HOW would you like to live in a cowshed? Or an upside down house? It may sound odd but these are real houses and they are right here in Australia.
Thanks to the advancement in architecture, technology and construction, home owners are only limited by their imagination (and a budget). From glass houses in Japan to tiny homes all over the world, we've really gone the distance when it comes to creating one-of-a-kind dwellings.
Now, let's take a look at some of the most unique homes in Australia, starting with the Cowshed House (above and below).
UNIQUE HOMES: The Carterwilliamson Cowshed House (interior). An old cowshed in Glebe provided a rare opportunity to preserve some of the character and charm of this eclectic neighborhood. Wherever possible, the fabric of the original cowshed was preserved, but sadly much was structurally unsound.
What was rebuilt carries the spirit of the cowshed - concrete slabs polished as flooring, recycled bricks left as face for the internal walls and the timber structure exposed. Oiled timber doors and windows and corrugated cladding hint at the Australian pastural vernacular now all but forgotten in this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. (Photography by Brett Boardman for Carterwillamson Architects)
UNIQUE HOMES: The Claw House. Aptly named 'The Claw' by the owners, this unique part of the house is actually an extension of an old 'meals room'. Despite the new space (above) that now brings the living environment into the beautifully landscaped yard, the real reason for the claw-like roof design by Nic Owen was to actually provide solar protection to the north while allowing the winter sun indoors. (Photo: Nic Owen Architects)
UNIQUE HOMES: The Claw House (interior). The Claw is wrapped by floor-to-ceiling glass windows to allow maximum light making the space appear larger than it is. (Photo: Nic Owen Architects)
UNIQUE HOMES: The Upside Down Back To Front House. What used to be a the site of an 1880s workers terrace is now 'the upside down, back to front house'. Before the makeover, the home owners always entered their home from the back to arrive more easily into the living spaces. The architects at Carterwilliamson then formalised these existing use patterns, flipping the entry, bringing the back to the front. (Photo: Carterwilliamson Architects)
UNIQUE HOMES: The Upside Down Back To Front House (interior). Unlike ordinary houses, the Upside Down Back To Front House has their garden hidden on the top floor as a protected courtyard. (Photo: Carterwilliamson Architects)
UNIQUE HOMES: The GRID. How about a house that you can flat pack? A sustainable housing prototype named after the Norse goddess of peace, GRID, can be assembled quickly and transported cheaply to diverse and remote locations. GRID was originally conceived as a response to the tsunami in Banda Aceh. The strategy was to devise both an 'ideal' and a 're-use' system that could operate interchangeably; in disaster zones the materials would comprise materials retrieved from debris.
In less compromised circumstances, the shelters, pre-fabricated off-site, can be transported 'flat-packed' by either road or rail to remote communities. GRID houses eight to ten people with a mezzanine level for sleeping and privacy.
GRID is soon to find its first new home in regional New South Wales. The sub-zero winter temperatures, extreme summer heat and infamously rugged terrain of Armidale and the New England Tablelands will be a welcome test for this highly adaptable, mobile structure, and one that will ensure the resilience and relevance of its future. (Photo: Carterwilliamson Architects)
UNIQUE HOMES: The Noosa Nature House: Surrounded by local native trees, birds and wildlife, this stunning home was designed to be as close to nature as possible. No wonder even their theater area is outdoors, surrounded by nature. CLICK HERE to view this property.
UNIQUE HOMES: The Four Winds Estate. This stunning residence has amazing timber ceilings throughout and even uses tree barks as pillars. It also has a resort style pool, waterfall, heated spa and lush sub tropical gardens. If that's not enough, there are also two-fully approved luxury guest villas which are currently successfully operating as high quality holiday accommodation. CLICK HERE to view this property.
UNIQUE HOMES: The Hamilton Villa. The ship-looking villa was architecturally designed by Walter Barda and landscaped by Jamie Durie to suit the environment. After all, the villa enjoys breathtaking ocean views over Dent Passage and towards the Whitsunday Islands. With floor-to-ceiling glass walls and a see-through glass ceiling, you can truly believe that you're actually at sea. CLICK HERE to view this property.