Architecture

Where money's no object, cliff-hangers and aircraft-wing homes can be yours

Where money's no object, cliff...
Our Top 10 most unique luxury homes
Our Top 10 most unique luxury homes
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Casa Brutale started out as a purely conceptual render until a wealthy CEO saw it, fell in love with it, and duly commissioned OPA to build it
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Casa Brutale started out as a purely conceptual render until a wealthy CEO saw it, fell in love with it, and duly commissioned OPA to build it
With an expected price tag of US$2.5 million, the concrete and glass home will perch on the edge of a mountainside near Beirut, Lebanon
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With an expected price tag of US$2.5 million, the concrete and glass home will perch on the edge of a mountainside near Beirut, Lebanon
Inside, it's every inch the Bond baddie's secret lair and will feature thick concrete slabs topped by a reinforced glass pool/roof
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Inside, it's every inch the Bond baddie's secret lair and will feature thick concrete slabs topped by a reinforced glass pool/roof
Casa Brutale is expected to be completed in 2018
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Casa Brutale is expected to be completed in 2018
Inside Casa Brutale
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Inside Casa Brutale
The word shelter generally brings to mind something simple and modest –but with a price tag of $585,000, Vipp's Shelter breaks the mold
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The word shelter generally brings to mind something simple and modest –but with a price tag of $585,000, Vipp's Shelter breaks the mold
Inside the bedroom
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Inside the bedroom
The black steel and glazed prefabricated dwelling measures 55 sq m (592 sq ft)
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The black steel and glazed prefabricated dwelling measures 55 sq m (592 sq ft)
The interior is surprisingly spartan considering its price tag
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The interior is surprisingly spartan considering its price tag
"The shelter is a finished product inspired by large volume objects such as planes, ferries and submarines, where every single screw serves a purpose," says Vipp
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"The shelter is a finished product inspired by large volume objects such as planes, ferries and submarines, where every single screw serves a purpose," says Vipp
The David Hotson-designed SkyHouse occupies the top four floors of a skyscraper in Lower Manhattan
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The David Hotson-designed SkyHouse occupies the top four floors of a skyscraper in Lower Manhattan
With amazing views of landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building, the home was already pretty interesting
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With amazing views of landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building, the home was already pretty interesting
The 80 ft (24 m) slide
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The 80 ft (24 m) slide
SkyHouse's 80 ft (24 m) slide
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SkyHouse's 80 ft (24 m) slide
You can then either leave the slide or continue the journey down to the bottom, ending up in the home's entrance gallery
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You can then either leave the slide or continue the journey down to the bottom, ending up in the home's entrance gallery
Luxury homes don't get much more unique than the 747 Wing House, by David Hertz Architects
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Luxury homes don't get much more unique than the 747 Wing House, by David Hertz Architects
The house features the wings from a Boeing 747-200 as its roof
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The house features the wings from a Boeing 747-200 as its roof
The cockpit windows were repurposed as a skylight, the engine cowling became a fire pit, and the first class cabin became the guest house roof
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The cockpit windows were repurposed as a skylight, the engine cowling became a fire pit, and the first class cabin became the guest house roof
The 747 House
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The 747 House
The 747 House
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The 747 House
The Bjarke Ingels Group-designed Villa Gug is a high-end home for a car enthusiast with an enviable collection
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The Bjarke Ingels Group-designed Villa Gug is a high-end home for a car enthusiast with an enviable collection
inside Villa Gug
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inside Villa Gug
Currently under construction in a rural area near Ålborg, Denmark, the home's looping form starts as a driveway, becomes a private showroom and garage, before opening up into the house proper
