It’s almost impossible to imagine having not only the creative ability to come up with these crazy contraptions, but the skill to execute the construction of them to make them actually livable. I think it’s safe to say that you’ll need to be a little kooky and have a very trusting co-signer for these digs. Here are 15 insane apartment complexes all over the world that you can actually live in. Welcome home!
1. The Interlace in Singapore
This modern beauty is constructed of 31 residential apartment blocks. Each is six stories tall and stacked in a horizontal arrangement to form eight large scale open courtyards and sky gardens. There’s over 1,000 apartments in the complex and was just recently completed in the end of 2013. I feel like there would be a serious risk of getting lost in this complex and never finding your way out.
2. Container City in London, England
This project started in the Docklands area of London and the first phase (Container City I) was assembled in a mere five months. It started as a three-story structure, but they added a floor later, totaling in 12 live-work studios for artists. The complex also has beautiful balconies and porthole windows, this is the definition of turning boring junk into a pretty sick artsy living space.
3. The Forest Spiral in Darmstadt, Germany
This building was designed by Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser between 1998 and 2000. This almost Disney-like style is seen is his other buildings, which also feature wacky colors and turrets. Hundertwasser has said to have been inspired by the imagery of sediment, which gave the building a layered-look. I think he may have been inspired while on an acid trip, just saying.
4. Habitat 67 in Montreal, Canada
I am going to take a stab in the dark here and say that architect Moshe Safdie really enjoyed playing with legos as a kid. This crazy contraption of a complex of 354 solid cubes and a total of 146 residences. I feel like this complex would be better suited for Tattooine than Canada, but then again, Star Wars is fictional and this apartment weirdly is not.
5. The Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo, Japan
These one-windowed cubes seem more like a prison than an apartment complex. It seems too modern for its surroundings but imagine how modern it looked when it was first built — in 1972 (what?!)
6. The Turning Torso Building in Malmö, Sweden
The name sort of says it all — the building itself looks like a person twisting about. This building isn’t just weird, it’s record breaking. The Turning Torso was the tallest building in Scandinavia when it was completed in 2005.
7. Wozoco’s Apartment in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Aside from the colors, this apartment complex doesn’t seem all that strange. What makes this place exceptional is not its eccentricities, but its unbelievable composition. All of the apartments are accessible from a North/South entrance, but each apartment has walls against the East and West sides of the building, allowing every inhabitant to watch the sun both rise and set. I guess the grass isn’t always greener when it comes to this place because you can actually see both sides.
8. The Elephant Building in Bangkok, Thailand
And the award for the cutest apartment complex goes to Thailand! The elephant is a pretty big deal over there, as it represents royal power. Since it’s used ubiquitously in Thai art, it sort of makes sense that a building would eventually be fashioned in its likeness. This particular elephant is 335 feet high. I wonder how many peanuts this giant consumes annually.
9. Casa Milà in Barcelona, Spain
This apartment complex, designed by Josep Maria Jujol, features a stone facade and wrought iron balconies and windows. The work, while incredibly weird looking, is considered very innovative. Because of its steel structure and curtain walls, the façade of the building is self-supporting. This complex was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1984. Clearly for its, ahem, beauty.
10. The VM Houses in Ørestad, Copenhagen, Denmark
The VM houses are two residential blocks that are formed as the letters, well, V and M. They are specifically formed this way to allow for privacy, while still maintaining great views and daylight. In order to further avoid contact with your neighbors, the apartments have a double-height space to the north and wide panoramic views to the south (which as you can see in the image above allow for everyone to enjoy being outside without making pleasantries.)
11. Tančící dům in Prague, Czech Republic
This topsy, turvy design controversially stands out among its Baroque, Gothic, and Art Nouveau neighbors. Given designer Frank Gehry’s other works, it’s no surprise that this building, nicknamed The Dancing House, looks a bit warped. Both his other famed locations and his jewelry are never ordinary.
12. Absolute World in Mississauga, Ontario
This curvaceous building designed by MAD and Burka Architects in 2011, was nicknamed the “Marilyn Monroe building.” I would have gone with coca-cola bottle but meh, hourglass is hourglass.
13. Aqua in Chicago, Illinois
Obviously this one would be particularly near and dear to me given its location: Sweet Home Chicago. Aside from the amazing wave effect along the building appropriately named “Aqua,” there is another, much more functional, reason. when Studio Chang and Loewenberg Architects joined together in 2010 to create the building, they kept Chicago’s amazing views in mind by varying the balcony lengths up to 12 feet long, allowing for optimal views on each floor.
14. The Reversible Destiny Lofts in Mitaka, Japan
NY based designers Arakawa and Gin designed this peculiar complex with the rainbow in mind. I promise you that it is not a McDonald’s Play Place in disguise, however, I cannot promise that the designers were not on LSD when they concocted the designs. Living in this rainbow mess of a complex isn’t cheap either. The smallest places start at about $750,000 US each.
15. Walden 7 in Barcelona, Spain
This building is entirely composed of 18 towers that are displaced from their base, therefor forming a curve and interlacing with its neighbors (almost like a giant braid.) The result hide seven interconnecting interior courtyards. They run from studios to four bedrooms, so families of all sizes can pretend they are in Cinderella.