The F-House cell block at Stateville Correctional Center, in Illinois, is the last remaining panopticon-style prison building in the United States –

stateville penitentiary f-house, IL The round plan of a panopticon, as designed by 18th/19th century British philosopher and criminologist Jeremy Bentham, was meant to allow the guards, stationed at the center of the circle, to monitor prisoners without the prisoners themselves knowing whether or not they were being observed. Bentham once described the panopticon as “a mill for grinding rogues honest.” All the flowers in the world cannot disguise the design’s essentially coercive function.

pi day is coming

March 13, 2015 — Leave a comment


round houses with a view

February 18, 2015 — 1 Comment

Sunrise in northern Ethiopia, near Lalibela –

northern ethiopia sunrise

the future is not yet here

January 19, 2015 — 1 Comment

The vacation house of the future, as conceived in 1957 by automobile designer James R. Powers

vacation house of the future

It has stylistic affinities with the Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport, built during the same period –

theme building, LAX


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 –


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, 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.”

build different

November 13, 2014 — Leave a comment

In a village full of rectangular houses near the town of Grimari, Central African Republic, one house stands out –

central african republic (nr grimari)

central african repub (nr grimari)

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.


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.

psychedelic african hut

August 19, 2014 — 1 Comment

In the Gambia, a new take on an old form


house no. 25

June 12, 2014 — 1 Comment

house 25

round house plans

June 9, 2014 — 1 Comment

Visit round houses on Pinterest for a page of circular floor plans

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