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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.

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 –

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 –

mg_7001lowres

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.”

on the market

October 4, 2014 — Leave a comment

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.

martello_tower

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.

house no. 25

June 12, 2014 — 1 Comment

house 25

Once upon a time — about 2,500 years ago — people in what is now Britain switched from building rectangular houses to building round houses: in many instances, small circular structures with wooden walls made of wattle and daub, no windows, a conical roof, and a single entrance. And for more than 2,500 years, from the early Bronze Age to the late Iron Age, they stuck with this circular design, even while people in the rest of Europe — or what later became Europe — lived in rectangular structures.

It was with the Roman conquest that the British, too, began to adopt rectangular house designs. But evidence of the region’s history of round construction can still be found in archeological sites all over the UK, from Dartmoor, Devon, England, to Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

In recent years, a number of replica round houses have been built. Below is one in Burwardsley, Cheshire, which is open to school groups and other visitors –

celtic round house

360 house

January 4, 2014 — 2 Comments

The 360 House, by the Dutch firm 123DV

123DV, 360 house 2

round house by 123DV

300 degree house

November 10, 2013 — 2 Comments

A newly-built, near-circular house in Thornbury, England, is now on the market

thornbury, UK

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all year round

October 20, 2013 — 1 Comment

This pretty circular house in Båstad, Sweden, was on the market earlier this year –

bastad, sweden

Beautifully located just off the beach, it was apparently build decades ago as some sort of outbuilding for the neighboring Hotel Riviera. Later it was converted into a vacation home, and later still into a permanent residence. Simple, elegant, and very cool.

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 actually 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

tukal, beaulieu 6

tukal, beaulieu 5

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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