Archives For round house

round house on a hill

August 18, 2016 — 3 Comments

The Round House on Bathsheba beach in Barbados — nearly 200 years old. Built as a family home, it’s now an inn –

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villa circuitus

April 26, 2016 — 3 Comments

Villa Circuitus, the first round house in Sweden to meet passive house standards –

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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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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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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)

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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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

Designed by maverick American architect Bruce Goff, the Ruth Ford House — known variously as the Round House, Coal House, and Umbrella House — is a creative tour de force.  It could not look less like neighboring houses in suburban Aurora, Illinois, where it was built in 1947-49, and local people took it as an architectural affront. Fortunately, as the photo below attests, the owners of the house were undaunted –

goff, ford house, life mag, 1951

Life Magazine published a several-page spread on the house in 1951, with lovely color photos by Eliot Elisofon of the house’s interior and exterior.

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.