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Outside of the Box: 7 Delightfully Idiosyncratic Designs

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Seven of the most inventive and original architectural designs ever featured in Dwell.
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  Sculpture meets architecture in the surrealist facade of the Synagogue de Delme visitors center in northeastern France. Photo by Olivier-Henri Dancy.  Photo by: Olivier-Henri Dancy

    Sculpture meets architecture in the surrealist facade of the Synagogue de Delme visitors center in northeastern France. Photo by Olivier-Henri Dancy.

    Photo by: Olivier-Henri Dancy

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  To shield an addition and new courtyard for a bungalow in greater Melbourne, architect Anthony Clarke fitted its facade with strips of rough-sawn Victorian ash. Photo by Peter Bennetts.

    To shield an addition and new courtyard for a bungalow in greater Melbourne, architect Anthony Clarke fitted its facade with strips of rough-sawn Victorian ash. Photo by Peter Bennetts.

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  Perched in the Dolomite mountains, an angular copper-clad apartment building echoes the topography of its site. Photo by Hertha Hernaus.  Photo by: Hertha Hurnaus

    Perched in the Dolomite mountains, an angular copper-clad apartment building echoes the topography of its site. Photo by Hertha Hernaus.

    Photo by: Hertha Hurnaus

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  Art object or machine for living in Architect William Massie’s personal prefab project takes the mass out of mass customization to create a one-of-a-kind wonder. Photo by Henrik Knudsen.  Photo by: Henrik Knudsen

    Art object or machine for living in Architect William Massie’s personal prefab project takes the mass out of mass customization to create a one-of-a-kind wonder. Photo by Henrik Knudsen.

    Photo by: Henrik Knudsen

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  In Vienna, a dazzling penthouse by Delugan Meissl has boldly inserted itself between traditional rooftops of the city’s Wieden district like a recently landed alien intruder. The “culinary cockpit” (a.k.a. the kitchen) stands at the center of the apartment on a raised platform. A long, white slanted counter contains hi-fi speakers and a BUS-system panel of 18 buttons for controlling lights, curtains, heating, ventilation, etc. Photo by Hertha Hurnaus.  Photo by: Hertha Hurnaus

    In Vienna, a dazzling penthouse by Delugan Meissl has boldly inserted itself between traditional rooftops of the city’s Wieden district like a recently landed alien intruder. The “culinary cockpit” (a.k.a. the kitchen) stands at the center of the apartment on a raised platform. A long, white slanted counter contains hi-fi speakers and a BUS-system panel of 18 buttons for controlling lights, curtains, heating, ventilation, etc. Photo by Hertha Hurnaus.

    Photo by: Hertha Hurnaus

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  In Sweden, the 13-by-13 foot Mirrorcube tree house, a reflective glass cube built around the trunk of a pine, blends into the surrounding forest so well that the architects plan to cover it with a transparent ultraviolet film to alert flying birds so they won't smash into it.

    In Sweden, the 13-by-13 foot Mirrorcube tree house, a reflective glass cube built around the trunk of a pine, blends into the surrounding forest so well that the architects plan to cover it with a transparent ultraviolet film to alert flying birds so they won't smash into it.

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  Iranian architect Nader Kahlili fashions affordable, easily assembled housing out of sandbags and concrete for a surprsingly striking result.

    Iranian architect Nader Kahlili fashions affordable, easily assembled housing out of sandbags and concrete for a surprsingly striking result.

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