a live-in piece of furniture

September 17, 2015 — 2 Comments

The round house in Bolinas, California, is or at least was a masterpiece –

carpenter house, bolinasI have to admit that I’ve seen very few photos of it, and those that I have seen are nearly 50 years old. Yet the house still exists — one can find it on Google maps — and if it looks the way it did in 1966, it’s one of the most beautiful round houses in the country.

The happy result of a multi-year collaboration between architect Robert B. Marquis and woodworker Art Carpenter, the house’s owner, it showcases Marquis’ structural knowledge and Carpenter’s love of wood. Begun in about 1958, when Carpenter moved to Bolinas from San Francisco, the house wasn’t finished until 1965. “It was completely hand built,” said Carpenter’s son Tripp, who grew up there; every shelf, doorknob, table and counter was custom designed and made by hand.

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round houses of snow

September 13, 2015 — 1 Comment

An Inuit (Eskimo) village, as seen in 1861 –

Inuit village, 1861The illustration is from Charles Francis Hall’s Arctic Researches and Life Among the Esquimaux, published in 1865.

ye olde round house

September 12, 2015 — Leave a comment

The 19th century Theberton Round House –

theburton round house, UK

In Theberton, Leiston, Suffolk, England.

A spinning, earthquake and hurricane resistant, energy-efficient dome, with a Guggenheim-inspired spiral staircase is on the market in New Paltz –


If you’re not ready to buy it, you can rent it for the weekend. As the owners will tell you, spending time in the dome is liberating.

“People really do behave differently in the round space,” one of the owners says. “It’s just free. It’s free-flowing, free of walls, free of constraints. It’s a space, versus a room, versus a box. There’s no limitation.”

meyer on the market

June 8, 2015 — 1 Comment

An innovative, expressionistic ’60s-era round house is now on the market in Oakland –

meyer, oakland 2, CA

Built by local architect Leon Meyer — who designed a number of other round structures in Oakland and elsewhere — the two-bedroom house has a playful zigzag roof, a large yard, and spectacular views.

First constructed in the 3rd millenium BC in what is now southwest Scotland, prehistoric round houses continued to be built up through the UK’s Roman period, particularly in the north and west of the country.

In recent decades, archeologists have discovered and excavated an enormous number of ancient round house sites. As of 2008, the number of excavated round houses in Britain had nearly reached 4,000.

det runda huset

April 30, 2015 — 1 Comment

One of my favorite round houses — just off the beach in Bastad, Sweden — is once again for sale. It’s beautiful inside and out –

bastad, sweden

bastad, sweden

windmill house

April 30, 2015 — 1 Comment

A former windmill, now a private home, is for sale in Leeds, England. Here is how it looked in the early 1900s –

potternewton, leeds

The windmill was built in the mid to late 18th century. A 1789 lease between the Earl of Mexborough, Peter Garforth and William Burrows makes reference to a “windmill lately built, Scott Hall Gate Close, (in possession of Joseph Ingle) and newly erected dwelling place.”

The windmill is thought to have been converted to residential use in the late 19th century. A Leeds directory from 1882 states that the house was occupied by David Lee, market gardener, and called Windmill House. Now known as the Round House, it can be yours for £295,000.

Odd, bunker-like round houses in Mogadishu, built in the 1930s –

mogadishu round housesI wonder if they still exist.

Mogadishu evidently witnessed a period of modernist expansion in the 1930s, including the construction of several majestic art deco buildings. Most were badly damaged if not destroyed during Somalia’s decades of civil war.

cool britannia

March 26, 2015 — 1 Comment

Add this fantastic house to your list of reasons to visit London –

converted water tower in london.In 2005, British designer Tom Dixon bought a disused 1930s water tower in north London, collaborating with sustainable architectural firm SUSD to convert the landmark structure into a home.

Watch the building being constructed on the tower’s concrete base –