The different way to live

Great buildings that move the spirit have always been rare. In every case they are unique, poetic, products of the heart.

For the canadian architect Arthur Erickson architecture is a combination of art, theory and realism. But in order to design a building that really is special and unique, the architect needs to go one step further: he needs to consider the unexpected and let his heart influence the design.
Arthur Erickson: The Graham House
In this post I want to focus on such unique buildings. Buildings, which are not only unique because of the inspired architect’s design, but also because of their special location and the people who live in them. Those spectacular buildings are built in inconvenient places and thereore their design needed to be adapted to the inhabitant’s needs in the most precise way.
The underground house: VILLA VALS
Designed by Christian Müller architects and the netherlands architects SeARCH, this underground house was built in Vals, Switzerland. With the interior design of several dutch designers the building is fully integrated into the hillside.
Finished in 2009, the villa can now be rented for a holiday. The villa is made out of stone and has two entries, one path leads through the hillside, the other entry leads through an underground tube.
By integrating many windows in the design, the rooms are lit by natural daylight. In addittion the visitors can experience the great view on the mountains.
The House in the trees: The HemLoft
Hidden in the canadian woods, Joel Allen build the egg-shaped tree house out of wood.
As the woods belong to the canadian government, the exact location of the tree house is not known, however it definately is one of the most spectacular buildings in the world.
Some people prefer the experience of living underneath the earth. Others enjoy living on the top of the trees. And some people even enjoy living on the water:
Living in a houseboat
kayaking to a houseboat
The life on an houseboat does not have to be primitive. In the city of Amsterdam, living in a houseboat became extremely popular, so that the prices of these boats were exploding. But also in other parts of the world, living in houseboats became popular. In her blog “life and style on a modern houseboat” for, Abigail Peterson describes the life of the Harvey family in a houseboat on California’s Richardson Bay.

Matt Harvey descirbes living on his houseboat:

Out here, it’s like we’re in touch with a different measure of time.

It’s beautiful at high tide, when you’re floating and the water is all around you
Living on a houseboat is a completely unique experience, and it also demands discipline. The Harveys are a family of 4 people, living on 92 thousand square meters, which means that capacity to store things is low.
But living in an extraordinary and unique buildung most of the time requires the inhabitants to adapt their needs to the specialities of their houses. But still, the unique flair and design of those buildings is why people want to be living in them.
Those buildings are not just unique because of their uniqueness, but also because of their design, which is on the one hand adapted to the special and difficult conditions and on the other hand full of creativity, beauty and style.
Like Arthur Erickson said, architecture needs both, theory and heart to become beautiful.