World's Wildest Houses IV
It's time for another installment of "Who would ever live there?!" as This Old House shows off 8 more strange abodes, from a car/living room to a plane/boat
You've seen a dog-shaped house and Grandma's Bottle Village. We've taken you to the waters northwest of the Greek Zante Island to see Formodesign's House on Water, and to Tourettes-sur-Loop, France to see Antti Lovag's Bubble House.
In this installment, explore the interior and exteriors of 8 wild houses, including a boat house made from one of Howard Hughes' airplanes and an advance concept lounge-on-wheels that was unveiled at The Venice Biennial just a few months ago.
Yasuhiro Yamashita of Atelier Tekuto Designs built this home for a client in 2006. As any city-dweller knows, parking can be a pain. So, Yamashita sliced into the structure to incorporate a covered car port.
Much like the exterior of the home, the 480-square-foot interior features abstract corners and angles. Furniture, fixtures, and appliances (like the tub shown here) were all selected to follow the angular theme. The placement of windows and the skylight allows natural light to stream into every room of the house.
Architecture and Vision's eco-friendly, high-tech mobile lounge was created with the environment in mind: Solar power elements and rainwater harvesting were incorporated into the design. Lighting, video, and sound components inside the unit—which was displayed at the Biennale di Venezia in 2009—are powered by solar cells in the skylights.
The interior (shown at left, top) can be outfitted for just about any need, but according to the designers, it's meant to be "a cross between a car and a living room." The exterior shell (shown at left, bottom) is made of Carrara marble, which makes for a striking display when underlit at night.
It's true: This castle is in Texas—not some town in southern Europe. The building has served as a Franciscan missionary church in the 1920s, then operated as the San Jose Church until the 1970s. Most recently, the place was an Eastern Orthodox church until the current owners purchased it in 2007.
The current owners spent 1.5 years renovating the castle, based on copious notes and many photos taken during their travels through Europe. They added a lap pool "moat", finished the basement, and of course, put in a few turrets.
Want to see the place for yourself? You can overnight at the castle for about $350 a night. For more information, visit homeaway.com
Casa Neverlandia is the home and pet project of homeowners James Talbot and Kay Pils. Talbot bought it for $13,000 in 1976, when it was just a tiny 1906 bungalow with no studs. Twenty years later, the little bungalow is now the colorful 3-story shown here. The exterior is covered with intricate details from ground to roof, including tile mosaics and materials from Talbot's world travels.
Talbot and Pils were committed to using salvage for the expansion of the property. Some interesting details in the house include a PVC-talk tube: The talk tube functions as an intercom, allowing for communication between the bedroom, kitchen, entryway, and bathroom.
The room shown here is what Talbot calls "one of the altars to the Four Elements." The central shape was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's multi-layered arches and the firebox is a Rumford design.
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Originally a 1939 plane that belonged to aviation innovator Howard Hughes, this Boeing 307 Stratoliner was one of only ten built before production was halted at the start of World War II. In the 1970s, realtor Kenneth W. London saved the flyer from the scrap heap, made it into a boat, and toured the Florida coast with it. It was during this tour that the current owner, David Drimmer, made an offer on the thing.
The 12-foot-wide cabin of the Cosmic Muffin has been remodeled to allow more space to move around, but certain key features remain intact, including original seating and a built-in bar. The boats controls can appropriately be found in the cockpit.
Joshua Tree, California
You wouldn't expect to find a modern 1,700-square-foot home with two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and heated concrete flooring on the other side of the unassuming boulder (shown, bottom). Though the facade of this house completely blends with the rough terrain, the back of the house (also shown, top) offers up ultra-modern design and full views of the desert.
Wall-to-ceiling double-pane glass pocket doors open to a spacious patio, complete with fire pit. Inside there's intricate glass tile work, a modern kitchen with professional stainless steel appliances, and beautiful custom seating in the living area. The house also features a 2-car insulated garage and workshop.
If you're in the market for a wild house—and have about $1.3 million in the bank—this one's for sale. Call 310-858-7355, or visit joshuatreeboulderhouse.com for more information.
Aaron Westgate, an instructor at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont, built this DIY Meditation Temple for just $28. That money went exclusively to the purchase of fasteners, as all other building materials were salvaged. Westgate stacked chunky 2x4s to create the beautiful look of corbelled masonry. Shingles were cut from corrugated galvanized steel, then hand-flattened before being carefully secured atop the roof.
The beauty of the stacked wood echoes inside, but there's not much else to it. And, that's kind of the point. The micro-construction is only meant to offer an isolated, dedicated space for meditation; there's room for you, a seating cushion, and your thoughts.
Los Angeles, California
This grown-up tree house was created by Rockefeller Partners Architects in 2009, and is now home to an art studio. The modern structure, which is stands twelve feet above the ground, is made of steel and features a cedar-paneled exterior.
The interior features walnut panels and floors. Though the backyard retreat is only 170 square feet, all the amenities of home are covered: The place is equipped with a half-bath, daybed, fireplace, and TV. Just outside, should the need for one arise, is a private outdoor shower.