Created by some of the most storied names in architecture – and rising stars as well – these five homes are in no danger of resembling any other structure, anywhere on earth. We commend the visionaries who commissioned these homes for their courage, and for opening their private residences up to the world. We can only hope for more such forward-thinking property owners!
1) Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, U.S.A (above)
Originally tasked to design a home with views of the Bear Run waterfalls, American architect Frank Lloyd Wright chose instead to integrate his vision with nature by placing the home on top of the rushing falls. This 5,330 sq. ft. masterpiece comprises three levels, each marked by cantilevers extended asymmetrically across the waters. With the sound of the falls quietly reverberating through the space, and corner windows opening out into the vast outdoors, the home epitomizes the harmonious beauty of Man and Nature.
2) Maison Bordeaux, France
This innovative private residence was designed by Rem Koolhaas of OMA to accommodate a paraplegic client and his family. Eschewing a simple and straightforward design, Koolhaas proposed a complex yet functional home comprising three houses stacked together, each with its own distinctive space. Traversing the various floors is an ingenious 3×3.5 meter elevator platform serving as an office without walls, allowing its user to become a part of the living space or kitchen without moving from the desk.
3) Tower House, New York, U.S.A
Sustainability and environmental awareness are two issues at the forefront of this steel and glass vacation home in upstate New York. Resembling a miniature skyscraper, bisected with a cantilevered volume on the fourth floor, this Gluck+ creation minimizes its forest impact by stacking bedrooms and bathrooms and lifting its living space above ground, creating a footprint of only 430.5 sq. ft. The tower structure facilitates natural cooling and heating and provides uninterrupted views of the nearby Catskill Park.
4) Fish House, Sentosa, Singapore
Located in the exclusive residential enclave of Sentosa Cove, this 5,800 sq. ft. bungalow by acclaimed Singapore-based design firm Guz and Architects brings island living to a new paradisiacal standard. The home features open spaces seemingly stretching out to sea, and a 25,000-liter saltwater swimming pool weaving through the interior and exterior of the home. It’s pièce de résistance lies in its unique subterranean media room with acrylic windows, offering an aquarium-like view of the pool.
5) Cave Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
Surrounded by sapphire-blue waters and white-sand beaches, this private island located in the exotic Exumas, Bahamas, is a rare gem. Featuring a private deep-water harbor and marina with 35 dock slips, as well as a 2,800-foot private airstrip, the 222-acre island comes totally self-sufficient with water and power supplied by diesel generators. With plans for 38 buildings, the island is approved for commercial operations, but can also be converted to private use. Full of endless possibilities, the property is available through Christie’s.
This article was first published in Palace Magazine.