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Currently under construction in a rural area near Ålborg, Denmark, the home's looping form starts as a driveway, becomes a private showroom and garage, before opening up into the house proper
Architectural model of Villa Gug
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Architectural model of Villa Gug
Architectural model of Villa Gug
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Architectural model of Villa Gug
Fall House, by San-Francisco's Fougeron is located along California's famous Big Sur coastline
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Fall House, by San-Francisco's Fougeron is located along California's famous Big Sur coastline
The north-facing facade is all glass and offers amazing views of the famous coastline
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The north-facing facade is all glass and offers amazing views of the famous coastline
Inside Fall House
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Inside Fall House
Inside Fall House
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Inside Fall House
Fall House's largely open design encourages natural ventilation, and the on-grid water supply is complemented by a local stream
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Fall House's largely open design encourages natural ventilation, and the on-grid water supply is complemented by a local stream
Newberg Residence, which recently featured in the AIA's 2016 Housing Awards, takes the form of a bridge over a large pond in Newberg, Oregon
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Newberg Residence, which recently featured in the AIA's 2016 Housing Awards, takes the form of a bridge over a large pond in Newberg, Oregon
Entry to the interior is gained via the rear and this includes a kitchen, living/dining room and master bedroom, in addition to a guest house
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Entry to the interior is gained via the rear and this includes a kitchen, living/dining room and master bedroom, in addition to a guest house
Inside the Newberg Residence
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Inside the Newberg Residence
The strangely-named Ancient Party Barn is located within one of England's designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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The strangely-named Ancient Party Barn is located within one of England's designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Ancient Party Barn actually comprises a group of 18th Century agricultural buildings
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Ancient Party Barn actually comprises a group of 18th Century agricultural buildings
Purchased in a dilapidated state, the renovation of Ancient Party Barn was very intensive
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Purchased in a dilapidated state, the renovation of Ancient Party Barn was very intensive
Inside Ancient Party Barn
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Inside Ancient Party Barn
Inside Ancient Party Barn
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Inside Ancient Party Barn
Swiss firm Evolution Design recently completed Flexhouse on the shores of Lake Zurich, Switzerland
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Swiss firm Evolution Design recently completed Flexhouse on the shores of Lake Zurich, Switzerland
Obviously intended as a place to see and be seen, the glass house features a stunning design and a focus on energy-efficiency
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Obviously intended as a place to see and be seen, the glass house features a stunning design and a focus on energy-efficiency
Inside Flexhouse
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Inside Flexhouse
Inside Flexhouse
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Inside Flexhouse
Inside Flexhouse
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Inside Flexhouse
Thermally-activated concrete floors are paired to a geothermal heat pump for heating and cooling in Flexhouse
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Thermally-activated concrete floors are paired to a geothermal heat pump for heating and cooling in Flexhouse
House on the Cliff's unique dragon scale-like facade
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House on the Cliff's unique dragon scale-like facade
Also inspired by Spanish architectural giant Antoni Gaudí, the home is built into the cliff to cut down on cooling requirements
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Also inspired by Spanish architectural giant Antoni Gaudí, the home is built into the cliff to cut down on cooling requirements
Located in the hills of Granada, Spain, the House on the Cliff is very close to where scenes from TV series Game of Thrones is filmed
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Located in the hills of Granada, Spain, the House on the Cliff is very close to where scenes from TV series Game of Thrones is filmed
Inside House on the Cliff
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Inside House on the Cliff
Inside House on the Cliff
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Inside House on the Cliff
Our Top 10 most unique luxury homes
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Our Top 10 most unique luxury homes

