Posted: Jul 3, 2017
Not unlike the Bowerbirds with their resplendent woodland dens, many human’s take a great deal of pride in making their homes unique and compelling – but some are more unusual than others.
This is our exploration of some of the most curious and downright bizarre properties out there.
The Floating Sea Horse
Under the sea… for 2.2 Million !
Lavish underwater homes are a bit of a fantasy at the moment, but the ‘Dubai Seahorse’ houses are apparently going to change all that. These properties have three levels, with the very bottom (which contains the master bedroom and en-suite bathroom) being entirely submerged. Lucky owners/guests in these properties will find wall-to-wall windows that stretch from floor to ceiling, offering an unprecedented view underwater into the stunning turquoise Persia Gulf. As if this isn’t enough, there’s also a coral garden that sits around the rim of this level which is meant to encourage protected marine life to live and flourish there.
Old Clock Tower Apartment – Brooklyn, USA
In Main St, Brooklyn, New York, there sits a clock tower. Concealed within the clock tower is a jaw-dropping triplex penthouse that offers a 360 degree view of the city. Its three floors extend 50 feet and with a glass elevator running straight up the centre, this apartment sounds like something you’d find on a villains’ wish list. The signature clock face windows are on all 4 walls, so the whole apartment is bathed in light. When it was listed for sale in 2009 it was valued at 25 million!
Church Conversion – Utrecht, Netherlands
There’s hundreds of empty churches in the Netherlands and a significant number are being demolished. Rather than let one in particular go to waste, a company by the name of Zecc Architects converted it into a sleek, modern Bauhaus-inspired residence - keeping the towering ceilings, tall windows and ancient doors. The end result is this brilliant-but-a-little-bit-odd interior that wouldn’t look out of place in a German death-metal music video.
Church conversions are ‘so hot right now’. If the idea of owning one floats your boat you can check out some more here.
The Flintstone Home – Malibu, USA
American radio personality and television legend Dick Clark commissioned this stone-age looking home with the intention of building a house that looked like a rock formation. The builders succeeded – although it did end up looking like some kind of gaudy Bedrock lovechild. The Flintstone Home features 360 degree views of the Pacific Ocean, the Channel Islands, Serrano Valley and the Boney Mountains.
Dar-al Hajar – Yemen
Teetering on top of a natural rock formation, the Dar-al Hajar in Yemen is a fantastical Indiana-Jones-secret-temple-looking royal palace that was built in the 1930’s for a spiritual leader by the name of Imam Yahya. It’s notorious for having a huge amount of secret passages threaded throughout its rocky interior – though they’re not so secret now. Imam was assassinated in 1948 so his palace is now a museum.
Transparent House – Japan
For the more… exhibitionistic folks out there, Japan’s ‘transparent house’ might seem ideal. Built by Sou Fujimoto Architects, this house was supposedly inspired by trees. It doesn’t look anything like a tree, but essentially the idea is that you can hear and see your fellow denizens wherever you are in the building. Original? Definitely. A good idea? Well, that depends on how much you value your privacy!
The Transforming Apartment – Hong Kong, China
Designed by Gary Chang, this 344 square foot apartment in Hong Kong is unique in that it transforms. Lovingly titled the ‘Domestic Transformer’ this apartment has walls, beds, cupboards, shelves and everything else that you’d imagine a normal house to have, but they’re all movable. The walls can be relocated, the bed folds (obviously), and the bookshelf can be hidden away to reveal a dish washer.
Bran Castle – Romania
You would be correct for thinking that this castle seems somewhat Dracula-esque. Though Bram Stoker never actually visited Romania, it is said by some that Dracula’s domain was, in fact, based on a description of Bran Castle that was available to Mr Stoker.
The castle perches imposingly on a hilltop some 20 miles south-west of Brasov and comes complete with dungeons that once, quite possibly, held Vlad the Impaler. Ancient Romanian carved woodwork and gargoyles adorn this property, which now exists as a public museum.