Posted: Nov 12, 2015
1. Ecocapsule, anywhere
If you fantasise about living in the middle of nowhere, totally off-grid and self-sufficient, this may be the concept for you. This mobile capsule has its own wind turbine and solar panels, and harvests rainwater for the shower. The egg-shaped structure is snug, at just 4.5m long, but beautifully formed and will easily fit onto a trailer. The first units will be ready to ship next year.
2. Watervilla de Omval, Amsterdam
If your vision of the future is more Waterworld than Mad Max, a floating house might be just the ticket. This low-profile, streamlined design hugs the River Amstel in Amsterdam. Its open-plan living space maximises the river views, while the bedrooms are tucked away on the lower deck.
3. Wilkinson Residence, Portland, Oregon
A music enthusiast, Roy Wilkinson, wanted to be able to sit in his home and listen to the birdsong as if it was inside. To achieve this aim, the architect, Robert Oshatz, designed curves and spirals rather than straight lines, to disperse the sound waves evenly throughout the interior spaces. The steep site means that the living rooms are level with the tree canopy and the use of curving cedar and undulating wood links the inside and outside seamlessly.
4. Cloud Corridor, Los Angeles
Living in the sky seems an appropriate idea of the City of Angels. MAD Architects have conceived a high-density, vertical living scheme, with the skyscrapers linked and overflowing with greenery. This firm of architects is already building a mixed use plaza in Beijing, following similar eco-friendly and futuristic principals.
5. Chemosphere, Los Angeles
The Space Race was a universal distraction in the Swinging Sixties, and this 1960 house buys into that vision of the future. The architect, the late John Lautner, came up with what looks like a UFO on a concrete pillar. This was partly in response to the steeply sloping site and partly in line with Lautner’s principles of organic modernism – at odds with the starker Bauhaus styles of the day. The current owner, publisher Benedikt Taschen, likens his home to a vintage car. More difficult to maintain but with its own distinct personality.
6. The Edge, Queensland, Australia £3m (A$6.5m)
This angular house perched above Port Douglas, projects its living space over the hillside to give total privacy and panoramic views. The shell-like concrete structure won Building of the Year in May for its “impressive response to a difficult site”. The views over the coast are fabulous, framed below by the infinity lap pool. There are just two bedrooms in this open-plan space, plus a day bed on the balcony, but with vistas this good, who’d want to sleep?
7. H3, Athens, Greece
Designed to reflect the owner’s love of yachts, this catamaran of a house perches above cooling pools. The eco-friendly concept uses geothermal technology, solar power, and rainwater harvesting to lessen its impact on the environment and reduce energy consumption. It allows the house to warm up and retain heat in the winter and protects the interior from the full force of the sun in summer.
8. Casa Gomes, Cancun, Mexico
The vision for this ultra-modern villa in Puerto Cancun’s gated community was to combine inside and outside living and make the most of the spectacular views over the canal to the city beyond. This has been achieved by the use of large, frameless windows and a deconstructivist approach to reveal unexpected chinks of light and glimpses of sky and water.
9. Alkira, Cape Tribulation, Queensland £6.9m (AS$15m)
Building a home for a pair of stamp collectors in the Queensland rainforest was always going to be an interesting brief for architect Charles Wright. Floating on its man-made lake, Alkira looks more Millennium Falcon than lily, but its design works with nature. However, you’ll have your own heliport, too, so embrace air travel and enjoy easy access.
10. Galveston County, Texas
And finally one for Star Trek fans. This Star Trek themed home has just been snapped up. Its previous Trekkie owner installed a media room that looks exactly like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, but he didn’t stop there. There’s also a Trekkie kitchen and dining room, a futuristic bathroom and spaceship bunks. It’s logical, Jim, that if your imagination runs at Warp Factor 8, space itself is the final frontier.