18 Real-Life Monopoly Houses That Are Winning the Game
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18 Real-Life Monopoly Houses That Are Winning the Game

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By Samantha Daly
The classic game piece gets a grown-up treatment with these gable roof designs.

Do, in fact, pass "Go" and collect $200—the gable-roof buildings we’ve rounded up are truly winning. The cabins, sheds, and other peaked projects below remind us of the famous Monopoly game pieces shaped like the archetypal house. Playing with form and tradition, these homes, you could say, are game-changers.  

This Transformed House Resembles a Quirky Village in Melbourne, Australia

Inspired by the Sydney Opera House, architects Andrew Maynard and Mark Austin paid careful attention to the extension’s "fifth elevation"—the way it’s seen from the sky. Its tiny houses, clustered at the southern end of the property, are clad in white steel panels and western red cedar shingles, contrasting materials that emphasize their geometric forms.

Inspired by the Sydney Opera House, architects Andrew Maynard and Mark Austin paid careful attention to the extension’s "fifth elevation"—the way it’s seen from the sky. Its tiny houses, clustered at the southern end of the property, are clad in white steel panels and western red cedar shingles, contrasting materials that emphasize their geometric forms.

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Neighborliness can seem like a thing of the past in many suburbs today, a trend that architects Andrew Maynard and Mark Austin were hoping to counter when they approached the renovation and extension of a weatherboard home outside Melbourne for a couple and their eight-year-old twins. Instead of designing another closed-off contemporary work of architecture, the architects created a village, wherein a series of friendly, gabled structures lead out from the original house and border an open garden. The front yard has a communal vegetable patch that neighbors are invited to use; the back fence, though tall, is see-through; and the gates are also designed to be left open wide.

Peek Inside Photographer Casey Dunn’s Dreamy Home in Austin, Texas

"When we started out, Casey wasn’t married and wasn’t dating anyone," says architect Arthur Furman. "So the original project brief was less about bedrooms and bathrooms, and more about the character of the home. Specifically, the shape. Casey had an image in his mind of a house he had photographed early in his career in a wooded area of Maine. The house was a basic shape—as one would draw as a child—just a box with a gabled roof." The home's simple gabled shape is emphasized by the use of burnished stucco on all sides.

"When we started out, Casey wasn’t married and wasn’t dating anyone," says architect Arthur Furman. "So the original project brief was less about bedrooms and bathrooms, and more about the character of the home. Specifically, the shape. Casey had an image in his mind of a house he had photographed early in his career in a wooded area of Maine. The house was a basic shape—as one would draw as a child—just a box with a gabled roof." The home's simple gabled shape is emphasized by the use of burnished stucco on all sides.

As one of the most sought-after architectural photographers in Texas, Austin native Casey Dunn has developed a keen eye for design. So, when it came time to tackle his dream home from the ground up, he turned to his longtime friend Arthur Furman to help realize his thoughtfully crafted East Austin abode. At the time, Arthur was still working for his father’s firm at Furman & Keil Architects and had yet to start his own practice. Yet Casey’s belief in Arthur’s talent helped spur the young architect to leave his job and—with his wife, Annie-Laurie Grabiel—launch Side Angle Side, an Austin–based architectural practice that remembers Casa Casey as their first project.

This Bright Green Prefab Looks Just Like a Monopoly House in Sweden

"How would a kid draw a house?" architect Per Franson asked himself when designing the Olivero-Reinius family home. The simple prefab structure’s unusual color comes from a traditional source: falu rödfärg, the historic mineral paint that gives the region’s famous barns their red color.

"How would a kid draw a house?" architect Per Franson asked himself when designing the Olivero-Reinius family home. The simple prefab structure’s unusual color comes from a traditional source: falu rödfärg, the historic mineral paint that gives the region’s famous barns their red color.

