There’s an open house on Monday at 19 Harkle Road in Novato, California: the iconic, rotating round house that overlooks Highway 101 –
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.”
And 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.
A recent photo of the Bolinas round house, which seems to be uninhabited –
And, just down the hill, its round studio –
The round house in Bolinas, California, is or at least was a masterpiece –
I 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.
An Inuit (Eskimo) village, as seen in 1861 –
The illustration is from Charles Francis Hall’s Arctic Researches and Life Among the Esquimaux, published in 1865.
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.”
An innovative, expressionistic ’60s-era round house is now on the market in Oakland –
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.
First constructed in the 3rd millenium BC in what is now southwest Scotland, prehistoric round houses continued to be built up through the UK’s Roman period, particularly in the north and west of the country.
In recent decades, archeologists have discovered and excavated an enormous number of ancient round house sites. As of 2008, the number of excavated round houses in Britain had nearly reached 4,000.