12 Futuristic Homes That Look Like They Belong in Outer Space

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By Michele Koh Morollo
With NASA’s InSight lander roving across Mars, we have space travel on our minds. These sci-fi homes show us what life might look like if we lived on other planets.

On November 26, 2018, after a six-month journey across 300 million miles of space, NASA’s InSight lander safely reached Mars. The InSight’s mission is to study the deep interior of the Red Planet and report back with stunning images and findings in preparation for possible astronaut landings in the future. 

While Mars has captured the imaginations of sci-fi enthusiasts for centuries, the actuality of living on the desolate planet is still far in the future. In the meantime, we probed around on our very own Earth to seek out 12 futuristic, space-inspired homes that look as though they might have been designed and built in a galaxy far, far away. 

1. MARS Case Prototype

Beijing based OPEN Architecture teamed up with Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi to create MARS Case, a housing prototype that would allow humans to overcome the challenges of living in a punishing, Martian environment. 

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Smart, lightweight, compact, and easily transportable, MARS Case was designed to circulate energy and create zero waste.

Smart, lightweight, compact, and easily transportable, MARS Case was designed to circulate energy and create zero waste.

The house feeds energy, air, and water back into an integrated ecosystem to conserve resources.

The house feeds energy, air, and water back into an integrated ecosystem to conserve resources.

2. Wave House

Designed by Finnish architect Seppo Mäntylä and manufactured by Finnish log home maker Polar Life Haus, Wave House’s aerodynamic, spaceship-like exteriors are constructed from solid wood, glass, and steel.

The curved shape of the house was inspired by the design of boats and airplanes.

The curved shape of the house was inspired by the design of boats and airplanes.

Wave House seamlessly combines solid timber with glass.

Wave House seamlessly combines solid timber with glass.

3. High Desert House

On the edge of Joshua Tree National Park, set within an otherworldly landscape, High Desert House is a modern organic masterpiece designed by San Diego architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg that would look right at home on the set of a Star Wars film.

High Desert House is composed of 26 freestanding, concrete columns that look like rib bones. 

High Desert House is composed of 26 freestanding, concrete columns that look like rib bones. 

Discrete rooms are parsed by large, arched concrete pillars, and spaces flow seamlessly into each other.

Discrete rooms are parsed by large, arched concrete pillars, and spaces flow seamlessly into each other.

4. 1970s UFO House

Architect Stefan Hitthaler saw promise in this 1973 holiday cabin near the South Tyrolean town of Brunico, and remodeled it to become a 660-square-foot, UFO-like residence that pays homage to the the bold charms of midcentury Space Age design.

Windows added to the side corners of the north facade bring additional daylight indoors.

Windows added to the side corners of the north facade bring additional daylight indoors.

Hidden away in Germany’s Bavarian Forest near Brunico, the UFO House overlooks stunning valley views and Brunico Castle.

Hidden away in Germany’s Bavarian Forest near Brunico, the UFO House overlooks stunning valley views and Brunico Castle.

5. Prefab Spaceship House

In the green enclave of La Moraleja, on the outskirts of Madrid, Barcelona–based design-build firm NOEM has created a prefab home with all the high-tech gizmos of a spaceship. Aptly named Spaceship House, the structure is raised 12 feet off the ground to offer better views of the landscape. "He basically told us he wanted a mothership," says Pol Guiu, cofounder of NOEM, of the brief he received from the house’s owner.

NOEM, a Barcelona–based architecture firm, created a metal-clad house for a young client just outside Madrid. It’s raised 12 feet off the ground to offer better views of the landscape, lending it "the futuristic feeling that it just landed," says Pol Guiu, one of NOEM’s cofounders.

NOEM, a Barcelona–based architecture firm, created a metal-clad house for a young client just outside Madrid. It’s raised 12 feet off the ground to offer better views of the landscape, lending it "the futuristic feeling that it just landed," says Pol Guiu, one of NOEM’s cofounders.

NOEM integrated the mechanical systems behind a purple screen for users to access. This "hub" is the first thing visible upon opening the front door.

NOEM integrated the mechanical systems behind a purple screen for users to access. This "hub" is the first thing visible upon opening the front door.

