In London, just off Battersea High Street, an oval house for sale –
She practiced alternative medicine; he was a doctor. But despite his conventional facade it was he — and decidedly not she — who dreamed of living in a circular house.
The doctor, property-owner and soon-to-be-round-house-builder explained his thinking on an episode of the British television show Grand Designs. His architect sent him a drawing, he said, that was a perfect circle. “I took one look at it, and thought, that’s great; it’s what nature would do: nature doesn’t grow squares … it just grabbed me.”
The story of how this man took a compelling idea and made a house out of it — and how he somehow managed to convince his reluctant spouse to stick with him during the process — is unexpectedly moving.
At the end of the episode, narrator Kevin McCloud speaks about the house’s structure, but he could just as easily be describing the couple’s relationship: “the contradiction between the square and the round is completely resolvable. A building can take opposite ideas and synthesize from them something new and exciting.”
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.”
Add this fantastic house to your list of reasons to visit 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 –
An early 19th century Martello tower in Suffolk, England, is now on the market. Built as a rampart against a feared French invasion — one of 11 Martello towers that still line the Suffolk coast — it was converted to a residence in 2010. Architect Stuart Piercy and designer Duncan Jackson collaborated on the project, creating “one of the most original and soul-stirring modern homes in Britain.”
The asking price is £995,000 (about $1.58 million). If you can’t afford to buy it, you may be able to rent it for a holiday.
If you’ve always wanted to live in a round house, but have never found the right one, in the right place, for the right price, you could always try building one yourself. That’s what Tomasi and Irene Tukuafu did in 2009, and they seem very happy with the results –
The couple, who live on the banks of the Mississippi River in Nauvoo, Illinois, built the house using reclaimed timbers from an old log cabin that had been torn down. During a televised house tour just after the house was finished, Irene Tukuafu explained the couple’s interest in circular design to a skeptical interviewer.