Some architects clearly like a challenge.
A new coffee table book has revealed the ‘sharpest’ houses in the world – striking houses located in some of the most insidious places.
Dotted in rock faces, steep mountain slopes and other unlikely plot locations, these stunning architectural wonders defy logic – and gravity.
The book – Edgy Architecture: Architecture in the most impossible places, by Agata Toromanoff and published by Lannoo – contains beautiful photos of the slender accommodations and an explanation of how and why they were built.
From Qiyun Tree House in China, with a number of box-like structures that are dangerously on top of each other, to the aptly named House On The Cliff in Alicante – which looks like something from a James Bond movie – these buildings, designed by some of ‘s The world’s most renowned architects, including Julien De Smedt, Frank Lloyd Wright and the late Zaha Hadid, are guaranteed to surprise.
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The Nariga House is located in a mountainous area in the north of Mexico and is dotted with a steep mountainside. It gives the occupants a 360 degree view of the beautiful surroundings
The beautiful Nariga house stands out from lush vegetation and was designed by P + O Arquitectura to respect the local flora and fauna and leave the ecosystem untouched – the reason why the architects decided to raise it so high from the mountain floor
The beautiful 11-meter high Qiyunshan Tree House in China is a shocking hodgepodge of boxes. Designed by Bengo Studio, it contains a number of ‘observation spots’ that offer views of the nearby mountains
The Qiyunshan Tree House is made with natural materials – mostly wood and glass – to merge with the surrounding forest
Villa Escarpa in the Algarve, Portugal protrudes and somehow balances over a steep slope covered with beautiful flowers
The Villa Escarpa designer only had a small plot to work with and wanted to maximize the space – he couldn’t go over or behind, so he went outside. The accommodation offers beautiful ocean views
Designed by Kubota Architect Atelier and located in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan, the YA House is a sleek, elegant case with sharp lines that end on a slope in a mountainous area
The YA House has been designed with light in mind, whereby the designers want to illuminate the building naturally. A mixture of concrete and glass has been used, with the concrete elements apparently floating in the air
The Sunflower House in northeastern Spain has a cubic design by Cadaval & Solà-Morales and is meant to reflect and intervene with the rocky location on the cliff. Each ‘cube’ is positioned to maximize the views
Each of the cubes of the Sunflower House houses a traditional living space. There is a bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and living room
The beautiful Two-In-One House in Norway accommodates two families and has a basement apartment. Designed by Oslo-based Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekte, the building must give the illusion of uniformity, although it is split inside
The Two-In-One House is on a steep slope and is covered with vertical cedar panels, along with other materials that can withstand the snow conditions in Norway
X House, perched on a slope on the outskirts of Barcelona, was designed by architects Eduardo Cadaval and Clara Sola-Morales. It is designed to offer views of the mountains and the sea
Villa Anzére, pictured, is a property embedded in the side of a Swiss hill. The design is based on a traditional Swiss chalet and the terrace on every level offers views of more than 4,000 peaks, including the Matterhorn
The pictured Ark of Konieczny is located on a slope in the middle of mountain fields in Poland. It was designed by architect Robert Konieczny and it is described as ‘a bunker’ and ‘a piece of rock rolling down the hill’
This accommodation, called Villa in Kaiko, is a vacation home with ocean views in Atami, Japan. The book describes it as a “very expressive structure with a zigzag façade”
This house, called Casa Del Acantilado (Cliff House), is located in Granada, Spain, and was inspired by the architect Gaudi. The book describes it as “one of the most extraordinary houses ever built”
Located on a cliff on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, this house is on the bottom of the cliff. It is described as “visually stunning” in the book
The appropriately named HillSide House in California is a three-level home that looks like a modest size from a street level. It actually extends a steep hill and has balconies, terraces and railings
The HillSide House was designed by Zack de Vito, with energy efficiency and sustainability at its heart. The house uses a hi-tech solar energy system and a window layout implemented to reduce the need for interior lighting
The house on the hill in Alicante was designed by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos and embedded in a deep slope, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea
The house on the cliff hangs above the hill, the book explains, with the protruding part resembling binoculars.
Edgy Architecture: Architecture in the Most Impossible Places is published by Lannoo