When Per Franson was tasked with building a minimalist family home for Fatima Olivero-Reinius, a web designer, and her husband, Johan, an advertising executive, he wasn’t expecting to sidestep the usual challenges of construction. But builder Michael Johansson offered a novel solution: he and his team of carpenters would build the structure in a hangar-like space in Johansson’s hometown of Kalmar, some 260 miles from the building site. The small city is located in southeastern Sweden in the region of Småland, where both Franson and Wreland—who has since shifted his primary focus to furniture-making—were raised. It’s an area steeped in craftsmanship, with a wealth of small factories, carpenters, and builders, and its influence extends to the heart of the architects’ practice.

Two Barn-Like Volumes Make Up This Low-Maintenance Home in Byron Bay, Australia

Architect and builder Tim Sharpe and his wife Rani Blancpain wanted a home that would allow them to enjoy an indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Surrounded by hoop pines, Twin Barns comprises two farmhouse-style buildings: an approximately 3,600-square-foot, four-bedroom home; and a 900-square-foot "granny flat."  

Architect and builder Tim Sharpe and his wife Rani Blancpain wanted a home that would allow them to enjoy an indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Surrounded by hoop pines, Twin Barns comprises two farmhouse-style buildings: an approximately 3,600-square-foot, four-bedroom home; and a 900-square-foot "granny flat."  

For their home in Byron Bay, Australia, architect and builder Tim Sharpe of Sharpe Design Construct and his wife Rani Blancpain combined the Australian wool shed, European mansard, and steep-pitched gabled roofs to create a home that would become better with age. "So we can focus on living in it and enjoying it, rather than maintaining it," explains Sharpe. Sharpe and Blancpain designed Twin Barns to be not only low-maintenance and durable, but also comfortable and thermally efficient. They used hardy materials, as in the galvanized-steel flat pan roof and Australian spotted gum VJ board, which would both age well and develop a gray patina over time.

Prefab Units Cluster Together in This Off-the-Grid Guesthouse in New Mexico

The Element House by MOS Architects stands on pylons, creating the illusion of it hovering over the desert floor. Nine thermal chimneys, one of which can be seen right, channel hot air out from the interior living areas.  

The Element House by MOS Architects stands on pylons, creating the illusion of it hovering over the desert floor. Nine thermal chimneys, one of which can be seen right, channel hot air out from the interior living areas.  

Located 120 miles east of Albuquerque, it's not hard to see why this building—titled the Element House—needed to be self-sufficient. Designed by MOS Architects, the residence was commissioned by the Museum of Outdoor Arts to host guests visiting a nearby installation: artist Charles Ross' Star Axis, a massive outdoor stellar observatory. The aluminum-clad structure consists of several prefabricated units joined to make a three-bedroom residence, complete with a living room, dining room, and kitchen. The 1,543-square-foot project was built to Passive House standards, meaning it's hyper-efficient in insulating from energy loss (or in this case, energy gain from the desert heat).

A Minimalist Home Is Built Into Steep Terrain in a Valley in Austria

The gabled roof ridge of Höller House by Innauer-Matt Architekten is parallel to the hill.

The gabled roof ridge of Höller House by Innauer-Matt Architekten is parallel to the hill.

A contemporary take on traditional Austrian farmhouses, the Höller House evokes simplistic beauty at its finest. Designed by Innauer-Matt Architekten, this newly built home is nestled into a steep hill just outside a village in the idyllic Bregenzerwald valley in Western Austria. To help blend the building into the landscape, the sections of the home visible above the slope are cladded in natural and unfinished spruce sourced from the owner's own forest.

Inexpensive Gabled Garden Shed in Smetlede, Belgium

Architect Indra Janda hand-cut sheets of polycarbonate into 15¾-inch square shingles and clad the entire timber structure—a gabled roof and walls—with them.

Architect Indra Janda hand-cut sheets of polycarbonate into 15¾-inch square shingles and clad the entire timber structure—a gabled roof and walls—with them.

In the rural Belgian town of Smetlede, polycarbonate—a type of extra-strong plastic—is often used to sheathe porches and verandas. When architect Indra Janda designed what she calls a "garden room" on her parents’ estate, the humble, inexpensive, and easy-to-work-with material was a natural choice. "But I wanted to use it in a different kind of way," Janda says. The 484-square-foot room offers a cool respite from summer sun and a warm place to relax in winter.

