The Upside Down House Trend: 5 Craziest House Designs

By Steph Wright on March 11 2020 in Society

Upside-down houses often make visitors feel dizzy and disoriented. Editorial credit: Fotokon / Shutterstock.com
  • South Korea is home to a toilet-shaped museum.
  • An airplane inspired home exists in Lebanon.
  • There is a transparent house in Tokyo.

The year 2008 saw things turn topsy-turvy in the German seaside resort of Trassenheide when Polish architects Klaudiusz Golos and Sebastian Mikiciuk built the country’s first upside-down house. The method behind the madness was to give visitors a different perspective of everyday objects and so “Welt Steht Kopf” or “The World Upside Down” was born. A few items on the outside of the structure give a clue of what is to come: a bench, bicycle, and wheelbarrow sit inverted against the wall. Not only is the exterior flipped on its head but the interior, too. Kitchen appliances, plants, paintings, the sofa, and even the curtains are upside down. But the attention to detail does not stop there, the building is built on a 6 percent incline to give the impression that the house miraculously fell from the sky and landed on its roof. The incline also adds to the overall disorientation once inside – as if the interior was not confusing enough! Below are a few of the world's craziest house designs around the world. 

5. House NA

The see-through design makes this house seem out of place. Editorial credit: Iwan Baan

House NA is situated in a quiet Tokyo neighborhood but there is something that sets it apart from its next-door neighbors. The house is completely transparent. A young couple wanted a space that allowed them to “live as nomads within their own home” so Sou Fujimoto Architects designed the see-through house for them in 2012. The residence is built entirely out of glass and white steel beams; the clear floors are positioned at various levels to give a treehouse-like effect.

4. The PAS House

Almost every surface in the PAS House is skate-able. Editorial credit: thehousetours.com

Professional skateboarder Pierre Andre Senizergues tasked architect Francois Perrin and designer Gil Lebon Delapoint to turn his dream into a reality: he wanted to skate over every single surface in his house. The dwelling in Malibu, California was divided into three separate spaces where the walls became the ceilings and formed a tube of continuous surfaces. Most of the furniture was designed to be skateable, too. Ramps and curves were integrated into walls and freestanding objects like tables and beds were designed to be perfect objects to perform skate tricks on.

3. The Haines Shoe House

This house is a popular attraction in York County, Pennsylvania. Editorial credit: ydr.com

In 1958 shoe salesman Mahlon Haines built the house as a form of advertisement for his Haines Shoe Company; the residence was modeled after a work boot sold by the business. The Pennsylvanian building comprises of a living area, kitchen, and an ice cream shop. It stands at approximately 25 feet tall. For a time, the house served as honeymoon accommodation for newlyweds but for the last 40 years, the house has been open to the public as a tourist attraction and museum dedicated to the eccentric Mahlon Haines.

2. The Airplane House

The windows on this home resemble real airplane windows. Editorial credit: middleeasteye.com

The Zgharta region of Lebanon is famous for its extravagant houses but nothing quite compares to the Airplane House. Built by Michael Suleiman in 1975, the Airplane House is a detailed copy of the Airbus A380. The building has two floors with 30 portholes on each side and is complete with a nose cone and tail. The tail has an interesting addition, the European Union’s flag, as depicted on usual Airbus A380 planes, has been replaced with a small window containing a statue of the Virgin Mary.

1. The Toilet House

In 2007, Sim Jae-Duck redesigned his house into the shape of a toilet. Editorial credit: toilography.com

Arguably the most bizarre dwelling of them all is Korea’s Toilet House. The idea came from mayor Sim Jae-Duck’s dedication to keeping the city of Suwon’s public toilets clean and pristine. His aim was to do the same for the rest of the world and founded the World Toilet Association as a result. To commemorate the WTA, Jae-Duck commissioned architect Go Gi-Wong to design a house that looked like a giant toilet and so, the Toilet House was born. After Sim Jae-Duck passed away, the house was turned into a toilet museum. Tourists from all over the world visit the two-story institution and marvel at the toilet-themed art and exhibits.

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