6. Ufogel

Architects Peter and Lukas Jungmann created this holiday cabin in the Austrian countryside with an irregular, otherworldly form that appears to hover, like an unidentified flying object, in midair. They named the shingled cabin Ufogel, which is a melding of the acronym UFO and vogel, which means bird in German.

Because of its irregular, otherworldly form, and how it seems to be suspended in midair, the cabin was named "Ufogel," which is a melding of the acronym UFO and "vogel," meaning bird in German.

Because of its irregular, otherworldly form, and how it seems to be suspended in midair, the cabin was named "Ufogel," which is a melding of the acronym UFO and "vogel," meaning bird in German.

Part modern art sculpture, part cozy cabin that connects with its natural surroundings, Ufogel is an out-of-this-world vacation home that celebrates bold, convention-defying architecture.

Part modern art sculpture, part cozy cabin that connects with its natural surroundings, Ufogel is an out-of-this-world vacation home that celebrates bold, convention-defying architecture.

7. Staab Residence 

Looking like a sleek space command center, Stabb Residence by Chen + Suchart Studio in Scottsdale, Arizona, features a facade of stainless steel and coated glass, so the the upstairs volume seems to hover over the thick masonry walls and change colors with the shifting sky.

Designed by Szu-Ping Patricia Chen Suchart and Thamarit Suchart of Chen + Suchart Studio, the Staab residence stands in stark contrast to its suburban context but in harmony with the Sonoran Desert.

Designed by Szu-Ping Patricia Chen Suchart and Thamarit Suchart of Chen + Suchart Studio, the Staab residence stands in stark contrast to its suburban context but in harmony with the Sonoran Desert.

A corner Multi-Slide Door transitions the master bedroom onto the patio, allowing the Staabs to sleep en plein air.

A corner Multi-Slide Door transitions the master bedroom onto the patio, allowing the Staabs to sleep en plein air.

8. Los Terrenos House

Like an apparition from the Twilight Zone, Los Terrenos House by Mexico City–based architect Tatiana Bilbao has exterior walls of mirrored glass, which creates the illusion of a house that "disappears" into the forest.

The larger volume has a peaked roof and a mirrored facade.

The larger volume has a peaked roof and a mirrored facade.

The raised bed platform create an interesting stepped topography in the bedroom.

The raised bed platform create an interesting stepped topography in the bedroom.

9. Pigna Tree House

Created by Tarvisio–based architect Claudio Beltrame in collaboration with DomusGaia, an Italian firm that manufactures wooden prefabricated homes, the Pigna Tree House is shaped like an egg, or alien pod, and has a domed bedroom with a skylight right above it.

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The living areas are spread across three levels and connected by wooden stairs. 

The living areas are spread across three levels and connected by wooden stairs. 

10. Tree-ness House

Inspired by trees, architect Akihisa Hirata designed this Tokyo multi-residential building as a three-dimensionally stacked, concrete complex that includes garden areas and stairs that appear to hang off the building's edges.

Hirata has used a system of organic layering to create a series of three-dimensional spaces, while also integrating apartments and galleries within the structure's five levels.

Hirata has used a system of organic layering to create a series of three-dimensional spaces, while also integrating apartments and galleries within the structure's five levels.

"I intended to create futuristic and savage architecture that awakens human animal instincts in which the inside and outside are reversed multiple times," states Hirata.

"I intended to create futuristic and savage architecture that awakens human animal instincts in which the inside and outside are reversed multiple times," states Hirata.

11. Dolomitenblick

This copper-clad, futuristic, six-unit apartment building set on a hillside in the Dolomites was designed by Plasma Studio with a highly geometric form and balconies that extrude from the facade.

In the Dolomite mountains, an angular copper-clad apartment building echoes the topography of its site. Photos by Hertha Hurnaus

In the Dolomite mountains, an angular copper-clad apartment building echoes the topography of its site. Photos by Hertha Hurnaus

12. Zaha Hadid-Designed Private Residence in Russia

Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid’s only residential project in Russia, this house in the Barvikha Forest near Moscow emerges from its sloping, forested site like a serpentine-like creature from outer space. The house’s master suite is contained in a separate volume that "floats" 72 feet above the ground for spectacular views. 

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The futuristic residence is defined by its natural topography emerging from the landscape, yet partially embedded within it.

The futuristic residence is defined by its natural topography emerging from the landscape, yet partially embedded within it.