Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion House, first completed in 1930 and redesigned in 1945, was an early attempt to develop autonomous architecture. Never produced industrially, the prototypes nonetheless paved the way for the future of non-rectilinear residential building.
Finnish architect Matti Suuronen took a stab at pod-like housing with the Futuro House, designed in 1968. The success of the project was thwarted by poor public reception, and fewer than 100 of the prefab structures were completed by the time the house was taken off the market in the mid 1970s.
A cliffside residence built by John Lautner in 1968 is a clear departure from the rectilinear glass and steel architecture popular during the period. Commissioned by interior designer Arthur Elrod, the home’s circular concrete construction sets it apart from its neighbors.
Also completed in 1968, Yrjö Kukkapuro’s studio-cum-residence consists of a rounded triangle topped with a sweeping concrete roofline. “It is a structure in waiting, prone to change as the landscape around it—not yet a form, rather a possibility,” Kukkapuro says.
Dante Bini was the brains behind the Binishell, a 1960s innovation that involved inflating a large balloon coated with a thin layer of concrete that hardened in place to create a uniquely rounded edifice. Fifty years later, his son, Nicoló Bini, is adapting the concept for a new generation.
This water tower, known as the Chateau d'eau from Steenokerzeel, was built in 1941 in a city northeast of Brussels. An inspired renovation has since transformed the concrete pillar into a six-story circular living space that rises high above the surrounding scenery.