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Outside the Box: Unusual Home Layouts

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Don’t be a square; whether out of necessity or aesthetics, these layouts come in all shapes and sizes.
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  Architect Piers Taylor’s renovation and preservation of an old gamekeeper’s cottage led to a sharp L-shaped layout, with the modern addition proudly displayed. Photo by Ben Anders.   Photo by: Ben Anders

    Architect Piers Taylor’s renovation and preservation of an old gamekeeper’s cottage led to a sharp L-shaped layout, with the modern addition proudly displayed. Photo by Ben Anders. 

    Photo by: Ben Anders

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  Casa Serpiente, named for it’s coiled layout, preserves a Melia tree in the center with a mirrored facade to amplify the effect. Photo by Cristóbal Palma.   Photo by: Cristóbal PalmaCourtesy of: Cristobal Palma
    Casa Serpiente, named for it’s coiled layout, preserves a Melia tree in the center with a mirrored facade to amplify the effect. Photo by Cristóbal Palma.
     

    Photo by: Cristóbal Palma

    Courtesy of: Cristobal Palma

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  A house and gallery in Seoul is divided into three modules, with water in between. Architect Steven Holl derived this layout from a never performed musical score by István Anhalt. Photo by Iwan Baan.   Photo by: Iwan Baan
    A house and gallery in Seoul is divided into three modules, with water in between. Architect Steven Holl derived this layout from a never performed musical score by István Anhalt. Photo by Iwan Baan.
     

    Photo by: Iwan Baan

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  Basel-based architect Silvia Gmür’s concrete villa on Lake Maggiore is a remarkable platform from which to marvel at sublime, peaked vistas. Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Farnsworth House is clearly in the DNA of her weekend getaway, but she disrupts the purity of the glass-box formula even as she preserves its sense of mathematical precision. Gmür’s version has two floors, each a separate home, each slashed in half creating a large terrace, and each punctuated by an unlikely pair of pyramids, one of which is made to stand on its head. It’s a gravity-defying joke on the cantilevered engineering holding all that concrete aloft, with a sly, topsy-turvy reference to the surrounding mountain peaks. Photo by Hélène Binet.  Photo by: Hélène Binet

    Basel-based architect Silvia Gmür’s concrete villa on Lake Maggiore is a remarkable platform from which to marvel at sublime, peaked vistas. Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Farnsworth House is clearly in the DNA of her weekend getaway, but she disrupts the purity of the glass-box formula even as she preserves its sense of mathematical precision. Gmür’s version has two floors, each a separate home, each slashed in half creating a large terrace, and each punctuated by an unlikely pair of pyramids, one of which is made to stand on its head. It’s a gravity-defying joke on the cantilevered engineering holding all that concrete aloft, with a sly, topsy-turvy reference to the surrounding mountain peaks. Photo by Hélène Binet.

    Photo by: Hélène Binet

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  Curving up 44 levels, the Coil house by Tokyo architect Akihisa Hirata redefines flexible living. Each room has a loosely defined purpose that changes according to the whims of the family. Devoid of heavy furniture, each landing accommodates a multitude of activities on a daily basis. “[This] fits our ‘futon lifestyle,’” says the resident, explaining that the family freely spreads out their mattresses on any of the large landings at night. Photo by Koichi Torimura.  Photo by: Koichi Torimura

    Curving up 44 levels, the Coil house by Tokyo architect Akihisa Hirata redefines flexible living. Each room has a loosely defined purpose that changes according to the whims of the family. Devoid of heavy furniture, each landing accommodates a multitude of activities on a daily basis. “[This] fits our ‘futon lifestyle,’” says the resident, explaining that the family freely spreads out their mattresses on any of the large landings at night. Photo by Koichi Torimura.

    Photo by: Koichi Torimura

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  Echoing the site’s topography, an apartment building by design firm Plasma Studio in Sesto, Italy, has abstract folding planes that provide practical balconies as well as add aesthetic value. Photos by Hertha Hurnaus.  Photo by: Hertha Hurnaus

    Echoing the site’s topography, an apartment building by design firm Plasma Studio in Sesto, Italy, has abstract folding planes that provide practical balconies as well as add aesthetic value. Photos by Hertha Hurnaus.

    Photo by: Hertha Hurnaus

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  Architects Carrie and Kevin Burke designed their home to be a time-telling observatory. Sunlight is corseted through a 24-inch glass eye suspended just beneath a skylight, making the living room double as a sundial. Photo by Prakash Patel.  Photo by: Prakash Patel

    Architects Carrie and Kevin Burke designed their home to be a time-telling observatory. Sunlight is corseted through a 24-inch glass eye suspended just beneath a skylight, making the living room double as a sundial. Photo by Prakash Patel.

    Photo by: Prakash Patel

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