A house that challenges the definition of a house (27/05/2020)

A few nights ago we watched some episodes of season 2 of The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes. Two houses impressed me the most for their extraordinary beauty and imaginative designs.

The first one was a house which doesn’t look like a traditional house, rather a group of scattered rooms connected by open corridors.

The house was located on the top of a mountain. The plot was not flat. It had quite a few ups and downs as well as bends, which reminded me of English roads. The architects wanted to fully take advantage of the stunning natural scenery. Therefore they didn’t change the natural terrain. In stead, they designed this unusually shaped house based on the natural landscape of the plot.

They put bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom at the flatter places, and they were connected by some very artistic looking open corridors, which run through the uneven bits of the land. The corridors did have a roof and stairs, but there were no walls. Because of that, those corridors didn’t obstruct the natural scenery at all. In stead they added beauty to the natural environment with their cleverly designed artistic appearance.

Even those rooms which did have four walls were designed in such a way that they became part of the natural environment.

That house was a real beauty. The only criticism I had was the safety concern: what would happen if I accidentally slipped on the stairs of one of those open corridors? Since there was no wall to stop me, I may roll quite a long way down the mountain, which would not be a very pleasant experience.

But from the beauty point of view, that house was impeccable. It was a piece of art, rather than a human shelter.

The second one was a house floating in the air. How could that happen?

Let me explain. It was actually sitting on a platform supported by some slim but sturdy columns. The architect chose this design and location to meet the owner’s request: I want to be able to get a certain view of this specific spot from the windows of my home, and I want my home to be situated among rocks and trees.

To me the most extraordinary thing about this house is that one of its rooms had a big rock as one of its walls. No, you did not misread. I did mean a big rock serving as a wall of the room. I hate to think how much more energy is needed to warm up that room because of this very unusual rock wall.

All of its windows had stunning views. One of the bedrooms was surrounded by trees in 3 directions. The only direction which didn’t have trees was the one facing the inner house. When you were in that room, you could easily have this misperception: you were sitting in one of those trees. How amazing is that?

Another thing which was great was that because the house was located in a place which was rarely visited by humans, it enjoyed extreme tranquility. I would certainly enjoy some really deep meditations there!

Having seen these truly extraordinary and unconventional houses, I can’t help but ask myself this question: how far can human imagination go?