Bricks and mortor may do for most of us, but there are some people out there who want to live somewhere just a little bit different. We've had a look at some of the more unusual places people call home; designs that even the old women who lived in a shoe would think are crazy. Some are born out of necessity, others out of an unstoppable desire. But no matter which, these beautiful, creative and downright wacky structures are what make this world such a fun place to be. Take a look at the list of unusual homes below.
1) Plastic Bottle House, El Salvador
This is Maria Ponce. This 76 year old lives in the village of El Borbollon, in the San Miguel Province of El Salvador. She didn't have enough money to build herself a regular home, so she looked for an alternative option. Thousands of discarded plastic bottles are roped together to form the walls, floor and roof of her cosy home.
2) Dotty Wotty House, Detroit
This house is a work of love by American artist Tyree Guyton. After serving in the army, Guyton returned to his old neighbourhood only to find it a shadow of its former self. He was so shocked by how much the area had deteriorated that he began painting a series of houses in the street with vibrant polka dots. Over the years, this simple act changed a rough neighbourhood (where people were afraid to walk, even in the daytime), into one where the residents are proud to call it home.
The Nautilus House is styled on the mollusc of the same name. Created by Mexican architect Javier Senosiain, the house was designed to make the owners feel like they were living inside a seashell. An entire wall is taken over by a large stained-glass mosaic that casts wonderful rainbow-coloured pinpoints of light throughout the house.
4) Cube Houses, Holland
These cube houses are the brainchild of architect Piet Blom. Blom was asked by Rotterdam town planners to solve the dilemma of building houses on top of a pedestrian bridge. These Kubuswoningen, or cube houses, were his solution. Tilted at a 45 degree angle on a hexagon-shaped pylon, these oddly-shaped houses are surprisingly spacious, each with several floors of living space.
5) Crooked House, Poland
The Krzywy Domek, Polish for 'the crooked house', was built in 2004 in Sopot, Poland. This three storey building was dreamed up by Polish architect Szotynscy Zaleski, created in homage to fairytale illustrator Jan Marcin Szancer. It's a design that will play tricks on your eyes, like the whole world is melting around you.
6) The House in the Clouds, Suffolk
A red cottage perched high on top of a four storey box is not typical of the architecture found in rural Suffolk. Built in 1923, the House in the Clouds disguises a 50,000 gallon water tank that once blighted the skyline. In 1977, the local village got a mains water supply so the water tower could be converted into a living space.
Here's one way to create some affordable housing in London. Shipping containers, normally used to transport goods around the planet, are being repurposed in East London to create homes for an entire community. Container City took just four days to build, and five months to refurbish, and offers residential accommodation as well as office space.
8) The Headington Shark, Oxfordshire
There are very few houses in the world that have a giant fibreglass shark protruding from the roof. In fact, number 2, New High Street in Haddington, Oxford is probably the only one. The shark first appeared on the 9th August, 1986 to mixed reactions. Created by sculptor John Buckley and installed at the request of owner Bill Heine, 'Untitled 1986' was put in place to mark the 41st anniversary of the use of an atomic weapon on Nagasaki. Many have tried to get the shark removed over the years, but thankfully it's still there and has turned into somewhat of a local landmark.
9) That Roundhouse, Wales
Homes don't get much more eco-friendly than 'That Roundhouse' in Wales. This hobbit-style house is entirely made of wood and other recycled materials, including a straw-insulated turf roof. It was designed and built by Tony Wrench in 1997, despite being turned down for planning permission several times. In 2004, it was scheduled for demolition but huge public support overturned the verdict. With solar panelling and a wind turbine for electricity, it's almost entirely self-sufficient.
10) 1-Square Meter House, Berlin
How about a hotel room that's small enough to carry around with you? It's the brain wave of German architects Van Bo Le-Mentzel, designed to be a “house for everybody”. It costs about €250 and can fit inside a lift and on the underground. It's waterproof and equipped with a lockable door and sliding window. Stand it upright when you're awake, and then roll it onto its side when it's time for bed.
11) The House of Stone, Portugal
Located in the Fafe mountains of northern Portugal, The House of Stone is exactly that. Built between four large boulders, the house has attracted world-wide acclaim for being so perfectly integrated into its surroundings. This real-life Flintstones home has a fireplace and even a swimming pool, carved out of another large rock.
12) The UFO house
During the late 1960s, early 1970s, strange, spherical houses began appearing across America. They were Futuro houses, designed by Matti Suuronen. With their distinctive 1950s Hollywood flying saucer-like shape, these houses were set to be the prefabricated home of the future. Sadly for Suuronen, not everyone shared his vision and less than 100 of these houses were ever built.
Located on a Tokyo side street, this completely see-through house is the creation of architect firm, Sou Fujimoto. Built over many different levels, House NA gives you all the natural light you could wish as the entire structure is made out of glass. Beautiful to look at, this building does lack one major thing however: privacy.
This is possibly the thinnest house in the world, and definitely a testament to the ingenuity of mankind. Inserted between two existing buildings in central Warsaw, The Keret House is only 122cm across its widest part. It began life as an art installation and is now serving as a temporary home for travelling writers.
15) The Old Mill, France
The Old Mill of Vernon straddles two piers of an ancient bridge over the Seine. The bridge itself was greatly used, so much so that it had to be re-built several times over the years. This enchanting timber-clad building was one of five mills stretched out across its length and only survived thanks to its position next to the river bank. The Old Mill has since been a source of much inspiration for many painters, the most famous of which is Monet.
Well, it goes to show that as long as you have four walls and a roof, you can live virtually anywhere. But before you go selling your home for one carved out of a tree, or made out of a disused submarine, share this article on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Or if you have a favourite, let us know in the comment section below.
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