Stressed Out? Sweden’s 72 Hour Cabins Are Designed to Soothe

Launched by Visit Sweden, the cabins and the stress study could be easily written off as a tourism board gimmick—but they shouldn’t. The tiny glass cabins tap into a growing need to disconnect from a tech-driven world. To give the structures a true sense of place, the cabins were built of locally-sourced materials and designed by Jeanna Berger, daughter of the owners of Henriksholm, a privately-owned, three-mile-long island in western Sweden.   

Launched by Visit Sweden, the cabins and the stress study could be easily written off as a tourism board gimmick—but they shouldn’t. The tiny glass cabins tap into a growing need to disconnect from a tech-driven world. To give the structures a true sense of place, the cabins were built of locally-sourced materials and designed by Jeanna Berger, daughter of the owners of Henriksholm, a privately-owned, three-mile-long island in western Sweden.   

In 2017, Stockholm-based medical university Karolinska Institutet posed a question: "Is it possible to reduce stress during 72 hours in Swedish nature?" As an experiment, they invited five people with stressful jobs—including an American events coordinator, a French cab driver, and a German police officer—to go off the grid for three days in custom-made glass cabins on Henriksholm Island in Western Sweden. The findings were as they hoped: researchers saw a 70 percent decrease of stress in the participants. And now, the 72 Hour Cabins have opened up as holiday retreats to the general public.

A Fiery-Red Home Sizzles With Simplistic, Modern Design in Portugal

Because the area lacks distinctive natural features, House 3000 by Luis Rebelo de Andrade has quickly become a landmark that helps orientate visitors to the site.  

Because the area lacks distinctive natural features, House 3000 by Luis Rebelo de Andrade has quickly become a landmark that helps orientate visitors to the site.  

Acclaimed for his organic Eco and Snake Houses in Portugal’s Pedras Salgadas Park, Lisbon–based architect Luis Rebelo de Andrade has added another recent project to his remarkable portfolio. Known as House 3000, this striking, fire-engine red home is unmissable amidst the dark green trees in its woodland site in Herdade da Considerad. The 4,356-square-foot residence was conceived as a simple child’s drawing of a gable-roofed house with clean, sharp outlines, and simple doors and windows. Rebelo de Andrade compares the dwelling's form to the homes of the first settlers in the American West.

A Minimalist Bungalow Welcomes a Sleek New Addition in Miami, Florida

This gabled addition by Upstairs Studio Architecture is topped with a standing seam metal roof and is clad in vertical corrugated metal siding.  

This gabled addition by Upstairs Studio Architecture is topped with a standing seam metal roof and is clad in vertical corrugated metal siding.  

When a creative couple—a ceramic artist and a music aficionado— wanted extra space in their small two-bedroom home for their growing family and professional pursuits, they reached out to local firm Upstairs Studio Architecture to craft a solution. Not only did the team give the dated home a modern revamp, they also added an extension to fit a new master bedroom suite and study. Now, nestled among live oaks and tropical flora, the recently renovated bungalow stands out from the lush landscape with minimalist and monochromatic architecture.

A New Vancouver Home Dazzles With a Facade That Looks Like Falling Confetti

Karen James and Daniel Freeman’s home is a vibrant new addition to a block of midcentury bungalows in Vancouver, British Columbia. One of the volumes is clad in untreated tongue-and-groove Western red cedar. The other is covered in multicolored cedar shakes, which are skewed at an angle that aligns with the slope of the roof. Architect Clinton Cuddington of Measured Architecture worked with the owners to fine-tune the unconventional pattern and color palette.

Karen James and Daniel Freeman’s home is a vibrant new addition to a block of midcentury bungalows in Vancouver, British Columbia. One of the volumes is clad in untreated tongue-and-groove Western red cedar. The other is covered in multicolored cedar shakes, which are skewed at an angle that aligns with the slope of the roof. Architect Clinton Cuddington of Measured Architecture worked with the owners to fine-tune the unconventional pattern and color palette.

