6. Flight of Birds House
Architect: Bernardo Rodrigues
Where: St. Michael Island, the Azores, Portugal
This is a real shape-shifter of a house, with a rectangular false front giving one impression from the rear, a seagull-shaped swoop quite another from the side. The Flight of Birds House adds to its primary school charm by painting its walls orange, eggshell blue, a warm gold.
Here's another house of seemingly fairytale forms that justifies its existence by claiming it's all about function. The goal of the house, Rodrigues says, is to allow family members to enjoy the out of doors no matter the weather.
The tall rose wall blocks the island's Atlantic Ocean winds, Rodrigues says, the covered patios are a place to play or laze away on rainy days, which are common on the island, and the rooftop courtyard offers views for miles. Who wants to argue with a neo-post-modern home as appealing as the Flight of Birds?
7. Klein Bottle House
Architect: Rob McBride and Debbie-Lyn Ryan of McBride Charles Ryan
Where: Rye, Australia
This may be a box but it sure isn't square. The origami-like Klein Bottle House is named after the Klein bottle, a mathematical shape like a Möbius strip, whose interior cannot be distinguished from its exterior.
The house is odd indeed, and like many such merrymaking houses, it is not a primary residence but a vacation home, near the beach and ensconced in a line of trees.
Designed as a spiral, with stairs leading up to a great room, "the building is supported on a traditional timber stud frame," the architects write, "pushed to its physical limit."
In 2009, at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore, the Klein Bottle House was named "best house" of the year.
8. Nautilus House
Architect: Javier Senosiain
Where: Mexico City
'Organic' architecture means different things to different organic architects. To Javier Senosian, it means a school shaped like a snake, with the principal's office in the coiled tail and the doorway through the snake's jaws.
It also means this psychedelic snail-like house, bejeweled with stained glass and altogether tumescent.
Structurally, Senosiain notes, the house is a logarithmic spiral, "a fluid space in three dimensions where you can perceive the continuous dynamic of the fourth dimension as you walk in spiral on the stairs."
The Nautilus, which is designed for a family of four, is as much a fairytale house as a modern one—the tale of a family swallowed up by a snail.