quarry. This happened back in 1970 so it was probably quite a sensation at the time. The guy’s name was Victor Moore and he went on to teach high school art and to inspire hundreds of students to do more with less, so to speak.

image from: http://david-patterson.blogspot.com

image from: http://david-patterson.blogspot.com

In fact, these wonderful photographs were taken by one of Moore’s former students.

image from: http://david-patterson.blogspot.com

image from: http://david-patterson.blogspot.com

The “Junk Castle” is located outside of Pullman, Washington.

The castle is the main draw, but there are other sculptures and structures scattered throughout the property.

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Isle of Capri’s strange and seductive Casa Malaparte

image from: travelmodus.com

image from: travelmodus.com

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.

image from: brunomaxwel.wordpress.com

image from: brunomaxwel.wordpress.com

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.

image from: proiektuak1-nuriasacristan.blogspot.com

image from: proiektuak1-nuriasacristan.blogspot.com

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.

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You can buy the tiniest house in Toronto!

image from: www.vallis.ca

image from: www.vallis.ca

Both of my bathrooms are larger than this house. It measures in at 189 square feet, and unfortunately, it does not actually have a bathroom. But it does have a bedroom (area), kitchen (area) and living room (area).

image from: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/

image from: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/

This garden-shed sized cottage is located close to my old neighborhood in The Beaches area of Toronto, Canada.

And it is cute…

image from: www.vallis.ca/listings

image from: www.vallis.ca/listings

….and you do get somewhat of a yard.

But for $229,000?

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The craziest house in Kansas City

image from: kc.modernhometours.com

image from: kc.modernhometours.com

On a tree-lined residential street in Kansas City, Missouri, amidst older colonial style homes, sits the neighborhood blemish. You know, the one that makes drivers slam on their brakes and say – “Look at THAT thing!”

The Nichol House was designed by child prodigy/architect guru of funkiness Bruce Goff. Known for his organic twist on modern home design, Goff began apprenticing with a Tulsa, Oklahoma architectural firm at the age of 12. In his mid twenties, he made firm partner.

image from: http://kc.modernhometours.com

image from: http://kc.modernhometours.com

The Nichol House was designed in 1965 by Goff and built the same year by Michael Rothstein Construction.

The Nichol House has many groovy and unexpected features, first and foremost being the octagonal floor plan with a central fireplace and water feature. The great room at the center of the house also features a suspended genuine Sputnik satellite.

image from: http://kc.modernhometours.com

image from: http://kc.modernhometours.com

Not only was Bruce Goff a bona-fide boy-wonder genius, he was also a kid at heart. He died in 1982 but many of his far-out designs continue to enliven and embolden the American mid-west.

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The Ephraim Shay House

image from: www.flickr.com

image from: www.flickr.com

The Shay Hexagon House was designed and built by a guy named Ephraim Shay in 1890. He actually sheaved the house inside and out with stamped metal!

This unique home is located in the lakeside resort town of Harbor Springs in northern Michigan.

image from: livability.com

image from: livability.com

So who was this industrious fellow?

Ephraim Shay  was born in 1839 in Ohio. He is known for designing the first Shay locomotive and he subsequently patented the brand.

In addition to the geared steam locomotive that made him famous, Ephraim Shay designed, built and operated the Harbor Springs Water Works, and, created a steel yacht from galvanized sheet metal called “the Aha”.

image from: harborlightnews.com

image from: harborlightnews.com

Shay was both an inventor and a builder so naturally, his ingenuity transferred to his personal residence as well.

Completed by the year 1892, the Hexagon house was built from stamped steel on both the interior and exterior. The home has six large hexagon-shaped rooms that join in a central section which is open to the second floor. The central portion forms a tower with – you guessed it – 6 sides.

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~ House Crazy Sarah ~

Sarah Felix Burns

"So many houses, so little time"






Featured house artist:

Naomi Maddux - custom stained glass and mosaics

Featured house artist:

Julia Callon featured on Wondereur

(Click on the images above to learn more about these artists)

Featured house books:

Creating the Artful Home
Mushroom House of Charlevoix

(Click on the book cover images for purchase information)

My first novel

JACKFISH - The Vanishing Village

My second novel

Song Over Quiet Lake
Rivit Media Publisher