World's Wildest Houses III
This Old House has assembled 8 more quirky domicles, from a made-to-order treehouse for grown-ups to a village assembled entirely of bottles
We've shown you everything from the Upside-Down House in Poland to the Onion House in Hawaii. Here are 8 more wild houses, including a few over-the-top DIY endeavors and some houses that are sure to appeal to your inner kid. (Treehouse, anyone?) And, as you've requested in past installments of World's Wildest Houses, we've included interior shots this time around.
Got a wild house of your own? Or, live near a building you think puts these houses to shame? Upload photos of and tell us about your favorites at the TOH Community, and you could see your submission featured here.
This beagle-shaped inn was built in 1997 by chainsaw artists Dennis Sullivan and Frances Conklin, who sold enough chainsaw wood carvings on QVC one year to invest in their pet(!) project. The main building, named Sweet Willy, is accompanied by a 12-foot-high wood carving of another beagle named Toby.
This project, by Kavellaris Urban Design, was a finalist in the 2009 Australian Institute of Architects Awards. It was designed to challenge the urban constraints of orientation and sustainability. The unit moves fluidly from private to public, thanks to a facade that goes from opaque to translucent via "perforated" panels and glass walls that open to flood the place with natural light.
Operable walls, doors, and curtains allow for a completely customizable environment in a limited inner city space. The interior of the two bedroom property features loads of built-in storage, solar hot water, polished-concrete and bluestone flooring, and a five-star energy rating. The stand-out building recently sold for over $700K.
Simi Valley, California
Tressa "Grandma" Prisbrey upcycled tens of thousands of bottles to create 15 life-sized structures on a third of an acre. The mother of seven started the project in 1956 and went on building with bottles and mortar for the next 25 years.
Recognized by the art community as a significant accomplishment, Grandma's Bottle Village was added to The National Register of Historic Places. Preservationists hope the honor will bring attention to the disrepair of the place, which was significantly damaged by an earthquake in 1994.
Baumraum, a treehouse design company, created this hideaway. It is accessible by way of a beautiful deck and catwalk, both constructed of Tatajuba wood. The zinc-topped unit rests atop sturdy steel stilts.
This unit was built for a couple to be a grown-up getaway. But Baumraum will make yours to order. "Our big focus in the planning and construction of the houses is careful handling of the trees," architect Andreas Wenning says. Treehouses can feature custom skylights and beds, as shown here. They can also be wired for electricity or plumbed for a small bathroom.
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, Missouri
A 24-year-old named Ziggy built this eco-friendly cob house (also known as "The Gobcobatron") for about $3,000. Over nine months and with the help of about 75 visitors and friends, Ziggy "stomped" 219 batches of cob—that is, he literally pounded his feet over a barely wet mixture of straw, clay, and sand, molding it into curvy walls. "When designing my cob house, it was a goal to keep building costs very low and obtain as many building materials as locally as possible," the builder says.
Northwest Coast of the Greek Zante Island
Poland's Le 2 Workshop made this concrete and steel floating home to be fully powered by surrounding water and sunlight. The structure cantilevers from a central core and is stabilized by a concrete counterweight.
Innovative technology complements the ultramodern living quarters: The luxury house-boat features water desalination, natural ventilation, an automated shading system, and more.
Den Haag, Netherlands
European tire crafters, Millegomme, created this structure for a client who wanted extra office space inside his house. Instead, builders Denis Oudendijk and Jan Korbesteam convinced the homeowner to put his "garden house" to better use. After demolishing the old structure, the team reused the wood they tore down, along with glass salvaged from a closed business nearby and recycled car tires from a local garage.
The four-season office and storage space is accessed by a side door, and ventilation is provided by four rooftop registers. Skylights provide plenty of natural light. "During the first winter, wind, rain, and snow tested the prototype and encouraged us to build more independent units," Oudendijk said.
This structure was built in 1923 to house the water supply for the village of Thorpeness. In an effort to make the tower less of an eyesore, architects Glencairne Stuart Ogilvie and F. Forbes Glennie decided to throw a charming little cottage on top of it, which would house the water tank itself. When the structure outlived its usefulness, the waterworks were removed in 1979 and the place now serves as an inn called House in the Clouds. It now sits adjacent to a golf course and features unparalleled views of the sea at Suffolk Heritage Coast.