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Weird, Wacky and Wonderful Designs from Around the World

26 January 2015

Most of us only know what it's like to live in brick buildings, with average walls, windows and doors. But there are houses all over the world that couldn't be any more different. Check out these spectacular buildings that people call home. Whether it's a shell, a hobbit house or a house inspired by the Flinstones, they all offer a unique way of life, and a place to live that is just as much art as it is home.

Flinstones Retreat House, Malibu. 

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in the stone age? Or live in a cave? No, neither have we but you might change your mind after seeing this Malibu Romantic Flinstones Retreat House. The single storey structure, which was owned by the late American television and radio legend, Dick Clark, looks just like the home of Fred and Wilma from the classic 60's cartoon, The Flinstones. The house sits on 23 acres, has one bedroom and two bathrooms with a 360 degree view of the mountains, the city lights and the Pacific Ocean. This amazing house was designed by architect Phillip Jon Brown who wanted to create a house that looked like a rock formation situated next to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational area and that's exactly what he did. The interior design of the house is made from wood and steel beams covered with concrete, with irregular shapes and ragged lines to mimic the texture of rocks, whilst stones were integrated to the concrete on the exterior to make it look like real rock. After almost three years on the market, at an asking price of $3.5 million, Dick Clark's Malibu property has finally sold - albeit for less than the entertainer's family were hoping for. According to Trulia, the home sold on December 17 for the unusual price of $1,777,777. 

 

The Nautilus, Mexico. 

This amazing shell shaped house was designed by architect Javier Sensonian of Arquitectura Organica and built in 2006. He practices what he calls "bio-architecture", a style that has led him to design buildings shaped like snakes, whales and several other creatures. The Nautilus, as strange as it looks, is a real house, with stone steps running along shrubs that lead to the front door, which blends into a giant wall of coloured mosaics, lighting up the living space in a stunning rainbow effect. The house is dominated by smooth surfaces, spiral stairs and the interior is filled with vegetation and small trees to makes it feel like you’re living inside a shell. The construction really is something special.  

 The Hobbit House, Wales. 

Simon Dale spent only £3000 on this hillside home in Wales and built it in less than four months, using all natural materials and little more than a chainsaw, chisel and hammer. The house, which resembles those found in the popular JRR Tolkien's books The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, is designed with maximum regard for the environment and is ecologically sustainable. After digging into the hillside, Mr Dale, along with his step father, constructed the buildings timber frame and covered it with a layer of earth to ensure the house blended perfectly into the surroundings. After six years of living in the hobbit house, Mr Dale left it for the woodland workers passing through the beautiful surroundings.


Transparent House, Japan. 

If you've got nothing to hide, then you'd feel right at home in this transparent house in Tokyo, Japan. Known as "House NA", this 914 square-foot house was built by Sou Fujimoto Architects and offers plenty of daylight... but not much privacy. Associated with the concept of living within a tree, the interior is comprised of 21 individual floor plates, all situated at various heights. Each floor plate is linked by a variety of stairs and ladders, including fixed and moveable steps. 

Sou Fujimoto states, “The white steel-frame structure itself shares no resemblance to a tree. Yet the life lived and the moments experienced in this space is a contemporary adaptation of the richness once experienced by the ancient predecessors from the time when they inhabited trees. Such is an existence between city, architecture, furniture and the body, and is equally between nature and artificiality.”