If you ever go house shopping, the first thing you'll notice is how incredibly similar and/or boring houses are these days. Especially if you go driving through a housing development full of new homes -- they're often identical, down to the shade of siding and type of brick. If they weren't numbered, nobody would ever find their way home.
Why can't we live in, say, a big house shaped like a woman's boobs? Or a house that's, like, a big transformer or something? Well, those places do exist, as we've shown you time and again. Sure, they're rare, and you might not want to actually live in them, but it's at least possible that one day you could set up shop in ...
#7. The Transformer House of England
Now this is what we're talkin' about.
Ross Russell of the English village of Thorpeness wasn't sure if he wanted a big glass house full of natural sunlight or a more traditional place where he could more easily walk around nude. Well, as the old adage goes, "People who live in glass houses should build big-ass sliding walls, powered by but a few car batteries."
With the push of a button, Russell's house can shed its skin, but a mighty morphing manor comes at a price. The sheath wasn't cheap, and the double-glazed window panes alone ate up a quarter of the project's $1 million budget. Russell also shells out another grand a year just to keep all the glass clean.
But can you put a price on living in a house with a foreskin?
But there are financial benefits to building a metal condom for your home. Being able to expose the entire house to the sun during the winter (or keep it covered in the summer) knocks a huge chunk off Russell's utility bills. Plus, uncovering the patio during a rainstorm is a quick and easy way to drive away guests who have overstayed their welcome.
#6. The Breast Houses in Mexico
Well, folks, that's definitely an entire building with a gargantuan busty woman languidly emerging from it. Let's see that from another angle, as this is the rare example of underboob architecture.
You can totally see the boob job scar.
How the hell did such a building ever come to pass? Many years ago, in the beachside town of Puerto Nuevo, sculptor Armando Munoz Garcia was looking to express his love of the female form and human sexuality. For Garcia, this meant building half of a giant mermaid smashing out of the ground, with a bathroom at her rear, a living room in her stomach, and a bedroom right behind her massive plaster breasts.
The Sun (NSFW)
"Stop thinking about the house during sex!"
He later renamed his place "La Sirena," and it now operates as a restaurant. Incidentally, this isn't the first massive nude Garcia has lived in. Prior to "La Sirena," he lived in "La Mona," a five-story naked woman in Tijuana. This project originated as a sculpture in 1991. Upon realizing that he had left a hollow space inside his birthday-suited giantess, Garcia moved in. Mind you, he didn't build "La Mona" in a sculpture garden, but rather smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood. If only the rest of the world's zoning laws were so hilariously lax.
#5. Warsaw's 5-Foot-Wide House
One day, Polish architect Jakub Szczesny was strolling through Warsaw when he noticed a narrow alley between a pre-World War II apartment building and a modern co-op. This particular neighborhood had been designated as a Jewish ghetto under the Nazis, and Szczesny became fascinated with physically linking these two buildings from two different eras.
So how did Szczesny accomplish this deeply symbolic task? Why, by plopping a house inside the alleyway, which, prior to construction in 2012, was wide enough to accommodate a few stray piles of trash and soiled cushions. Here's the before:
Centrala via Yahoo Homes
But after the hobo skeletons were removed.
Bartek Warzecha via Dezeen
"It's really more of a very deep closet."
The resulting home (which Szczesny dubbed "Keret House," after the project's patron, Israeli writer Etgar Keret), is 5 feet at its widest and 3 feet at its narrowest. The building's space-saving measures include a ladder to reach the bedroom and an entrance that folds up into the floor. (Additionally, you can save valuable morning prep time by showering while you're on the toilet.)
Centrala via Yahoo Homes
"Look out! The T. rex's head is right behind you!"
Given that Mr. Fantastic is the only person who could live there comfortably 365 days a year, Keret doesn't live there full time. When he's out of town, visiting artists are scheduled to take up residency in this home. Just not the fat ones.
#4. The House Made Out of a Billion Euros
Brenda Fitzsimons via The Move Channel
During the mid-2000s housing boom, Irish artist Frank Buckley bought a home on cheap credit for his family. But when the economy tanked, Buckley's marriage fell apart, and -- while all his shit was getting repossessed -- he was forced to move into a shed behind his house.
As Buckley mulled over a pile of shredded, decommissioned euros (which he had used as wedding confetti), he thought about how mere pieces of paper had destroyed his life. This revelation prompted his next project: He would build an entire house out of worthless moolah.
Melvin Brennan via Billion Euro House
Which didn't stop the Office of Revenue from trying to tax him anyway.
After setting up an artist's residency space and procuring two truckloads' worth of decommissioned banknotes from the mint, Buckley went about building this house brick by brick, each one made of 50,000 euros in shredded bills. Various coins were further attached throughout the building. All told, Buckley's new digs required $1.4 billion in trashed cash, or somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.8 billion.
The Billion Euro House is technically an installation, but Buckley lives in that sucker five days out of the week (he returns to his shed on the weekends). While his money house isn't the homiest home ever, he was happy to report that he didn't even need a blanket. "Whatever you say about the euro, it's a great insulator."