Archives For ’60s

Shaped like the Hollywood idea of a flying saucer, the Futuro is a prefab, portable, fiberglass-reinforced polyester plastic vacation home

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futuro house

Somewhere between 80 and 96 Futuros were built in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but at least eight have been demolished. Atlas Obscura has put together a map of every known Futuro House left in the world.

 

rotating round house for rent

December 27, 2015 — 1 Comment

There’s an open house on Monday at 19 Harkle Road in Novato, California: the iconic, rotating round house that overlooks Highway 101 –

harkle road, novato

Designed and built by Sam Harkleroad in 1963, the house “rotates 320 degrees at the flip of a switch.” Using motors scavenged from washing machines, Harkleroad, an imaginative builder of oddball homes, created a house that would spin slowly, “keeping the sun shining in the living room every day as long as possible.”

harkle road, novato, CAAnd as the real estate agency’s ad explains, “if you wish to change the view you can move the house.”

The house and its ever-changing view can be yours for $3,000/month.

bolinas round house

December 26, 2015 — 1 Comment

A recent photo of the Bolinas round house, which seems to be uninhabited –

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And, just down the hill, its round studio –

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a live-in piece of furniture

September 17, 2015 — 3 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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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.

into the futuro

December 5, 2014 — 2 Comments

If you can get to London in the next 10 days, you will have the rare chance to visit a restored Futuro House. A prefabricated, spaceship-like structure, the Futuro House was designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in 1968 as a holiday cabin –

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craig barnes futuro

Built of fiberglass-reinforced polyester plastic, and measuring 26 feet in diameter, the Futuro House sits on a metal stand; it was meant to be easy to build and easy to transport. The idea was to mass produce the structures and sell them around the world, but their design found little favor with the public. Fewer than 100 Futuro Houses were ever built; only about 60 of them exist today, many in disrepair. (For the closest thing to a full list of those that have survived, visit FuturoHouse.net, which has tracked down Futuros in Japan, Russia, Malaysia and Ukraine, among other places.)

Artist Craig Barnes discovered the house above while on vacation in South Africa. He bought it, dismantled it, shipped it to the UK, and spent the past 18 months restoring it to its former glory. At Matt’s Gallery in east London, it is being used as a temporary space for an “intimate and informal series of talks, discussions, lectures, exhibitions, screenings and performances at 4pm every day.”

The dome home of Buckminster Fuller and Anne Hewitt Fuller in Carbondale, Illinois, is now being restored. The only dome in which the Fullers actually lived, it took less than a day to build: seven hours from start to finish.

buckminster fuller

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Somehow in putting together my list of round houses for sale I overlooked the most fabulous of them all: Seymour Harris’ Tukal, in Hampshire, England. At an asking price of £12 million (over $18 million), it is easily the world’s most expensive circular home, but unlike some of round McMansions currently on the market, it’s more than just an ostentatious display of wealth — it has style and daring.

Yes, it’s monstrously large — and yes, it has its own lake, 10-acre garden and private dock — but beyond the glitz are some appealing ideas about structure, transparency and the flow of space.

tukal, beaulieu, UK 7

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Designed by architect Seymour Harris in 1962 as home for himself and his wife, the house in its current iteration might be best understood as an asynchronous collaboration between Harris and architect Nic Bailey. Harris moved to the Bahamas in 1968; the house suffered through a series of bad owners and unhappy renovations, and Bailey was brought in to salvage it several years ago, when the house was bought by its current owner, Mike Browne.

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on the market

October 12, 2013 — 8 Comments

You can find round and circular-form houses for sale right now in the US, UK, Australia and Canada for prices ranging from $87,500 to $10 million.  On the lavish — and arguably garish — end of the spectrum, there’s this 1980s luxury villa on Hamilton Island, in Australia, and the “Corbetta Estate” in Los Altos Hills, California (which was the cooler and much more fun Corbetta Party House in a former incarnation).

george keck house

Bringing up the low end of the market, at a modest 696 square feet in size, is one of the many small post-war round houses in Des Moines, Iowa.

A few other houses stand out –

You can also find two round houses for sale in the UK, one in Portland, Dorset, selling for £925,000, and the other in Sidmouth, Devon, selling for £849,950.

round house hallwayTake a tour of a fabulous Gilbert Spindel-designed round house in Louisiana.

round living rm