WORLD’S MOST UNUSUAL HOMES

We open the doors to properties that showcase limitless possibilities in creativity and architecture

By Pallavi Mehra

March, 2021

Sharma Springs is a unique bamboo home in Bali, Indonesia
Photo Credit-Rio Helmi

From a stylish house built almost entirely of bamboo to an abode inspired by ‘The Flintstones,’ here are some of the most unusual homes in the world. These stunning structures showcase one-of-kind architecture and intriguing interior design. They defy convention and question the status quo. These experimental homes are located in distinctive locations in Iran, Italy, Indonesia and the United States of America and are built by visionaries who dared to dream and build them.

The ‘Kujdane' cabin is an unconventional A-frame chalet

Photo Credit-Shomali Design Studio

KUJDANE CABIN IN IRAN

Iranian architecture firm Shomali Design Studio has built an A-frame cabin with a unique design in the lush green forest of northern Iran. Conceptualised by brothers Yaser Rashid Shomali and Yasin Rashid Shomali, the ‘Kujdane' cabin, which means ‘very small,’ exhibits an unusual take on traditional A-frame chalets. This cabin was built to be an escape in nature and its front façade offers panoramic views of the verdant forest it is located amidst. The Kujdane Cabin features modern architecture and cosy, duplex-style interiors. A muted-grey colour palette and floor-to-ceiling glass windows complement the cabin’s distinctive wooden roof. The top floor of the cabin comprises the bedroom and the study, while the bottom level has an open kitchen and living area. Furthermore, the ‘Kujdane' cabin appears to be floating above the ground due to its sloping A-frame roof and a horizontal concrete slab floor.

The Kujdane Cabin features cosy, duplex-style interiors

Photo Credit-Shomali Design Studio

The Kujdane Cabin’s top floor comprises a compact bedroom

Photo Credit-Shomali Design Studio

“The woods of northern Iran typically house traditional A-frame cabins with sharp-angled corners. We took the conventional A-frame sloping roof and split it in the centre with a hollow glass vertical passage offering an element of surprise. In addition, we also replaced the old-fashioned, sharp-angled corners of A-frame dwellings with a curved-line roof to bring in a sense of warmth and tranquility. The interiors are contemporary and stylish, creating an interesting interplay with the A-frame roof. The reason we designed the 'Kujdane' Cabin with a centralised core is so that residents continue to feel one with nature even though they are inside the house. While we were inspired by the traditional triangle roof of every A-frame chalet, we have deconstructed the style and expressed it in our own unique way,” says Yaser Rashid Shomali, Co-founder of Shomali Design Studio.

‘Pigna’ is a tree house that is evocative of a pinecone

Photo Credit-DomusGaia

PIGNA IN ITALY

Italian architect Claudio Beltrame has designed an unorthodox pinecone-shaped tree house in the Italian Alps. Situated in the town of Ugovizza in the Dolomites, ‘Pigna’ which translates to pinecones, is a holiday home that can be rented. Beltrame was inspired by pinecones, the woody fruit of pine trees for the design of ‘Pigna.’ The purpose of this unconventional home is to provide people the opportunity to be one with nature and sleep under the stars. “Shelter in a tree has always been the best place to dream. [They’re] man’s primitive place and a place of liberty and reflection,” states Beltrame. ‘Pigna’ is accessible via a bridge, is supported by fir trees and is suspended 10 metres above the ground.

‘Pigna’ is a holiday home, which is available for rent

Photo Credit-DomusGaia

‘Pigna’ has a skylight that allows guests to sleep under the stars

Photo Credit-DomusGaia

Claudio Beltrame built ‘Pigna’ in partnership with DomusGaia, an Italian firm, which focuses on producing wooden prefabricated houses. To mimic the shape of pinecones, the home features a larch shingle cladding that was cut into overlapping forms. The frame of the home is constructed using cross-laminated timber moulded into boomerang shapes and insulated with breathable wood fibre. The interior of the home is divided into three floors. The ground floor features 360-degree windows that provide unobstructed views of the majestic mountains. The first floor has a living area, a kitchen, and a bathroom along with a balcony with large windows and sliding shutters. The bedroom is on the top floor, with a skylight carved into the roof above the bed.

Sharma Springs is built almost entirely of bamboo

Photo Credit-Errol Vaes

SHARMA SPRINGS IN INDONESIA

Architecture and interior design firm IBUKU designed and built an elegant home almost entirely of bamboo in Bali, Indonesia. Located in a forested region overlooking the Ayung river valley, Sharma Springs is a 750 sq. metre home. It was built for the Sharma family and is the tallest bamboo structure in Bali. This striking home features six levels, four bedrooms, a spacious living room with an awe-inspiring view, and a 15-metre long tunnel entrance. This one-of-a-kind home’s design is evocative of the petals of a lotus flower. While this home is built of bamboo, it is well appointed with luxurious amenities. “IBUKU’s goal is to provide spaces in which people can live in an authentic relationship with nature. We do this by designing fully functional homes and furniture that are made of natural substances and built in ways that integrate with nature. IBUKU is creating spaces where living in nature is living in style,” states Elora Hardy, Founder and Creative Director of IBUKU.

Sharma Springs features a balcony offering incredible views of nature

Photo Credit- Rio Helmi

Sharma Springs’ tunnel-bridge opens into the open-air living, dining, and kitchen areas

Photo Credit-Rio Helmi

People can enter Sharma Springs through a dramatic tunnel-bridge, which opens into the open-air living, dining, and kitchen area on the fourth level. A circular staircase leads to the levels below and above, which comprise a playroom, four bedrooms and a library. Each of these rooms has a different theme based on the desires of the family. They comprise luxury furniture and are enclosed in full length spinning glass windows and doors. Moreover, the sixth floor features a spectacular balcony offering incredible views of the natural surroundings. The home also includes an entry building, a guesthouse, a storage cave, a riverside yoga pavilion, an outdoor spa and a poolside barbecue all surrounded by stunning permaculture lawns. Sharma Springs is a great example of an avant-garde home that is environmentally sustainable.

The Flintstones inspired home is located in Malibu, California

FLINTSTONES HOUSE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

While watching the animated show ‘The Flintstones,’ have you imagined living inside a cavernous home like the ones during the Stone Age? This home would have Fred Flintstone screaming “Yabba-Dabba-Do!” Located on a cliff in Malibu, California, this cave home is an isolated retreat in the heart of Los Angeles. Built by American actor and producer Dick Clark, this rustic property is situated on 22.89 acres of land and offers panoramic views of the glorious Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands, Boney Mountains, Serrano Valley, and Los Angeles.

Travel back in time to the Stone Age at this unusual home!

The Flintstones inspired home has lavish Neolithic interiors

The inspiration of this home came from Architect Phillip Jon Brown who suggested designing a house that looked like a rock formation, which was reminiscent of the surrounding natural landscape. This unique abode comprises one bedroom, two bathrooms, a fully functioning caveman kitchen and Stone Age themed interior décor. The home features an open-layout, Neolithic living and dining room with a cosy seating area around a fireplace along with a dining table and a home bar. The living room opens into an opulent bedroom and a kitchen equipped with modern appliances. The inner walls of the Flintstones home are made of wood, while the ceilings are built using steel beams covered with concrete to get a rock-like appearance.