The World’s Most Unusual Residences

A home should be a reflection of its occupants. While many are content to simply tailor parts of their home to suit themselves, for many this is simply not enough. Some of the most iconoclastic homes in the world are the result of the singular vision of an individual combined with the skill and talent of an architect. When both are working in sync, the results can frequently be breath-taking.

At MDS Interiors, we are always looking for outré approaches to home design, so we’ve rounded up a selection of some of the most outstanding and unusual residences in the world. If you’re looking for inspiration for your own property, the following homes and apartments present a bold vision that is sure to spark your imagination. Read on to find out more.

Heliodome – Cosswiller, France

The child of famed French cabinet-maker Eric Wasser, the Heliodrome is more than a unique approach to housing, it’s a working prototype of a new, more eco-friendly form of housing. Shaped like an enormous sundial half-buried in the earth, the Heliodrome has been constructed to maximise solar energy absorption and retention, providing passive climate control through both summer and winter.

The Heliodrome is built to angle to a calculated point depending on the latitude in which it was built. Currently, only Wasser’s own home in the French commune of Cosswiller exists, but the design stipulates that the closer to the equator the Heliodrome is built, the higher the angle of its point, allowing it to retain the most sunlight.

Treehotel – Harads, Sweden

Built on the idea that treehouses can offer a sense of joy and freedom to everyone, Treehotel in northern Sweden is a unique hotel complex. Located just 50 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle in an extensive pine forest, Treehotel is composed of a series of discrete buildings built high into the forest canopy, offering sweeping views of the nearby Lule River valley.

The different rooms each carry their own name and have their own unique décor, each seeking to harmonise contemporary Scandinavian design with the harsh, natural beauty of the surrounding Swedish countryside.

Chateau d’eau – Steenokkerzeel, Belgium

One of the more unique residences in Europe, the Chateau d’eau is an eight-decade old converted water tower north-east of Brussels. Built between 1938 and 1941, the tower has a rich history, used by the Nazi occupation force as a watch tower during World War II before continuing to service the surrounding town until the 1990s. In 2007, the building was renovated at the behest of the owners – a local couple – with the exterior restored to its original state and the interior transformed into a stylish, ultramodern residence spread over 6 spacious floors.

The Chateau d’eau is the permanent residence of the owners, but one floor is available for use by companies seeking a unique location for workshops, seminars and corporate events.