Designers and architects are becoming more and more creative to bring function and unique style to discerning home buyers. Consumers these days are yearning for something different in new home construction and are leaning towards customization to meet their needs. Around the world, residential buildings have been popping up with innovative features with a balance of eye-catching design and functionality.
Not everyone is satisfied with the same cookie-cutter house on the block. Designers have come up with some of the most out-of-ordinary concepts of home design that it is difficult to imagine living in them. It is that creativity that puts them above the others, even when faced with the challenge of limited budgets, small spaces, and environmental hazards.
This minimalist home in Japan is unique all around. From its size, form, and custom features, this all-white house in Tokyo stands out among its neighbors. This four-story concrete structure was completed in 2008 by Architect Label Xain (A.L.X.). With a total floor area measuring 2268.5-square-feet, this angular home has triangle-shaped windows on the roof which bring in plenty of natural light. Even the interior is free of color, with each room remaining stark white from floor to ceiling. The open-concept kitchen has a modern, almost industrial feel, with a lone free-standing counter and contemporary railing atop the stairway.
The Esher House
Blue brick and red wood make this family home the most unique residence on the block. Built on what was once a neighboring garden plot, the Esher House is located in Surrey, England. It was designed as an L-shape. The tower buts up against the shade of trees with ground to roof windows overlooking the garden. It contains a living space and upper studio. The ground level wing was built with a combination of concrete and wood to accommodate the kitchen, dining room, bathrooms, and three bedrooms. The concrete walls provide privacy for each bedroom.
Music lovers will rejoice over the design of this concert hall home in Toronto, Ontario. The owner, Dr. James Stewart, a former violinist with a symphony orchestra, had this custom residence built with rounded walls and floor to ceiling windows. Named the Integral House, the 18,000-square-foot building is complete with a 150-seat hall where Dr. Stewart hosts private parties, galas, and concerts. The ground level features pillar-style walls circling the garden and yard. Above the living area, the concert hall is accessed by a staircase adorned with blocks of hand-blown blue glass accented by bronze and stainless steel hardware.
Although it was influenced by the former barn that was situated on the property, this home in the Netherlands is not your typical farm house. Constructed of brick, it was designed true to form, mimicking a steep barn roof, but has all of the modern features of today. Despite the front being almost entirely closed off to the outside world, the sun sets beyond large panels of windows on the west side and brings the morning rays into the east side. It was the goal of the architect to allow the pattern of the sun to bring in natural light, which is also accomplished through skylights above the barn-inspired wood beams inside. A functional fireplace drops from the high ceilings and really stands out among the white walls.
The Glass House
If you like privacy, this home might not be the house of your dreams, but for those seeking maximum natural light in the home, it brings plenty of curb appeal. Aptly named, the Glass House was built in 1949 in New Canaan, Connecticut, and is enclosed by wall-to-wall glass. The windows provide a view of greenery, marshy ponds, and small rolling hills of grass. The bathroom is the only room without transparent walls. Inspired by European-style chimneys of the 1930s, privacy is provided by a brick-built cylinder that extends through the roof. The house is situated on a 49-acre National Trust Historic Site with other unique outbuildings.
House on a Slope
Innovative is one word to describe the design of this house built on a hill in Mexico. The architect, Dellekamp Arquitectos, was given a limited budget of US $60,000 and provided with a modest-sized sloping lot and basic construction material. The result was a 1,399-square-foot stylistic box-shaped House on a Slope. The striking unique exterior features are the facades painted grey and white, giving the appearance of triangular facades rather than its true, albeit, irregular square shape. Three sides are solid for privacy and protection from the wind, but the remaining is top to bottom glass with a view of the Izttlacihuatl and Popocatepetl volcanoes. Two concrete staircases extend from ground level to the rooftop.
Bridging the Gap
Is it a bridge or is it a house? This house in Adelaide, Australia uses trusses to fill a gap between two river valleys. Max Pritchard Architect was given the challenge of designing a home to fit a small, narrow lot, but have enough space to include a home office. The solution was to create a living space based on what was already provided by nature. The long, 1,184-square-foot home would appear to be suspended in mid-air if it wasn’t for the four sturdy bases on each corner. An efficient heating and cooling system was added to beat the heat when the sun reflects off the water in the summer and the black concrete floor retains warmth in the winter.
The main challenge for architect, Dekleva Gregoric with this clifftop house in Maui, was its location. A prime spot for owner, Robert Stroj, a windsurf sail designer, the landscape is solid on a cliff, but the climate rough, with the area experiencing strong winds and hot sun. The result was a wooden roof two times the size of the house and anchored to the ground. It provides a covered outside entertainment area as large as the interior of the house. Also built for the tourism market, separate “mini-homes” were incorporated as self-contained hotel-style accommodation. Each with an ocean view, they were built in a U-shape and are large enough to provide occupants with an ensuite double room.