Archives For DIY

a labour of love

January 24, 2016 — 2 Comments

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.

round house

milton keynes round house

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round house

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.”

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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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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 –

nauvoo round house

nauvoo

nauvoo

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.

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as good a reason as any

November 24, 2013 — Leave a comment

“I don’t like corners.”

topsham, VT

For sale in Topham, Vermont. This video reveals its construction secrets.

round as an igloo

October 18, 2013 — 2 Comments

spokane daily chronicle - 7-29-52

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

round living rm

a reciprocal roof

March 24, 2011 — Leave a comment

Hooray for the spiral energetic –