Gravity Defying Homes
April 26, 2008 7:33 PM   Subscribe

Gravity Defying Homes Image gallery of some pretty funky homes. {via Daily Dose of Architecture}
posted by doug3505 (19 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

They should've mentioned that Moshe Sadfie's Habitat 67 was built one cube at a time and piled up by crane.
posted by loiseau at 7:48 PM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

In my suburb, the lovely old Californian bungalows are being pulled down and replaced with French Colonial, Georgian and Tuscan monster houses. The trees are going too.

I'd like to see more like this
posted by mattoxic at 8:28 PM on April 26, 2008

Those are very cool. I like the ones that, like Habitat 67, are built to maximize sunlight and to provide a patio for each apartment. So much nicer than the boxy apartments that's all we generally have to choose from.
posted by gemmy at 8:30 PM on April 26, 2008

The cube houses are driving me insane! I want to see inside but can't find anything on Google. Thanks for the link, what fun.
posted by robinrs at 9:05 PM on April 26, 2008

Good stuff. Thanks, doug.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:38 PM on April 26, 2008

I want a hanging ball! A bunch of them, all connected by pathways, high up in the trees.

I'd settle for trees, really. Trees big enough for that aren't easy to find on the Lone Prairie. But a compound of balls is now officially on my wish list.
posted by dejah420 at 10:18 PM on April 26, 2008

I read that as "gravity defying homos" and I was like, damn, those are some light loafers!

[this is sweet] Mmm, architecture porn.
posted by Eideteker at 10:30 PM on April 26, 2008

When I looked at the first one ("gangster house") it reminded me of the bath-house in Miyazaki's Spirited Away.
posted by Class Goat at 10:48 PM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

That is one goddamned annoying website.
  1. Gangster House (Archangelsk, Russia)
    Though incomplete, the “Gangster House” is believed to be the world's tallest wooden house, soaring thirteen floors to reach 144 feet (about half the size of London’s Big Ben). The homeowner or gangster, Nikolai Sutyagin, had all intentions of finishing the construction but his dream went on hold when he got locked up behind bars for his third jail sentence. Now out of jail and out of money, the ex-convict lives at the bottom of this precarious tower of wood.
  2. Free Spirit Houses (British Columbia, Canada)
    These wooden spheres can be hung from any solid surface (tree, cliff, bridge, etc.) and are accessed by a spiral stairway or a short suspension bridge. A web of rope grasps onto a strong point, essentially replacing the foundation of a conventional building. You can anchor points on the top and bottom to prevent swinging or just let it loose and enjoy the ride.
  3. Upside-Down House (Syzmbark, Poland)
    This upside down design seems totally nonsensical–but that is exactly the message the Polish philanthropist and designer, Daniel Czapiewski, was trying to send. The unstable and backward construction was built as a social commentary on Poland’s former Communist era. The monument is worth a trip be it for a lesson in history or balance.
  4. Cactus House (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
    Cool-looking would be a good enough reason for us, but this housing design was created to maximize each apartment’s outdoor space and indoor sunlight. The splaying stack of slabs creates big terraces for gardening and the irregular shape allows sun to enter from multiple angles.
  5. Floating Castle (Ukraine)
    Supported by a single cantilever, this mysterious levitating farm house belongs in a sci-fi flick. It’s claimed to be an old bunker for the overload of mineral fertilizers but we’re sure there’s a better back story . . . alien architects probably had a hand in it.
  6. Mushroom House (Cincinnati, Ohio)
    So disparate in materials and shapes this hodgepodge house looks like its been welded and glued together. But this is no hobo-construction, it was designed by the professor of architecture and interior design at the University of Cincinnati, Terry Brown, and was recently on the market for an estimated $400K.
  7. Cube House (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
    Living in a tilted house is much easier than it looks—just ask the people living in these the Kijk-Kubus homes. Architect Piet Blom tipped a conventional house forty-five degrees and rested it upon a hexagon-shaped pole so that three sides face down and the other three face the sky. Each of the cube houses accommodates three floors: a living space including a kitchen, study and bathroom, the middle floor houses bedrooms and the top is the pyramid room that can act like an attic or viewing deck. These houses are quite expensive, but you can satisfy your curiosity by visiting the museum show house.
  8. Extreme Tree House (Irian Jana, Indonesia)
    The Korowai and Kombai clans carved out clearings of the remote part of the low-land forest to make way for these extreme tree houses. Unlike the typical tree houses that are nestled in branches, these dwellings are perched on the tip tops of the treesfully exposed to the elements. But we aren’t sure what’s scarier a strong gust of wind or the ladder they use to get up there.
  9. Wozoco Apartments (Amsterdam-Osdorp, Holland)
    A zoning law and blueprint flub were the inspiration for this apartment complex. Dutch housing regulations require apartment construction to provide a certain amount of daylight to their tenants–but MVRDV architects forgot to plan for that. Their solution? To hang thirteen of the 100 units off the north facade of the block. The ingenious design saves ground floor space and allows enough sunlight to enter the east or west facade.
  10. Heliotrope Rotating House (Freiburg, Germany)
    Green to the extreme, Architect Rolf Disch built a solar powered home that rotates towards the warm sun in the winter and rotates back toward its well-insulated rear in the summer. A house that spins in circles doesn’t sound too stable to us, but for the environment it is worth the risk.
  11. Berman House (Joadja, Australia)
    Surrounded by lush vegetation and wild animals of the outback, this striking split-level cliff house hangs over a deep river cut-canyon. We don’t know what makes this house more thrilling—the looking down from the plank-like living room or all those wild animals.
  12. Habitat 67 (Montreal, Canada)
    Apartments connect and stack like Lego blocks in Montreal's Habitat 67. Without a traditional vertical construction, the apartments have the open space that most urban residences lack, including a separate patio for each apartment.
  13. Single Hausz (Anywhere)
    Inspired by a city billboard, this rendering of the pole-supported Single Hausz only needs a few feet of land to hold a home. And it can be installed in a variety of ground conditions so it can relocate to wherever your heart desires.
  14. Pod House (New Rochelle, New York)
    We assumed this oddball home was UFO-inspired, but it turns out the weed Queen Anne’s lace is where it got it's roots. Its thin stems support pods with interconnecting walkways.
  15. Rozak House (Darwin, Australia)
    It’s pretty gutsy to build a stilt-house in cyclone country, but these residents came prepared. Even if Mother Nature knocked their house off the grid, their solar power panels and rainwater collection systems would keep them self-sufficient. Take that, cyclone!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:05 AM on April 27, 2008 [4 favorites]