Some people’s search for a new home begins with a list of needs and wants that stretches around the block. Daniel Freeman and Karen James of Vancouver, British Columbia, were not so fussy. "Don’t worry about the house. Just find a spot," was their mantra as they combed the city’s white-hot real estate market for a place to nest. Under such conditions, the couple were glad to secure a timeworn, one-bedroom bungalow located not far from their previous residence, even if it wasn’t really suited to their needs. After interviewing a few local firms, the couple were won over by Measured Architecture for its "warm but modern" style, as they describe it. Together with Powers Construction, Measured oversaw the complete demolition of the existing house—with upwards of 95 percent being recycled—and its replacement with a double-volume, pitched-roof structure that relates to the neighborhood’s 1940s bungalows in massing and scale. Initially, the architects had presented monochromatic, neutral options for the exterior, but Karen and Daniel pushed for something more unorthodox. Cuddington came back with a pixelated 30-tone solution, which, for cost reasons, was eventually edited down to seven shades of soft greens and mauve-ish reds.

A Cluster of Cabins in a Former Quarry Makes a Simple Vacation Escape in Vinalhaven, Maine

"We did our best to tuck the buildings into the site—the goal was to get up high on a perch. It was a matter of setting that elevation and working back down with the topography," says architectural designer Riley Pratt.

"We did our best to tuck the buildings into the site—the goal was to get up high on a perch. It was a matter of setting that elevation and working back down with the topography," says architectural designer Riley Pratt.

On a sloping site near a defunct rock quarry on the remote lobster-fishing island of Vinalhaven, Maine, a three-part summer home overlooks a framed view of Penobscot Bay. Working around the site’s unique topography, design-build firm GO Logic created each structure at varying elevations.

Amazing Cantilevered Home in the Mountains in Quebec, Canada 

The project’s unique challenges—a tight budget and steep, difficult terrain—led architecture firm _naturehumaine to a creative solution that gave the house its delightfully sculptural appearance. Making the first floor’s envelope slightly narrower than the top one’s saved money while minimizing the amount of excavation required.

The project’s unique challenges—a tight budget and steep, difficult terrain—led architecture firm _naturehumaine to a creative solution that gave the house its delightfully sculptural appearance. Making the first floor’s envelope slightly narrower than the top one’s saved money while minimizing the amount of excavation required.

Teeming with owls, moose, and black bears, the snowy forests of Eastern Quebec make an ideal site for a winter fortress. It was perfect for Canadian architecture firm _naturehumaine’s latest client, a behind-the-scenes movie guy who wanted a secluded place to recuperate from intensive, exhausting projects. Architects Stéphane Rasselet and David Dworkind delivered with a strikingly simple concept. They anchored two stacked, rectangular volumes into a steep mountainside surrounded by awe-inspiring vistas. "We love the sensation of floating amongst the trees that you feel as you look out from the cantilevered second floor," Dworkind says.

Row on 25th: Affordable Housing Development in Houston, Texas

Tina and Matthew Ford, here with daughter Daisy, are the owners of Shade House Development, the company that designed and is building the suite of houses that comprise Row on 25th in Houston, Texas.

Tina and Matthew Ford, here with daughter Daisy, are the owners of Shade House Development, the company that designed and is building the suite of houses that comprise Row on 25th in Houston, Texas.

Powered by petrodollars and famously devoid of zoning laws, Houston, Texas, hasn’t always been a friend to historical—or affordable—architecture. Now this humid Gulf Coast metropolis is getting an injection of updated mid-century cool with Row on 25th. The nine-home development is located in a former no-man’s-land on the northern edge of Houston Heights, a hip neighborhood of tree-lined streets, restaurants, and independent businesses, just a 10-minute drive from downtown. The Row brings together investor and developer Holden Shannon, and husband-and-wife development, design, and construction team Matthew and Tina Ford. The Fords, who own Shade House Development and construction firm, Esplanade Homes, are veteran Houston builders specializing in green building.

A Simple Gabled House Features an Intricate Latticework Shell in Austria

Architect Sven Matt mixed basic shapes with rich details in this Austrian home. The lattice shell was hewn from silver fir sourced from a nearby forest. Eternit shingles clad the roof.

