Hungarian-born British modernist architect Ernø Goldfinger wasn’t a fan of the circle.
Yes, a circular house needs a spiral staircase –
St Andrews Beach House — located on Australia’s Mornington Peninsula, in Victoria — is just off the beach, next door to a national park. It has an open floor plan and views of the landscape in all directions.
Noted science fiction author Robert Heinlein designed and built this house –
Together with his wife Virginia, Heinlein lived in the house for 20 years, from 1967 to 1987.
A news article from 1985, calling it a “futuristic round house,” said that its 80 feet of book shelves displayed Heinlein’s own works, translated into 29 languages. It also noted that the author, “whose writings advocate space exploration and open marriage, has filled his home with photographs from the U.S. space program and artistic renderings of lithe women.”
The house is located in the Bonny Doon neighborhood of Santa Cruz, California.
Before the spiraling Guggenheim Museum in NYC, there was this spiraling house in Phoenix –
Iconic American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed the house in 1952 for his son David, who lived in the house with his wife Gladys until their deaths (at ages 102 and 104, respectively). After it was sold out of the family in 2009, it faced possible demolition at the hands of a rapacious developer, but was saved by lawyer/builder Zach Rawling.
Advised by Wright historians and preservation architects, as well as by his architecture-loving mother, Rawling spent several years restoring the house and grounds. He tried to turn the house into a museum, but neighbors opposed the plan, fearing that the residential area would be harmed by excessive traffic.
Rawling explained the house’s greatness –
“Great buildings impact every sense and create an emotional reaction,” said Rawling. “Wright’s original plans for the David Wright House are labeled ‘How to Live in the Southwest.’ After two years of being on the property, I appreciate living in the desert more than I ever have growing up. The care with which he sited the house to relate to the surrounding environment is incredible. Wright was a genius at thinking spatially. There is a continuous dance of light and shadows on the house. It’s a natural extension of the environment.”
Besides its architectural cachet, the house features hand-cut Philippines mahogany, custom-designed furnishings, one of Wright’s signature “March Balloons” carpets, a shaded central courtyard, and a 360-square-foot guest house.
For somewhere south of $13 million, it could be yours.
Christoph Kaiser and Shauna Thibault live in a refurbished grain silo: 366 square feet of circularity.
An architect, Kaiser designed and built the interior himself, and nearly everything — from the doors to the kitchen cabinets — is curved.
The space is small and open, and the couple thinks its intimacy has helped bring them closer together.
The New York Times has some nice photos of the round house (actually, double-round house, with super-cool round carport) that famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed in 1948. It’s now on the market for $1.5 million.
Jack Lenor Larsen, a pioneering textile designer, designed and built a round house in East Hampton, NY, in the early 1960s –
The house was inspired by his 1961 trip to South Africa, where he saw some of the traditional round houses of the Ndebele people. In an interview conducted years after he sold the house, Larsen described his design process, and some of his thoughts on living in the round –
[W]ith a round house, you can make a compass out of a piece of string, and Win and I said, “Well, here’s the main house; here’s the guest house; there’s the studio and tool garden.” Rounds and rounds and rounds – obsessively round …
Round rooms are very interesting, because you define space by corners and a round room is halfway to infinity. It does have a floor and ceiling, but it was special.