Castel Meur, also known as The House Between the Rocks or La Maison de Plougrescant, was built in 1861. It’s nestled between two natural granite pillars on the English Channel coast in Brittany, France.
This amazingly creative weekend beach getaway near Melbourne, Australia was dreamed up by McBride Charles Ryan Architects. The Australian firm based their design on the Klein bottle, a mathematical conceptual shape with no discernible interior and exterior sides. The home’s black metal roof folds down in some places to change the shape of the home and form part of the exterior walls. The central courtyard and flexible living space make the occupants of this amazing house feel like they exist indoors and outdoors at the same time.
This is Robert Bruno’s steel house, a creation that he’s been working on for more than three decades. The architectural sculptor began building his home near Lubbock, Texas in the mid-1970s. Today, its impressive form – part 1950s Chevy, part airplane, part sci-fi spaceship – rises tall above the surrounding landscape to give those inside a spectacular view of the nearby lake. The interior is reminiscent of a huge steel cave, filled with curves where one would expect angles.
After a series of devastating hurricanes and tropical storms battered their home in the 1990s, Mark and Valerie Sigler decided that there must be a home design that would withstand the most severe Florida weather. Working with architect Jonathan Zimmerman, the Siglers brought their dome home to life. It’s a sturdy structure, but it also has its share of beauty and uniqueness. And if you’re ever in Pensacola Beach with $5600 a week to spare, the five-bedroom Dome of a Home is available for rent.
Although technically a block away from the beach and not right on it, these boat houses in Encinitas, California certainly embody the beach culture. Plus, the story behind how they got there is pretty interesting in itself. Entrepreneur and businessman Miles Minor Kellogg was ahead of his time in the 1910s and 1920s, building structures from recycled and reclaimed materials.
The Mushroom House in the Black’s Beach area of La Jolla, California is one of those landscape features that you just get used to if you live nearby, but if you’re seeing it for the first time it strikes you as incredibly strange. Designed by Dale Naegle in the 1960s, the house was built for Sam Bell of Bell’s Potato Chips. The unusual design of the house was meant to withstand earthquakes and inclement weather, all while looking futuristic…well, futuristic for 1968, anyway.
This spectacular piece of architecture recently sold for $14.4 million to an undisclosed buyer. The eco-friendly Orchid House, built on a lake in a privately-owned Cotswold (U.K.) nature reserve, is predicted to produce more energy than it uses.