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10. Well, it was supposed to look like a dove, but you’ll have to make your own decision on that. Daniel Alamsjah had a revelation back in the early 90s that pushed him to build a structure as a prayer room… in the form of a dove… in the middle of the Indonesian jungle. It cost him only $170 for the land and the building is now open to visitors of all faiths. At one time, it housed disabled children, drug addicts and the mentally challenged. Most people believe it looks a lot more like a chicken than a dove. I would be one of them.
9. Uhhhh…. This next story’s pretty fishy… Ok… really fishy. An eccentric millionaire in Turkey had an aquarium fence built around his mansion in 2005. The villa itself is a very nice spectacle in itself, but add the huge fish tank around it and it becomes quite a tourist attraction. Cost of the aquarium – filled with hundreds of fish — was $21,000, which, to me, sounds like a bargain for something of that scope.
8. Here’s something architect’s don’t hear every day: Uhhh… make my house look like a… a toilet… yeah. No, I don’t imagine they do, but the late mayor of Suwon, South Korea thought it would be a really good idea to have a 2-story home built looking like a toilet. It probably helped that the World Toilet Association had its inaugural meeting there in 2007. Good job, guys… Just remember to put the seat down.
7. Ok… you’re gonna get a real kick out of this one. In 1948, Colonel Mahlon M. Haines, a millionaire who owned 40 shoe stores in Pennsylvania and Maryland, gave an architect an old boot and said to make him a house modeled after the boot. So the architect did. Now, many tourists visit The Haines Shoe House, on Shoe House Road, of course, in York County, Pennsylvania. It also has a dog house, shaped like a shoe.
6. Near Salzburg, Austria, we have the Beetle House. Nope, not the John, Paul, George and Ringo type…. The Volkswagen Beetle type. Its owners bought a regular 1970s house there and sure did a lot of renovating to it. It was completed in 2003 and is eco-friendly and energy efficient. There’s even a similar style restaurant nearby, simply called, “The Car.”
5. It took architect and sculptor Robert Bruno 23 years to build the Steel House in Ransom Canyon, Texas. Made out of 110 tons of steel, the house was featured in an episode of Texas Country Reporter just before Bruno’s death. A few years ago, it was featured in Vogue, and is considered by many to be an art piece.
4. A Chinese millionaire has built seven fairytale castles in his hometown and wants to build lots more. Inspired by buildings in Munich, Liu Chonghua has his sights set on building 100 beautiful castles throughout the land. Chonghua was once very poor, but made his money in the catering industry from baking cakes. Baking cakes. Who would have guessed?
3. In 1935, famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright built the Fallingwater House over the Bear Stream waterfall in Pennsylvania for the Kaufmann family, which owned, at the time, the very popular Kaufmann Department Store. The Kaufmanns hired Wright when they wanted to modernize the cabin where they stayed during vacations. Strangely, it’s hard to see the waterfall from the house.
2. A millionaire doctor in Beijing just wasn’t satisfied with his own 26-story building, so he put a private mountain on top of it. Yes, that’s right. A mountain. The rooftop mountain took more than 6 years to put together. It has trees, rocks, grass… pretty much everything a scenic mountain could have. It brings a little country to the city’s landscape. Unfortunately, the doctor didn’t get the right permits to erect the mountain, and was ordered to remove it. You would think that would have been brought up sometime during the six years it took to put it together.
1. If none of the previous stories sparks an interest in your flair for the unconventional, how about this? The Palace of Bubbles. It’s on the southwest coast of France and hardly consists of any straight lines or angles. It has almost 13,000 square feet of living space, with 28 round rooms. It’s often used for parties and other events and has been deemed a historical monument by France’s Ministry of Culture. Awww… Oiu.
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