It may not be able to buy you love, but money can certainly pay for an architect to design you a one-of-a-kind home. From a fun Manhattan pad with a slide running through it, to a clifftop retreat perfect for a real-life Bond villain, the following luxury homes stand out for their uniqueness and desirability.

Casa Brutale – OPA

Inside, it's every inch the Bond baddie's secret lair and will feature thick concrete slabs topped by a reinforced glass pool/roof
Inside, it's every inch the Bond baddie's secret lair and will feature thick concrete slabs topped by a reinforced glass pool/roof

Casa Brutale was originally an exercise in conceptual architecture with no plans to build it, until a wealthy CEO saw OPA's design, fell in love with it, and duly commissioned the firm to build it. The high-end concrete and glass home is expected to be completed in 2018 and will perch on the edge of a mountainside near Beirut, Lebanon.

Inside, the home looks like the perfect budding Bond villain's secret lair, and will feature thick concrete slabs topped by a reinforced glass pool/roof, with a huge glazed facade offering views of the nearby countryside.

Shelter – Vipp

The black steel and glazed prefabricated dwelling measures 55 sq m (592 sq ft)
The black steel and glazed prefabricated dwelling measures 55 sq m (592 sq ft)

The word shelter generally brings to mind something simple and modest – however, with a price tag of US$585,000, Vipp's Shelter is anything but. The sleek black steel and glazed prefabricated dwelling measures 55 sq m (592 sq ft) and comprises a dining area, kitchen, and living space, a bathroom, and a loft bedroom, the latter of which boasts a glazed ceiling for star-gazing.

"The shelter is a finished product inspired by large volume objects such as planes, ferries and submarines, where every single screw serves a purpose," says the firm.

SkyHouse – David Hotson

The 80 ft (24 m) slide
The 80 ft (24 m) slide

The David Hotson-designed SkyHouse occupies the top four floors of a skyscraper in Lower Manhattan. Boasting amazing views of landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building, the home was already pretty unique, however it became a whole lot more unique with the installation of a climbing column and 80 ft (24 m) slide.

The mirror-polished stainless steel tubular slide is entered at the south end of the home's attic. From here, it runs through the attic, coils around the climbing column, passing a guest bedroom, before slipping through a seamless glass window and over the stairs. You can then either leave the slide or continue the journey down to the bottom, ending up in the home's entrance gallery.

747 Wing House – David Hertz Architects

The house features the wings from a Boeing 747-200 as its roof
The house features the wings from a Boeing 747-200 as its roof

Malibu's 747 Wing House, by David Hertz Architects, is a one-of-a-kind home and features the wings from a Boeing 747-200 as its roof. The idea came from the owner's desire for a floating curved roof and the architecture firm's penchant for using recycled materials in its projects.

The architects actually purchased an entire plane to construct the house, so lots of other 747 parts were left over once the roof was constructed. Little went to waste though: the cockpit windows were repurposed as a skylight, the engine cowling became a fire pit, and the first class cabin became the guest house roof.

Villa Gug – BIG

The Bjarke Ingels Group-designed Villa Gug is a high-end home for a car enthusiast with an enviable collection
The Bjarke Ingels Group-designed Villa Gug is a high-end home for a car enthusiast with an enviable collection

The Bjarke Ingels Group-designed Villa Gug is a high-end home for a car enthusiast with an enviable collection. Currently under construction in a rural area near Ålborg, Denmark, its looping form starts as a driveway, becomes a private showroom and garage, then finally opens up into the house proper.

Villa Gug sports plenty of glazing that looks onto the private garden space and cars, but the exterior consists of an unbroken concrete facade at ground level to lend additional privacy.

Fall House – Fougeron Architects

Fall House, by San-Francisco's Fougeron is located along California's famous Big Sur coastline
Fall House, by San-Francisco's Fougeron is located along California's famous Big Sur coastline

Fall House, by San-Francisco's Fougeron Architects, is located on California's famous Big Sur coastline. The home boasts green technology but is also literally green, as its roof and south-facing facade is made from copper, which is designed to weather as it comes into contact with the sea air. The north-facing facade is all glass and offers amazing views.

Efficient windows were installed throughout the house, as was underfloor radiant hydronic heating. Fall House's largely open design encourages natural ventilation, and the on-grid water supply is complemented by a local stream.

Newberg Residence – Cutler Anderson Architects

Newberg Residence, which recently featured in the AIA's 2016 Housing Awards, takes the form of a bridge over a large pond in Newberg, Oregon
Newberg Residence, which recently featured in the AIA's 2016 Housing Awards, takes the form of a bridge over a large pond in Newberg, Oregon

Newberg Residence, which recently featured in the AIA's 2016 Housing Awards, takes the form of a bridge over a large pond in Newberg, Oregon. The home was carefully landscaped to make it blend in with its surroundings, and visitors must make their approach to it on foot, walking through a nearby forest.

