More Unusual Houses from Around the World

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unusual houses from around the world. Madeirense cottage. Cabana. Rondavel. Mnong. Toba Batak house. Jabu. Toda hut. Grass Hut. Black House. Beehive House. Clochen. unusual houses found around the world. Bolwoningen. Kubuswoningen. roundhouse. longhouse.

Most of the houses featured in this, my second article about unusual houses of the world, ( unusual-houses-from-around-the-world ) are vernacular houses, houses built using locally resourced materials and traditional age old building methods.

Some of the houses listed are still used as abodes, and some are lovingly preserved examples of a long ago, lost culture or heritage. 

I have also sneaked in a couple of very futuristic Dutch houses, which just couldn't be left out of any unusual house article.  

                                        UNUSUAL HOUSES FROM AROUND THE WORLD 


   Image courtesy of glumik, wikimedia commons.

                      BEEHIVE HOUSES.  

These unusual cylindrical houses, built like an upside down flower pot, were once quite prevelant in and around the middle east 3,000 years ago. Made from mud and thatch which was then dried hard, these structures were very cool inside, ideal for the regular 50 degree summer temperatures of the area., 

 These particular houses were still being lived in until the 1980's, but are now just a tourist attraction in the southern Turkish town of Harran.  

Image courtesy of wujsyl, wikimedia commons.

             BLACK HOUSE.  

A black house dwelling is a dry stone structure with a turf thatch roof, once found all over the Scottish Isles.

This beautiful example situated on the Isle of Skye is actually a 150 year old museum piece, hence it's immaculate condition, but remnants of these 1,000 year old structures can still be found all over the western Isles.

Originally they would have been made from dried peat blocks, which would then revert back to their natural state once abandoned.  



These unique little concrete houses are situated in Hertogenbosch, North Brabant, Holland and were part of a local futuristic housing scheme in the 1970's.

In their day they were considered hi - tec state of the art dwellings, with hundreds of people clammering to be the first to live in them.

The unusual five room, spherical dwellings were designed by Dutch architect Dries Kreijkamp . 



The above cabana is actually situated at a hotel in Manabi, Ecuador, but is a perfect example of an indigenous grass and bamboo style dwelling found in jungle areas of the tropics.

This little house - which is actually a hotel room - has a bamboo frame topped with a grass roof and is typical of local Amerindian architecture of South America.  


  Image courtesy of Dirk Huth, wikimedia commons.


This dry stone, corbel roofed dwelling is situated on the Dingle Peninsula in the Republic of Ireland and is a perfectly preserved example of Celtic architecture going back as far as the Bronze Age.

Once upon a time, the entire British Isles would have sported these beehive shaped homes, which were once shelter to both man and his beasts.  


                         GRASS HUT. 

Grass huts are typical of the tropics and Pacific Islands where there is little else in the way of building materials.

This particular house is situated in Bana in the African country of Cameroon, and is typical of the local tribal dwellings still used there.  


 Image courtesy of Geert.C Smulders. wikimeida commons.


After Holland's round houses, the Bolwoningen, now for Holland's square houses, the Kubuswoningen.

These futuristic houses which give one the optical illusion that the houses are falling over, were designed by Dutch architect Piet Blom in 2006.

They can be found in the de Kolk area of the historical city of Helmond in North Brabant, southern Netherlands. 


 Image courtesy of Markus Bernet, wikimedia commons.

                     MADEIRENSE COTTAGE. 

Now a tourist attraction in the town of Santana on the Portugese island of Madeira, this wood and local grass roofed cottage is a finely preserved example of the local, traditional island farm house, once found all over the Iberian Peninsula, centuries ago.  



The most famous builders of the communal long house were the ancient Vikings, with examples still found today in seeral parts of Scandinavia, all of which have been preserved and housed in museums.

This particular example is a communal longhouse situated in Buon Jun in central Vietnam.This type of dwelling is still prevelant in tribal areas across south east asia, particularly in Indonesia and Borneo, where communal living is still the norm for local people.



The rondavel is the modern day mud hut, still found in many parts of the African continent.

This particular example, situated just outside Lesotho, is made from dried mud bricks with a grass roof, and was built to a plan that hasn't changed in centuries.



  Image courtesy of Tbachner, wikimedia commons.

                    TOBA BATAK HOUSE.  

This impressive looking structure, built to resemble a boat, is an indigenous dwelling of the Toba Batak people of Sumatra.

The dwelling is called a jabu and is built to an ancient plan used by these fishing communities for centuries. 


 Image courtesy of Pratheep P.S, wikimedia commons.

                       TODA HUT. 

This bamboo and rattan construction hails from the Indian hill village of Nilgris in southern India, where locals have been living in these types of dwellings for over a thousand years.

This pent shaped house is situated in the village of Muthunadu Mund, where they are used as communal dwellings for up to five families.

Half a dozen or so of these structures will be built in any one village, with each structure used for a designated purpose, such as one for people, one for animals, one for cooking and so on.

                               FOR MORE UNUSUAL HOUSES FROM AROUND THE WORLD. 




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