Homes defying conventional norms

Homes defying conventional norms

4 unusual homes that say, ‘Be bold and be yourself-the mantra that we all should believe in!’

Being brave, unique and one-of-a-kind; is often the driving force behind many of us! Some of us pursue a different approach and style of thinking in everything we do be it work or life. Breaking boundaries and pushing our limits to achieve what no one could ever imagine is the best thing in this world. ‘Make your own identity which sets you apart from the crowd’, seems to be the motivation behind these unusual homes. Here are 4 best ones that defy the standard norms and stand out for their uniqueness. Their originality for concept and design is commendable. They are not just different in design but also question our sensibilities with respect to the environment and society.

Living through the looking glass!

Glass House Tokyo homeidea co Pic courtesy Iwan Baan


A house made entirely of glass that’s unusual to the core and a head turner for sure! Looking more like a practical rendition of Lewis Carol’s famous book title- ‘Through the looking glass’, the residence is called House NA. Built by Sou Fukimoto Architects in Tokyo, there are literally no walls in this house. Glass has been neatly wrapped in a white steel structure and has been inspired by the idea of living inside a tree.

Adopting the form of a tree, it is divided into 21 floors with elevated platforms and stairs that create an impression of branches flowing out from a tree trunk. Plenty of sunlight shines through the large glass windows. Apart from the plentiful sunlight it gathers a lot of stares from the passers-by too! It is a wonderfully spectacular example of a cleanly structured vertical living space. The three-storied edifice is indeed a sight to behold.

Playing along with the symphony of nature!

Xeros Residence materia in Picture Courtesy bill Tillerman 5

The Xeros Residence in Pheonix, Arizona is unique in all its encompassing glory. Built by Blank Studio the structure has been constructed using genuine materials. The house boasts of an energy saving design that leaves a lighter environmental footprint by utilising minimum site space for the structure. More than 3/4th of the entire landscape has been dedicated to natural vegetation; giving it a serene green patch.

Xeros Residence materia in Picture Courtesy bill Tillerman 2

Designed by Architect Mathew Trzebiatwoski, the edifice has been conceptualised on the idea of sustaining the extreme climate of Arizona. Inspired by the harsh and dehydrated weather conditions, the house is called ‘Xeros’, which stands for ‘dry’ in Greek.

In the entire structure, untreated steel has been used which allows it to oxidize and age under the elements. Every inch of metal in the building, from the wire mesh to the corrugated steel, is without any protective layering or coating which lets it rust naturally. Yes, it is rusting away peacefully while you are busy reading this piece!

Xeros Residence materia in Picture Courtesy bill Tillerman 3

One of the most critically acclaimed projects, it has many awards loaded in its kitty and was named a Record house by Architectural Record in 2006. It has also been awarded honours from the American institute of Architects in 2006 and bestowed with the Project of the Year Award in 2008 by the World Architecture News.


Restricted in space but limitless in thinking!

Keret house Pic Courtesy Bartek Warzecha


Human living space is shrinking day by day. It has reached such an extreme; who knows we might start living in cardboard boxes someday, like a cat perhaps! This thought seems to be coming true. Take a look at this ultra-small living space that looks stuck between two buildings in Warsaw. The house was envisioned by Jakub Szczesny of Centrala.

Keret house Pic Courtesy Bartek Warzecha 2

The idea of this unusual living space was started by well-known Isreali writer Etgar Keret. He wished for a place that could double up as a resting home and a work place for travelling writers like him. The idea of a home and a creative studio juxtaposed into one resulted into a tiny capsule like living structure squeezed in between two buildings.

Located between a small crack between two buildings on 22 Chlodna Street and 74 Zelazna Street in Wola, Poland, its total area is 145 sq. mt. while the interiors are a miniscule 122 cm and 72 cṃ at its widest and narrowest points, respectively!

Glory of glass and guts of steel

Optical Glass House Picture Courtesy Koji Fujii, Nacasa & Partners


Standing unabashedly loud in the face of the bright morning Japanese sun, is the Optical Glass house on the streets of downtown Hiroshima. Bold in existence and character, the glass and steel structure has a class of its own. Though short in height but tall in vigour, it communicates an even louder existence on the busy streets filled with cars, trams and people.

The façade has 6000 glass blocks held by 75 stainless steel bolts. The pure-glass blocks of 50mmx 235mm x50mm size are made of borosilicate-the raw material used for making optical glass. They shut out sound and offer a peaceful refuge from the busy streets outside. The double storied edifice is 8.6m x 8.6m. tall and is both transparent and translucent at the same time! The house was the winning entry to the ar+d Awards for Emerging Architecture in 2012.


akanksha Akanksha~Just a girl astounded by the universe & nature! Lover of the sea, sound of waves & a night full of stars. She is often struck by a sense of wonder and amazement by everything in sync with nature be it a historical building, an urban home or a simply drawn architectural sketch. She believes in capturing every bit of the artistic persona of a beautiful design in her heart through words. 


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