The interior of the home includes a kitchen, dining room and master bedroom, in addition to a guest house. The most interesting room is the lounge though, as this leads right onto the pond and enables occupants to dive right in.

Ancient Party Barn – Liddicoat & Goldhill

The strangely-named Ancient Party Barn is located within one of England's designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The strangely-named Ancient Party Barn is located within one of England's designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The UK's strangely-named Ancient Party Barn comprises a group of 18th Century agricultural buildings. Purchased in a dilapidated state, their renovation was very intensive. For example, the existing oak framing was painstakingly disassembled, removed and then repaired, before finally being put back into place again. It's rare indeed that so much works goes into making a home look untouched.

Liddicoat & Goldhill also fitted large insulated shutters to the home, which open to reveal a huge and very impressive glazed area. This is lifted with an industrial mechanism adapted from a chain lift, opening up the interior of the home to the outside. Elsewhere, Ancient Party Barn also sports an aircraft hangar door imported from the US, which serves as shading.

Flexhouse – Evolution Design

Swiss firm Evolution Design recently completed Flexhouse on the shores of Lake Zurich, Switzerland
Swiss firm Evolution Design recently completed Flexhouse on the shores of Lake Zurich, Switzerland

Swiss firm Evolution Design recently completed Flexhouse on the shores of Lake Zurich, Switzerland. Obviously intended as a place both to see and be seen, the glass house has a stunning design and features a focus on energy-efficiency.

Despite being located in a relatively cramped plot, the home boats three stories (plus basement) and is almost fully glazed, except for a bright white ribbon-like facade running through it. The upper levels include a pair of bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a studio with 180 degree views of Lake Zurich.

Thermally-activated concrete floors are paired to a geothermal heat pump for heating and cooling. In addition, the glass facade is triple-glazed and sports external blinds to reduce heat gain.

House on the Cliff – Gil Bartolomé Architects

Also inspired by Spanish architectural giant Antoni Gaudí, the home is built into the cliff to cut down on cooling requirements
Also inspired by Spanish architectural giant Antoni Gaudí, the home is built into the cliff to cut down on cooling requirements

Located in the hills of Granada, Spain, the House on the Cliff is not far from where scenes from TV series Game of Thrones is filmed – which is fitting, because its scale-like undulating roof and facade is designed to resemble a dragon looking out to sea.

Inspired by the work of Spanish architectural giant Antoni Gaudí, the home is built into the cliff to cut down on cooling requirements. The firm says that being part-buried into the hillside enables the home to maintain a constant interior temperature of 19.5º C (67.1º F) all year round without any air-conditioning or heating, including during the scorching Spanish summer.

That rounds out our look at unique luxury homes, be sure to head to the gallery to see more photos of each.

4 comments
telocity
These homes are unique, but that does not mean they are desirable. Perhaps it is the interpretation of what is desirable, to me it is a place I WANT to live in. To others it may be a place to show off how rich they are. That is not to say all these houses are unlivable, but some I definitely would not want to be in, like the flex house. I like the earthship homes. efficient, sustainable, quiet, cool and also unique. A really great place to live.
Buellrider
The VIPP should be renamed the Rip. I mean, what exactly is worth even 1/5 of the price they are asking for essentially a couple of cargo containers welded together. Good luck to sell even one of those things.
Lawnmowerman
Most of these look as if they have had some money spent on shake resistance, which seems to be curiously lacking in houses in earthquake areas. This is probably because the mass produced houses are built to the low snow and wind loads.
EH
Glad to see Gaudi getting some honor, modern architecture is usually nothing but endless rehashes of Wright, Corbusier, and van der Rohe. Gaudi would have used a tile roof, though, possibly polychrome; catenary arches and vaulting, stonework or masonry - and even if that weren't in the budget he would never have used the ugly stock flat concrete seen here, but would have covered it in custom-made tile or at least used colored and textured concrete. The world would be so much better if architects would copy Gaudi instead of inflicting more anti-human glass-box atrocities.