Archives For ’80s

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.


botta goes around in circles

September 3, 2010 — 1 Comment

Another round house from Swiss architect Mario Botta, this one in Losone, Switzerland –

Botta has designed a number of structures with circular elements, including a round house in Ticino, Switzerland, a bank in Basel, Switzerland, and a museum in San Francisco.

Swiss architect Mario Botta designed a round house in Stabio, Ticino, Switzerland, in 1980, that is rather monumental in its symmetry –

Nine years later, he designed one in Losone, just 60 kilometers away.

In his 1986 book on Botta, architect and artist Stuart Wrede described the Stabio house as follows: “Built on the edge of a rural field … Botta’s cylindrical house turns in on itself. However, while rejecting any dialogue with the surrounding houses, its richly textured form establishes a strong rapport with the landscape, in particular the curving ridge behind it.”

Here’s a glimpse into Botta’s design process.

In 1986, the Los Angeles Times ran an article describing a Malibu-based company, called Round Structures, Inc., that was marketing a construction system for building round houses. It explained: “The basic Round House is a 36-foot-diameter circle that sits on a 16-foot-diameter pedestal; the house has about 1,017 square feet of floor space. The pedestal is extended for hillside applications and eliminates much of the normal site preparation needed on difficult terrain.”

The owner of Round Structures, Dennis Torres, who had bought the company from its founder, told the Times: “The aesthetics of it (the building system) never really appealed to me when I first saw it. It was the practicality that made so much sense.”

But apparently the structures weren’t practical enough to attract the customers necessary to keep the company going.  A 2010 Google search found the owner running a Malibu-based dispute resolution business.