Homes for individualists
Everything’s so simple when you’re a child: you just stick a few large cardboard boxes together, cut out some windows, and you’ve got a roof over your head! But when building a house, you have hundreds of choices to make, from finding the right plot to choosing the construction materials. Some ideas from your childhood may very well be helpful, still.
The recyclable modular house: Flexible and sustainableRobust, weatherproof and insulating – believe it or not, we’re talking about cardboard. The Wikkelhouse by Dutch company Fiction Factory consists of 24 layers of this recyclable material, which are glued together and 'wrapped' ('wikkel' means 'wrapper' in Dutch) around a house-shaped mould.
To make sure that the construction can withstand even the nastiest November weather, the external wood panelling has a waterproof coating. With this finish, the cardboard house is said to last up to 100 years. During this time, a lot can change: your family situation or desired place of residence for example are not very likely to stay the same for a century. Thanks to its modular design, you can simply extend the Wikkelhouse to accommodate additional family members – or even take the entire house with you, should you ever wish to move. The pre-fabricated modules, each of which measure 5 square metres, are put together on-site, making it possible to build your home in only one day. There’s no need for a foundation. And you can order the interior fittings for your kitchen, bath and shower rooms yourself.
The Wikkelhouse is made out of recyclable building materials
The Pyramid House: Live like a pharaoh with all the comforts of the 21st century
This innovative living concept merges the geometric simplicity of ancient architecture with modern futurism: a square floor plan, four walls, and no roof – how do you fancy having a pyramid for a home? Mexican architect Juan Carlos Ramos developed such a residential structure: Unlike its historical counterpart, the 3D-prototype of the Pyramid House has a more open feel to it. A generous glass façade allows for plenty of natural light to enter. The other sides of the house hold windows of varied sizes, positioned asymmetrically.
The architect divided the house into twelve living and recreational areas across two levels and an attic. There (probably) aren’t any secret burial chambers, but besides the standard living spaces, the house offers room for a garage, balcony, and even a recording studio. To top it all off, the space right below the pyramid’s peak will house a library.
Unfortunately, the Pyramid House is nothing more than a three-dimensional idea on a computer screen - yet. However, if you discover a pyramid in your neighbourhood anytime soon, there is no need to question your eyesight.
The Pyramid House with a large glass façade
Simplicity with a view: A tree house for grown-ups
Anyone who spent most of their childhood summers in a tree house probably still dreams of a similar hideaway for grown-ups. The team from Rockefeller Partners Architects made this dream a reality: Technically speaking, their Banyan Treehouse isn’t a classic tree house: it combines the original idea with modern architecture. Supported by steel posts, the mini-house is perched approximately 3.6 metres above the ground at the base of a pine tree. It is built on a slope in the Nichols Canyon, in California, and offers a wide view of Los Angeles' glistening skyline. A staircase flanked by stone walls leads to the entrance, which also creates a separate nook that is conveniently hiding an outdoor shower.
The glass and wood façade of the 16 square metre house creates natural warmth. The owner originally commissioned it as a studio for work, but now also enjoys using it as a weekend residence. With a fireplace, fridge, toilet, sofa bed and TV, it (probably) offers a lot more comfort than your childhood tree house.
Whether they boast a special shape, unusual materials, or extraordinary locations, there are plenty of innovative living ideas as an alternative to a standard home. Floating homes and self-sufficient tiny houses on wheels are even becoming booming trends.
Banyan Treehouse: Combining the original idea with modern architecture
Do you also have an unconventional vision for your dream house? Share your ideas with us! We look forward to your inspiring comments.