Quirky Architectural Homes from Around the World You Can Actually Stay In

Unique artist mirrored house | © Airbnb host Martin & Jesha, Image courtesy of Airbnb
Unique artist mirrored house | © Airbnb host Martin & Jesha, Image courtesy of Airbnb
Photo of Amber C. Snider
Home & Design Editor27 October 2017

We’ve hand-selected some of the coolest architectural homes for rent around the world. From Spain to California to Iceland, each of these uniquely designed spaces pay homage to the existing landscape and go to show how creativity has no bounds.

An architect-designed home in Sant Cugat del Vallès (Spain)

Exceptional architect design house | © Airbnb host Matthieu, Image courtesy of Airbnb

This architect-designed, 4-bedroom home is located in the lush mountains of La Floresta in Catalonia, Spain. Originally a 19th-century villa, the home has been restored as a modern wooden structure, with a garden, pool, and contemporary amenities.

Earthship home in Taos (USA)

Brand New Studio Earthship | © Airnbnb host Dan, Image courtesy of Airbnb

This brand new Earthship home in the high desert mesa in New Mexico is completely “off the grid,” and actually generates its own electricity. For all the green architecture lovers out there, you’ll be surprised to find that this home catches its own rainwater and maintains an even interior temperature of 72 degrees (year round), but still has all the modern conveniences you’d expect to find in a standard home.

Modern apartment in Akureyri (Iceland)

Amazing view – Moderne apartment | © Airbnb host Petur Haukur, Image courtesy of Airbnb

Catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis in the wintertime without even leaving the property. This spectacular, modern architectural house in North Iceland is close to some of the very best outdoor activities, including hiking up Mount Súlur, swimming, kayaking, and, of course, skiing.

Unique artist mirror house in Pittsburgh (USA)

Unique artist mirrored house | © Airbnb host Martin & Jesha, Image courtesy of Airbnb

This large artist’s house may only have one bedroom, but it sleeps up to 10 people. Located near the Fox Chapel suburb in Pittsburgh (and only 90 minutes from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater), this eclectic gem is covered in mirrors both inside and out. It also features original artworks, furnishings, a backyard pond, and a garden.

The floating house in Geierswalde (Germany)

Das schwimmende Haus in Geierswalde | © Airbnb host N., Image courtesy of Airbnb

This modern floating lake house is located in Saxony, Germany on the Geierswalder Lake. Featuring a furnished sun deck, the home resembles a futuristic sailboat encased in metal and is considered a “5-star holiday home.”

“Green” off-grid glass house in California (USA)

“Green” Off-Grid Glass House | © Airbnb host Tod, Image courtesy of Airbnb

Located in Grass Valley in California, this eco-conscious lakefront home is situated amongst eight acres of secluded forest (loaded with oak and pines trees) and offers amazing lake views. Close to the Sierra Mountains, this home was designed by architect Michelle Kaufmann, with “Build it Green” and “Keep the Sierras Green” certifications, and is also “off the grid.” With the wraparound wooden porch, modern box shape, and a plethora of windows, this architectural gem is perfect for a quick, rustic getaway.

ElquiDomos astronomic hotel (Chile)

ElquiDomos Astronomic hotel | © Airbnb host Reservas, Image courtesy of Airbnb

A magical, astronomic hotel located in Paiguano in Chile, the Elqui Domos consists of geodesic buildings and domes that are perfect for stargazing. Each geodesic home features a terrace and removable roof for a picturesque nighttime experience.

Owl House award-winning Eco Build (United Kingdom)

Owl House award winning Eco Build | © Airbnb host Tracy, Image courtesy of Airbnb

The Owl House, located in Hightown in the United Kingdom, is a “stunning eco build” that overlooks the sea. Guests sleep on beds made from locally sourced driftwood. This quirky little rustic bungalow is great for art and design lovers.

The world famous seashell house, Casa Caracol (Mexico)

The world famous sea shell house Casa Caracol | © Airbnb host Michelle, Image courtesy of Airbnb

Designed and built by architects Raquel and Eduardo Ocampo, the “world famous seashell house” is located on the Isla Mujeres in Mexico. The design of the gated property was influenced by “the mountains of seashells all around,” and features a rounded interior and a spiral staircase—just like the interior of seashell. The exterior is a true aquatic, creative masterpiece.

Villa Campuan (Indonesia)

Villa Agung….. | © Airbnb host Barbara, Image courtesy of Airbnb

Villa Campuan was listed as a lead feature in Architectural Digest’s “Exotic Homes Edition”—and for good reason. Built by a team of “Sumatran master carpenters,” this eco-friendly home in Karangasem is a stunning example of architectural ingenuity. Infused with Balinese culture, the home offers 360-degree views of the 12k foot volcano Mt. Agung, rice fields, the Seraya Mountain range, and the ocean. You really get the best of every world in this tropical abode.

Tile House (California)

Tile House | © Airbnb host Perry, Image courtesy of Airbnb

Another Californian home makes our list of architectural favorites for its sheer creativity and use of color. The Tile House, located in Twentynine Palms, California, is a “vortex in the desert of love and space,” and features Mexican tile, smalti, and hand-crafted ceramics all throughout the exterior and interior spaces. The host describes it as a “healing” meditative space that is deeply connected to the wild desert land.

A beautiful cottage close to Geysir (Iceland)

A beautiful cottage close to Geysir | © Airbnb host Laugarvatn, Image courtesy of Airbnb

This little cottage in Laugarvatn, completed in 2010, was built “to reflect the Icelandic landscape and complement the small vegetation of moss and trees in the old lava field.” The eco-friendly, “green” property uses local geothermal water to heat the house by using pipes underneath the flooring, and features a light-drenched, minimalist aesthetic.

For more stunning properties you can stay in, check out these private islands for rent in the United States.

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