Architect Sven Matt mixed basic shapes with rich details in this Austrian home. The lattice shell was hewn from silver fir sourced from a nearby forest. Eternit shingles clad the roof.

It seems impossible to be a minimalist and maximalist at the same time, but that's what Sven Matt achieved last year, when he designed a 1,600-square-foot home in the hilly west Austrian town of Bregenzerwald for his brother Björn and sister-in-law Julia. The house's basic pared-down shape contrasts with its intricate, latticework shell—both inspired by regional design. "The use of wood, formal reduction and still a rich, ornamented facade is a traditional motif," he explains.

It Looks Like a Playland, But This Home Works Hard in Melbourne, Australia

The Scyon Axon cladding of this gabled Melbourne addition gleams at midday. Designer Dan Gayfer punctuated the facade with sliding glass doors and a row of windows to fill the narrow home with sunlight.

The Scyon Axon cladding of this gabled Melbourne addition gleams at midday. Designer Dan Gayfer punctuated the facade with sliding glass doors and a row of windows to fill the narrow home with sunlight.

Many young parents must choose, agonizingly, between the convenience of the city or the spaciousness of the country. In Fitzroy North, an inner suburb of Melbourne, designer Dan Gayfer took on the seemingly impossible task of delivering both for a couple with a toddler and a dog. The location, a traditional terrace house on a narrow lot, posed serious physical limitations. But by carefully apportioning each square foot and prioritizing access to daylight, Gayfer realized an addition as vivacious as his clients.

The Site Shack Is a Tiny Prefab Cabin That Sets Up Anywhere in a Snap

<span style="font-family: Theinhardt, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, sans-serif;">The mobile office evolved into what is now dubbed the Site Shack. "It’s generally very comfortable," says Patrick Powers of Powers Construction. "It really is an amazing work space, and something we can have fun with."</span>

The mobile office evolved into what is now dubbed the Site Shack. "It’s generally very comfortable," says Patrick Powers of Powers Construction. "It really is an amazing work space, and something we can have fun with."

Working on a job site 40 hours a week, a construction company’s project manager naturally needs a home away from home, and a place to protect them from the elements—especially in a chilly locale like Vancouver, British Columbia.To solve this dilemma, custom home builder Powers Construction started designing and fabricating mobile workspaces that they could easily transport and drop on their job sites for long periods of time. "It was a fun design process and branding exercise," says Patrick Powers, owner of the Vancouver-based company that builds contemporary residences ranging from smaller economical homes to 12,000-square-foot dwellings. "When clients visit, this is where we hang out. It’s where we review and talk about the schedule of the project."

The New Home On the Block That Uses 90 Percent Less Energy in Seattle, Washington

<span style="font-family: Theinhardt, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, sans-serif;">In Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood, architect Tiffany Bowie built an efficient house for her father, Dave, a retired engineer. A prototype system by Kirio monitors the home’s energy use. Shou sugi ban cladding in a herringbone pattern provides a striking backdrop.</span>

In Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood, architect Tiffany Bowie built an efficient house for her father, Dave, a retired engineer. A prototype system by Kirio monitors the home’s energy use. Shou sugi ban cladding in a herringbone pattern provides a striking backdrop.

In a city known for its progressive politics, it’s no surprise that a Seattleite would build a hyper-efficient Passive House–certified structure with a prototype operating system to connect all its home automation features. Homeowner Dave Bowie spent his career as a chemical engineer for energy companies. So when it came time to settle down for retirement, Dave and his daughter, Tiffany Bowie of Malboeuf Bowie Architecture, agreed he should build a house that pushed the boundaries of energy conservation. The potential of the project electrified Dave. He describes with excitement how the house "substantially exceeds the standard energy code" and notes with pride that the house will use 90 percent less energy than its neighbors consume. This efficiency is managed by a Kirio operating system that connects and controls the ventilation, lighting, heating, and energy metering. Tiffany discovered Kirio when she met its founder, and Dave’s house is one of the few test homes to try it. Using the Kirio app on his phone, Dave can do everything from monitor the home’s heat-recovery ventilation system to track the electricity usage down to a tenth of a volt.

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