Architecture is a form of art, and, like every other art form, it is subjective to perception and open to experimentation. The normal day-to-day architecture is like food everyone needs, but several uniquely structured buildings and houses continue to add a pinch of spice and flavor to it all around the world.
America is no different, as it is also home to a fair share of such inspiring, fun, and beautifully weird architecture, or perhaps something more than just architecture. Most people must know of the popular buildings like The Ray and Maria Stata Centre designed by Frank Gehry, the Empire State Building (120-story Art Deco Skyscraper), the Aqua Towers in Chicago, Illinois, etc. However, did you also know about a real-life replica house inspired by the show “The Munsters” and their fictional home?
Call it a curious and creative mind or a rather bored one, but here they are, so let’s get started with eight such houses across the U.S.
The Mushroom House (Ohio)
Situated in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a remarkable bungalow transformation into something right out of a chaotic fairytale, designed by architecture and interior designer professor Terry brown. This mushroom-shaped intricate creation took Terry about 12 years to complete with the help of his students and local artisans.
For this one-bedroom home of his, Terry wanted to maintain an organic and real fungal-like look, for which he used warped shingles, decorative bulbous roofing, oddly enfolding staircase, and much more. But, do not be mistaken as this is not the only mushroom house in the United States. You might as well look into the Mushroom house with no straight lines, located in New York and designed by architect James Johnson.
Luna Parc (New Jersey)
In Sandyston Township, New Jersey, Luna Parc is everything from whimsical to outrageous, magical, and whatnot. It is a semi-private museum, private house, and atelier designed by owner and multimedia artist Ricky Boscarino that has been under continuous renovation and construction since 1989.
Luna park embraces multiple buildings, outdoor art pieces, densely wooded landscapes, handmade art, stained glass, religious icons, bizarre items, and anything and everything else that you can expect to find in a crazy and fascinating place like this.
The Prairie Chicken House (Oklahoma)
Built-in 1961 and designed by architect and owner Hern Greene is this Prairie Chicken House in Norman, Oklahoma. The home soon after unveiling became the symbol of organic modernism.
The unfinished cedar shingles and simple timber construction help the house embody a chicken, designed such that the family room and kitchen receive early morning sun. In contrast, the bedroom gets good afternoon light. However, if you think the architecture makes the house vulnerable, you’re wrong, as it can both resist strong winds as well as absorb sunlight.
What would you think of a building that looks torn from the ground due to severe weather and then dropped upside down? Well, it is precisely how each Wonderworks is designed to look like, living well by the company’s slogan “let your imagination run wild.”
The creative mind behind this unique design was Orlando native and architect Terry O. Nicholson of Nicholson Design International at Orlando (WonderWorks original location). There are many astonishing experiences inside this attraction for visitors from natural disasters like earthquakes, space discovery, and much more.
Subterra Castle (Kansas)
Ed Peden and his wife Dianna Peden decided to go all out with transforming a nuclear bunker from the 1950s into a two-story-family home. This underground missile launch complex lies about 25 miles outside of Topeka, Kansas. However, it is nothing you would expect a doomsday bunker to look like on the inside.
Instead, it is a luxurious and charming 11,000 square-foot residence that has a solar greenhouse, rustic woods, natural fibers, a state-of-the-art kitchen, stained glass, a new-age ambiance, and cozy home vibes with much more.
The Paper House (Massachusetts)
There is nothing more peculiar than the idea of creating a house entirely out of newspapers, including not just walls but for furniture and fireplace too. It is all newspapers except for one thing: the roof, as it has shingles instead.
The house was built in 1922 by Elis F. Stenman as a summer home, and he was the same mechanical engineer who designed the paper clip-making machines. It took him about 20 years and 100,000 rolled newspapers to make this two-room dream home, including a newspaper-made grandfather clock.
The Twisted House (Indiana)
Well, what is a house that is not made out of wood and is twisty such that its roof seems to touch the ground! McNaughton, the architect of this life-sized fairytale house, taught woodworking for 35 years at the University of Southern Indiana and created this artwork as an interactive sculpture that engages the viewer’s imagination.
Located at the Indianapolis Art Center, the house was crafted in 2015 from cedarwood, including the flowers on the windowsill. But that is not even the most exciting part, knowing that you can walk into this twisted house like any other simple house. The glass on the five windows allows the visitors to peer out further and look at the surrounding woods.
The Smith Mansion (Wyoming)
Not only is this house weird, unfinished, and unusual, but it also features a tragic story that has left it to sit abandoned today along the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway. Francis Lee Smith was an engineer who began building this crazy mansion as his pet project using not brick but logs from the rattlesnake mountain.
The project was initially designed without any architectural blueprint or definite plan, taking him 12 years to build this 5-story house with a bumpy slide staircase, unfinished rooms, balconies, and more. However, due to time and money spent on this house, Francis’ wife divorced him. He later fell to death as he worked on the balcony amid strong winds, leaving the place abandoned to date.
For a piece of architecture to be amazing does not require it to be the world’s tallest building or for it to be designed by world-class architects. Instead, all it takes to make an eye-catching and weirdly impressive archetype is a creative and curious mind. Modern architecture continues to take everyone by surprise as the classics do, and it will be interesting to see how the list of these more than livable structures turn out in the coming decade or so.