By Angela Freeman
Are your neighbors a bit odd? Chances are, they’re not nearly as strange as these guys. From artsy to nifty to, “What is that?” here are the five most unusual homes in the world.
1. The Nautilus in Mexico City
Lovers of the sea, seashells and everything nautical stare mesmerized at the Nautilus house, a mix of modern and contemporary design incorporating the colors, shapes and feel of underwater life. Shaped like a gigantic seashell with colorful stained glass windows, the house is constructed of concrete.
This makes it entirely maintenance free and earthquake-proof. A stone walkway leads people through the home. Of course, it’s also immune to termites. Blue tile and sand colored walls gives the feel of being underwater when you’re inside the house.
2. The Subterrara Castle in Central Kansas
If home security is important to you, perhaps you’d be more comfortable deep in a missile silo in rural Kansas. The structure originally housed a four megaton warhead complete with a nuclear bomb and now serves as home for Mr. and Mrs. Ed Peden who renovated the silo and turned into a cozy home. The couple bought the $4 million dollar complex from the U.S. government for just $40,000, but it was a fixer upper. They had to pump out 8 feet of standing water before they could even get started renovating.
Tours of the oddity are offered to the public, and the couple runs a business teaching others how to turn these cold war relics into usable housing. Protected by 18 feet of reinforced concrete, the Pedens might actually be the safest household in America.
3. The Montesilo in Woodland, Utah
How do you recycle two ginormous silos? For Gigaplex Architects the obvious answer was to use them to construct a home overlooking the Provo River. Though it isn’t overtly green, designers configured it to face toward the south to take advantage of the sun’s heat and light during the winter. In hot weather, the second floor balcony acts as a shield from the sun.
Designers saved space in the home by building beds into the walls and orienting the kitchen, bedroom fixtures and living area around the circular design of the silos. If you have to live next to large farm structures, the Montesilo is about the most attractive possibility.
4. The Steel House in Lubbock, Texas
Part house, part sculpture, the Steel House built by Robert Bruno bears more resemblance to an errant alien spacecraft that landed in the middle of the desert 50 years ago than to any residential dwelling. Standing on four stilts and weighing 110 tons, the house is covered in rust. Bruno worked on the home for 23 years, setting it on a cliff for an incredibly dramatic effect. The cavernous interior is as alien as the exterior suggests. It began as a one story home and (much to the neighbor’s chagrin) morphed into the two-story monstrosity standing today.
There goes the neighborhood!