June 18, 2013
The Water House in Lijiang, China, by Li Xiaodong Atelier.
It’s an old adage from the golden age of suburbia that “a man’s home is his castle,” but what if you’re not into castles? Perhaps you’d like a house that looks like the intake of a jet turbine? Or a home that appears to be floating on a bed of ephemeral orange light?
Houses have become architectural projects designed to reflect the unique personality of their resident(s). If a client has the resources then she or he can work closely with an architect to achieve that imagined perfect synergy of a human and her or his home. Many children imagine a “dream house,” and the core principle of that fantasy stays the same: a home perfectly suited to your identity and favorite activities. Eccentric French philosopher and academic Gaston Bachelard explored our intense psychological connection to our homes in his 1958 classic The Poetics of Space. Citing both psychoanalysis and poetry in equal measure, Bachelard argued that our homes occupy a special part of our psyche. According to him, we generate and experience profound mental associations with domestic spaces that stay with us our entire lives.
In the spirit of unconventional thinking (and design!) we present our top ten eccentric houses.