Bricks and mortar, wood and stone, steel and concrete – these all seem like the logical choices for home building materials in most houses. But who says you can’t veer away from these tried-and-tested materials and create a house that uniquely your own?
In different parts of the world, people are becoming more and more creative with their house design by incorporating home building materials that can either be ingenious (i.e. recycled soda bottles) or downright bizarre (i.e. a house made of corn).
Since we always appreciate the marriage of creativity and function, here are seven houses that used crazy home building materials:
More than 25,000 recycled bottles ingeniously cemented together to create the Bottle Houses, a must-see tourist attraction situated in Cap-Egmont, Prince Edward Island, Canada. It was built by the late Édouard T. Arsenault after receiving a postcard of a glass castle from his daughter in 1979. He started collecting bottles from his community, mostly from a local restaurant, community dance halls, friends, relatives and neighbours.
Source: The Bottle House
Top Gear presenter James May built the world’s first full-size Lego house – including a working toilet, hot shower and a very uncomfortable bed – in 2009 using 3.3 million plastic bricks. Unfortunately, the house is no longer standing, but we still think it’s interesting to see your childhood playthings become a real functioning house.
Source: The Daily Mail
This house whose walls were made out of corn cobs won the Archi<20 competition in 2012. The 20 sqm housing prototype has been constructed in a protected natural area in the village of Muttersholtz, in the North-East of France.
There is no kitchen, plumbing, or weather proofing. It is an innovation for building low cost sustainable houses.
Source: Arch Daily
Richard Van Os Keuls, an architect from Silver Spring, Maryland, first got the idea of incorporating flattened aluminium cans into his trade after seeing a car drive over a discarded soda can. He thought to himself that it would make a pretty decent aluminium shingle, so he began collecting old cans and used it as siding for the plywood extension on his house.
Wearing heavy construction boots, Richard first stomped on the cans and then flattened them even further with a sledgehammer, rounding the corners so people wouldn’t get cut when leaning up against the house. He found that flattening each can was time-consuming, so he started working on several at a time. When they were ready to be placed on the wall, he would place 30-40 cans overlapping each other and secure them with a long aluminium nail.
Source: Oddity Central
It’s not so fun to be living in a fishbowl…or is it? This transparent glass house in Tokyo, known as “House NA”, offers plenty of daylight, however no privacy. The 914 square-foot transparent house was built by Sou Fujimoto Architects and is associated with the concept of living within a tree.
Source: Architecture Art Designs
Turning the good old shipping container into a home is all the rage these days. We’re not surprised. Typically, a shipping container costs only $1800 – $5000 (some as little as $800) depending on their size. These containers are also eco-friendly, as they are re-purposed into homes instead of being melted down when they are scrapped or shipped back empty. Containers are also “virtually indestructible.”
Source: Digital Trends
Cork is not only for wine or your Post-it notes. Using cork as a building material is an all-around great idea because it is natural, fire resistant, insulating and long-lasting. MUJI, the wonderful minimalist Japanese brand with the mantra ” Simplicity and emptiness yield the ultimate universality, embracing the feelings and thoughts of all people” has built a cork house with designer Jasper Morrison. It has all the elements needed for a functional house, and guess what – everything is made out of cork.
So there we are. Seven rather crazy home building materials, which I assure you I am unlikely to recommend for your next home renovation!