Posted: Nov 26, 2015
Everybody thinks their house is unique in some way – but some properties are distinctive in every sense
From millionaire mansions to cool cottages, here is our latest round-up of unusual homes. You can buy everything from an old windmill in Portugal (£113,000) to a Gaudi-inspired villa in Germany (£15m). There are two inspirational properties that are not on the market, but show what is possible with a visionary architect and a healthy sprinkling of imagination.
1. Villa Freundorf, Vienna
Stretched out like an angular cat on its lawned hillside site, the Freundorf Villa was designed for a young family. As owners of a gardening company, they wanted a sculptural effect within the land, which they have certainly achieved. Inside, it’s bright, white and light, giving a calming atmosphere echoed by the simple straight lines and minimalistic decor.
2. Clifftop House, Maui
When a windsurf-sail designer moved from Europe to Maui, he wanted a home he could work from. Slovenian architects, dekleva-gregoric, worked with him to create a house that gave him space for his sail-loft and office, and could withstand the storm-whipped environment of an ocean-facing cliff. So the folded roof is wide and low, twice the size of the house, giving shade from the sun and allowing a cooling breeze to pass through the building. Under this roof, several u-shaped spaces - self-contained bedroom units - have spectacular views, and the public spaces flow round these, with the kitchen and dining area central to the heart of the house.
3. Munich, Germany £15m (€21m)
You might feel that harmony with nature is the way forward in the 21st century. In that case, this Gaudi-inspired villa offers its own wellness area with a spa bath, steam room, and indoor and outdoor pools. The gentle curves echo the landscape, the garden has been “feng shuied” and the house’s green roof helps it to blend in. Car parking is hidden away underground, with access via a special car elevator.
4. Messines, Algarve, Portugal £113,000 (€159,000)
If you remember Windy Miller with affection, you too could live like him! This hilltop windmill is renovated to provide a cosy and rustic interior, retaining many original features. Two miller’s cottages adjoin the mill, offering the potential of holiday lets in this lovely spot. The agent, Ideal Homes Portugal, even offers viewing trips to this and other properties on its books, from £149 per person.
5. Oceanic Bayview Villas, Istanbul, from £1.03m ($1,595,000)
Smart home technology doesn’t come much smarter than in this development on the edge of Istanbul. With four to seven bedrooms, these super-efficient villas harness a range of eco-friendly power solutions and recycle rainwater. There’s also a club house with all the leisure facilities you’d expect. In a prime neighbourhood near Buyukcekmece Marina, overlooking Marmara Sea, yet just 20 minutes from Ataturk airport, in these villas you’ll find the future has arrived!
6. Quinta Patino, Estoril, Portugal, £3.24m, (€4,500,000m)
Here is a cool, calm and contemporary property. It would make the perfect family home with six-bedrooms, a football pitch and swimming pool. But surely the highlight must be the cutting-edge architecture. This property would fit neatly into an episode of Grand Designs with its abundance of glass and open-plan living.
7. March House, St George’s Hill, Surrey £8,950,000
This property might be closer to home, but it was so unusual, we couldn’t resist! This five-bedroom “super house” is located on the St George's Hill gated estate in Weybridge, Surrey. It has a Mediterranean style with a level of grandeur equalled by the stylish kitchen and attractive swimming pool.
8. Aloha Golf, between Marbella and Estepona, Spain (POA)
White and bright throughout, this Mediterranean villa stands high above a fairway of the Aloha golf club, between Marbella and Estepona. The pale, rough stone exterior is crisply edged by the unusual shapes and angles – curves, steps and bridges. The mountainous backdrop to the infinity pool, a secret spa, a well fitted-out wine cellar and a cinema room provide all the luxury of a five-star hotel.