This year lots of beautiful, designey structures by starchitects made the news. You can find those on other blogs. We're much more interested in the weird and unusual homes, buildings and neighborhoods we came across this year.
In California and Arizona, there are neighborhoods where everyone's a private pilot. Thus the driveways and garages of each house are sized to fit an airplane, and the neighborhoods are built right next to a runway.
Cameron Airpark Estates. Source: Bikes, Trikes & Razors
Built in a country squeezed by sanctions, Presence in Hormuz is a village designed by Iranian architecture firm ZAV Architects with an unorthodox appearance and mission.
The skinniest building for sale in London this year is just six feet wide. Take a look inside.
A bit wider than six feet is this attractive and unusual tiny house in Australia called Permanent Camping 2, by Casey Brown Architecture.
Each year the National Association of Home Builders highlights a "New American Home," the design of which is meant to indicate upcoming trends in living styles. This year's pick has an upside-down layout.
Speaking of upside down, this luxury condo is the opposite of a setback skyscraper, and the perfect metaphor for our current society.
Not quite upside down, but Taco Bell is experimenting with a pandemic-based, largely windowless drive-thru-only design on stilts.
Moving higher up, this brutalist Mercedes-Benz dealership-in-the-sky was certainly not built this year, but drew attention for its unusual configuration.
Also old, but currently getting attention, is the available stock on the Cheap Old Houses website, which helps first-time homebuyers score deals on unusual homes.
If you've already got a house and are just looking to make it bigger, this company specializes in creating homes and home additions shaped like an octagon. They reckon it's more cost-efficient and they've got tons of designs.
In Germany, there's a town where many houses are split by two families, leading to split aesthetics. Photographer Wolfgang Fröhling documented a number of them.
Image: Wolfgang Fröhling
This year Habitat for Humanity started building their first 3D-printed houses.
A company called Icon beat H for H to it, and started selling "the first 3D-printed homes for sale in the U.S." in Austin, Texas.
Tom Cruise isn't hurting for money, but decided to sell his 10,000-square-foot Colorado mountain retreat this year. We enjoyed checking out the listing.
Meanwhile the richest man in the world, Elon Musk, was rumored to have moved into this 400-square-foot unfolding house in Texas this year.
A different billionaire donated $200 million to U.C. Santa Barbara so he could live out his dream of designing a dorm. Only problem: He's got no training, and designed a building with mostly windowless rooms. A practicing architect on the committee resigned in protest.
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