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BIG LIST: Unusual Abodes

Friday 3 February 2012, 04:24PM

Unlike Frank Buckley, not all of us have a billion euros casually sitting around to turn into a house. Sure, you could use a billion Vietnamese Dong, but it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. So here are some more suggestions on how your home can make a serious statement.


Park(ing) views: The economy is tough, and we all have to cut back. For most people, that means going out less or securing a lucrative second job in the organ-harvesting market. To others, it means building your entire home in a parking space so tight you might circle the block to look for a better one. Thirty-nine-year-old Japanese Fuyuhito Moriya decided to do just that, saving a lot of money and even more virginity by purchasing a 30-square-metre parking space in Tokyo on which to build a three-story home for himself – and his mother.


 Timbeeeerr! Believe it or not, this thing that appears to be a gigantic, ancient, haunted house in mid-collapse is in fact an inhabitable home. And it looks like that on purpose. Located in the Siberian town of Arkhangelsk, it’s believed to be the tallest wooden dwelling in the world, towering 13-stories and seemingly defying several laws of physics by not toppling over every time somebody leans on it. Nikolai Sutyagin built the entire house himself by hand mostly from scrap lumber. He said the house was originally intended to only be two stories, but looked “ungainly”, so he just kept building, which probably isn’t a technique recommended by most architectural schools.


QSI International School Phuket

 Skinny living: Well, clearly this is just a picture of a house in construction. That white structure is just one of the walls of a full house to be built later, right? Nope, turns out that’s an entire house, the thinnest one in the world in fact. The house measures only about a metre wide at the front, expanding to a roomy two metres across at its widest point. Despite being narrower than a lot of human beings, this Brazilian house manages to pack in two living rooms, three bedrooms and a kitchen.


 Standing room only: This house is cutely titled ‘Just Room Enough’. At first sight, it looks a picture taken 30 seconds before somebody died in a flood, but the structure is actually built on an island exactly the size of the house. Located on the American side of the St. Lawrence River, ‘Just Room Enough’ was bought by the Sizeland family in the 1950s. They purchased the little parcel of land in the hopes of having somewhere to go to to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and they figured an inaccessible island fortress with literally no earth around it on which strangers could stand would work nicely. Instead, due to the novelty of the
house, the island quickly became a tourist magnet.


 Room with a view: This is just one example of the typical dwelling used by the Korowai tribe of Papua New Guinea, who had no idea the outside world even existed until 1970. Instead of building treehouses five metres off the ground for their kids, stalling out halfway through and just living with a plank in their trees for the next few decades, the Korowai build their treehouses like real men: To the finish, and up to 60 metres in the air. They do this to avoid predators, floods and ant swarms, and because it just looks so awesome. A long way down if you need the loo though.



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