That is one goddamned annoying website.

Oh, thank you C_D.

If I ever meet a web designer or developer that willfully admitted to using automatically playing slide shows that constantly refresh or unpause or offer no option to turn it all the fuck off I swear on Cthulhu's undead, bloody anus that I'm going to put my fucking stink-boot so far up their ass they could trim my grotty toenails with their teeth. Oh, fuck yes. There will be blood, motherfucker.

I'm so looking at you, Forbes. Why the hell are all of your slideshows set at like less than one second per frame? You generally have several paragraphs of text per frame, and then a picture to look at. Why are you even using slide shows at all? What the hell is wrong with a nice set of "forward" and "back" buttons? ARGH. FOR FUCK'S SAKE, WHY, OH GOD WHY? I COMMAND YOU TO STOP DOING THAT.

*breathes, ceases intense ranting*

Err, nice post. I like the "cactus house" and "habitat 67", which I haven't seen yet.
posted by loquacious at 4:54 AM on April 27, 2008

Including the photoshopped "Floating castle" devalues the rest of the pictures.
posted by Idcoytco at 6:40 AM on April 27, 2008

I'd love to see pictures of the insides of these places. Some, like the Cactus House, are probably fairly conventional, but those tilted cubes must make for some interesting living spaces. I hope they come with built-in furniture, because most furniture assumes straight walls perpendicular to the floor. Weird curves and angles would make for a lot of wasted space. Nonetheless, I bet it would be fun to live in one (except for those dangling treehouses, which would make me seasick treesick every time the wind blows).
posted by Quietgal at 8:43 AM on April 27, 2008

I'm not even sure Cactus House really exists... The photo looks like an architectural rendering and when I did a google search for "Catcus House Rotterdam" all the results pointed to this page! If anyone has any more information on the Cactus House, I'd be eager to hear. I think its beautiful and fascinating and would love to see more pictures and hear if its real, planned or just whimsy.
posted by PigAlien at 9:44 AM on April 27, 2008

Hm. I'm a tad annoyed now that these are not all actual houses, but some are just fakes (the floating castle) and proposed designs (the "Cactus House" is the Urban Cactus, the pic is of a model far as I can tell). I'm off to verify the others.
posted by gemmy at 10:49 AM on April 27, 2008

Glad to see the trailblazing Rolf Disch's Heliotrop on the list, but it neglected the most salient point about his home: over the course of a year, it produces more energy than it consumes. Up the block, he's turned the prototype into an entire townhouse community.
posted by gompa at 12:12 PM on April 27, 2008

1. Gangster House - Real
2. Free Spirit Houses - Real
3. Upside-Down House - Real (An art sculpture, not lived in)
4. Cactus House - Concept Only (Website of supposed architect broken.)
5. Floating Castle - Almost certainly a photoshop (Not a house, per se, likely a grain or fertilizer storage building.)
6. Mushroom House - Real. (Seems to have actually been up for sale in 2006.)
7. Cube House - Real (aka "Kubus woningen" and a popular tourist attraction.)
8. Extreme Tree House - Real (Mark and Olli live in one on the Discovery Channel)
9. Wozoco Apartments - Real
10. Heliotrope Rotating House - Real (The architect lives in it.)
11. Berman House - Real (Currently up for sale!)
12. Habitat 67 - Real
13. Single Hausz - Described as "a rendering", so is not real.
14. Pod House - Real (Actually in Rochester, and is usually called "the mushroom house".)
15. Rozak House - Real

Most of these were real, so that made me feel better. Looking for them, I also found this list of cool houses that's got lots more neat ones.
posted by gemmy at 12:31 PM on April 27, 2008

I had been driving for about 14 hours when I drove past that basket house from your link, gemmy, and man, did it weird me out.
posted by Snyder at 1:36 PM on April 27, 2008

Also, this home previously featured on Metafilter, while not exactly gravity-defying, certainly has to pay the same kind of respect to gravity as the ones on this list... and has one of the best views of any them to boot.

It was for sale... don't know if it is any longer.

Oh, thank you C_D.

Gotta keep my rep up. Plus, that fucking shit offends me, professionally.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:42 PM on April 27, 2008

You can rent the Free Spirit Spheres for a few nights? Coolest. Vacation. Idea. Ever.
posted by thisjax at 8:43 PM on April 27, 2008

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