High Five: 5 surprising European houses

High Five: 5 unusual ways of living in Europe

A mixture of house and snail: a vacation cabin in Sweden

In the middle of the forests of southern Sweden, on the shore of Lake Övre Gla, hides a house well adapted to its surroundings. It looks like a mythical creature and it even moves. It can be pulled apart like an accordion. The outer surface consists of cedar wood shingles and is modeled after a fish skin.

High Five: 5 unusual ways of living in Europe

A cube without windows: the dream house of a Portuguese family

The villa offers 100 percent privacy in the front. In fact, there is not a single window that curious strollers could look into. But at the back, with a view of the garden, there are large glass windows with lots of light pouring into the rooms. This family is living their dream with this unusual building.

High Five: 5 unusual ways of living in Europe

Space in the smallest of corners: Keret House in Warsaw

For architect Jakub Szczesny, there's no such thing as a space problem in a metropolis. It's all about finding solutions. In the Polish capital Warsaw, he squeezed a house into the tiniest of gaps. Its width is only two arm lengths. The architect himself rarely lives in it, but prefers to rent it out instead. Most people can't stand it for too long.

High Five: 5 unusual ways of living in Europe

Their own backyard: they planted themselves in a greenhouse

The Till family lives where they work. Thomas and Monika Till have been running a garden nursery near Dresden for many years. They had their dream house built directly into a large greenhouse. Commuting to work could hardly be any shorter and they can sit in their own garden in all kinds of weather.

High Five: 5 unusual ways of living in Europe

Creative recycling: A feed silo as a home

In the harbor of the Dutch city of The Hague, one would normally expect to see a houseboat rather than a feed silo. German architect Jan Körbes designed his little masterpiece out of bulky refuse. If you are rich in imagination, you don't have to spend much on your own home. There are hardly any normal pieces of furniture in the feed silo either. They are all custom-made from scrap metal.

There are no limits to the imagination — and that also applies to architects. Some come up with the most amazing ideas. It's hard to believe that anyone actually lives in these houses!

Architects don't just think in right angles. Sometimes they also want to test the boundaries of what is feasible. In Europe, you'll find some unusual examples of such pursuits, along the lines of: "Live in an unusual way."

A house does not necessarily have to be built with straight walls and a tiled roof. Some houses actually move as if they were leading a life of their own. Others are so small that the inhabitants can hardly stretch out. Whether snail shell or feed silo, in Europe one can obviously live everywhere.

 

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