15 Unique House Types Around The World

There is no place like home, right? Well, homes around the world certainly prove that saying to be true.

But not all the houses have the same looks! People all over the globe have been getting creative with their homes, they added vibrant colors and cultural touches that make each place feel like a work of art.

Are you a fan of distinctive and quirky house styles? Well, get ready to be amazed because today we’re going to take a tour around the world to explore 15 unique house types.

Traditional architecture, nomadic homes, and futuristic houses…they feel and function differently within each culture and climate. So, buckle up and let’s embark on this incredible journey!

1. Pueblo and Adobe-Style Houses: Southwest America

Let’s take a journey back in time to over 10,000 years ago when the Pueblo people built their incredible adobe-style homes in the river basins of the Southwestern United States. These houses are special because they are made of adobe, a material that is fireproof, eco-friendly, and keeps the inside cool during hot weather and warm during the winter.

A single-family dwelling made of adobe is called an adobe, while those multistoried, attached homes that create a sense of community are called pueblos. Pretty cool, right?

2. Neo-Andean Chalets: Bolivia

Picture this: a city adorned with stunning adobe-colored chalets, each transformed into a magnificent work of art. This remarkable transformation has been happening in El Alto, Bolivia, thanks to the talented artist Freddy Mamani.

Inspired by his own Aymara culture and the vibrant Aguayo fabric, Mamani has brought a burst of color to an otherwise monochromatic city. But he’s not alone in this mission. Together with other artists, Mamani has created a cultural movement, known as the Neo-Andean style, that breathes life and vitality into El Alto. It’s truly a sight to behold!

3. TiébéLé Homes and Mausoleums: Burkina Faso

Prepare to be amazed by the incredible town of TiébéLé in Burkina Faso, where each house is a work of art. The clay surfaces of these homes are meticulously hand-painted with beautiful patterns and symbols that not only add a touch of beauty but also communicate the social status of its inhabitants.

But that’s not all – the artwork also serves a practical purpose. It helps differentiate between regular homes and mausoleums and even references local folklore and history. It’s truly a sight to behold!

4. Thematic Homes: United States

In the United States, there’s a trend of creating homes inspired by famous landmarks or fictional worlds. From the iconic Graceland and Neverland to whimsical Hobbit holes and fairytale cottages, these homes offer an immersive experience like no other.

Sculpted foam, 3D-printed facades, elaborate murals, hidden passageways, and even curly slides – it’s like living in a theme park! Some house owners have even turned their properties into destinations, charging admission to share the magic with others.

5. Siheyuan Compounds: China

Welcome to the Siheyuan compounds in China! This architectural style has been around since the Western Zhou period and has become a defining feature of Chinese architecture.

The compound is carefully designed, with a master residence in the north and wings or residences in the east and west. Front and back courtyards, along with pavilions on the north and south sides, complete the picture. It’s a harmonious blend of functionality and beauty.

6. Konso Walled Villages: Ethiopia

The Konso village in Ethiopia was recognized as a World Heritage Site in 2011. One of the standout features of the Konso village is their paleta, or terraced walled villages. These architectural wonders showcase the Konso people’s brilliant engineering skills, protecting them from erosion, water scarcity, and intruders.

The houses in these villages are constructed using wood and mud thatch, but here’s the fascinating part – each house isn’t just for one family. The recognizable dome-shaped roofs actually cover meeting and work rooms, while each committee within the village has its own open-sided house called a Mora. It’s a testament to the strong sense of community and organization within the Konso village.

7. Korowai Tree House: Indonesia

Imagine living high up in the tree canopy, surrounded by nature. That’s exactly what the Korowai people, also known as the Kolufo, have been doing on the island of New Guinea in Indonesia.

Without the use of cranes or modern machinery, they have constructed remarkable tree houses that sit over 100 feet above the ground. These tree houses serve as their homes, providing shelter and a unique vantage point to observe the world below. It’s an incredible display of ingenuity and a testament to their deep connection with the natural environment.

8. Biophilic High-Rises: Singapore

In Singapore, the concept of biophilic design is taken to new heights, quite literally. Biophilic design, which integrates nature into everyday structures, has been embraced in the city-state. Singapore has a vision to become a “city in a garden,” and luxury residential projects like Eden and Park Nova exemplify this philosophy.

These high-rise buildings incorporate garden terraces that provide shade and offer open vistas, allowing for natural ventilation and a connection to nature. It’s a harmonious blend of urban living and green spaces.

9. Hanok Houses: Korea

Traditional Korean architecture, Hanok houses, represents various styles that existed in Korea before the influence of Western design. One of the defining features of Hanok houses is their curved roofs, which are adorned with a distinct ridge beam called yongmaru.

These houses are versatile and can be adapted for different functions, with layouts typically following an L, U, or square shape.

10. Turf and Timber Homes: Iceland

In Iceland, where the winds from the North Atlantic can be chilly, the traditional turf roofs offer excellent insulation for homes. These unique homes are made of timber structures covered in grass, providing natural protection from the elements. While they fell out of fashion in the 19th century with the rise of modern materials, turf roofs are now experiencing a resurgence, not just in Iceland but also in other parts of the world.

The revival of turf roofs is driven by their traditional aesthetic appeal and their environmental benefits. It’s a beautiful blend of old and new, as these homes combine the wisdom of the past with contemporary sustainability principles.

11. Izba Cabin: Russia

These rectangular log cabins or huts called Izba cabins have been a common sight in Russia for centuries, particularly up until the 19th century when wood was abundant.

The exterior decoration of the Izba cabin varied depending on the tribe that the family belonged to, showcasing the diverse cultural influences across the country.

12. Iroquois Longhouse: North America

Travel outside of Toronto and you’ll find a reconstructed village showcasing the traditional Iroquois longhouses. These structures give visitors a glimpse into what life was like over 600 years ago. However, the concept of longhouses dates back even further. Neolithic longhouses were introduced in central and western Europe approximately 7,000 years ago, making them a significant part of human history.

The Iroquois longhouses, with their elongated design and communal living spaces, reflect the close-knit and communal nature of the Iroquois people. They are a fascinating reminder of the rich cultural heritage of North America.

13. Yurt: Central Asia

Dating back to at least 440 BC, yurts have been used by various Central Asian nomadic cultures. These round tents are quickly assembled using wooden lattices and covered with a felt wrap. A distinctive feature of yurts is the stove and chimney which are typically placed in the center, providing warmth and a means of cooking.

Yurts are not only functional but also culturally significant, representing the nomadic lifestyle and adaptability of the people who call them home.

14. Beit Sha’ar Tents: Arabic Desert Region

In the Arabic desert region, beit sha’ar tents, also known as Bedouin black tents, have been used since at least the 7th century. These tents are primarily used during the winter months as they can become too hot during the summer. Traditionally, Bedouin tents are constructed from panels made of goat hair sewn together, they are practical shelters in the harsh desert environment

The interior of the tent is often divided by a curtain or rug, creating separate spaces for men (known as al-shigg or Shigg) and women (al-mahram or hareem). The Shigg serves as the guest area, where hospitality is extended and traditional Bedouin coffee is prepared.

15. Earth Shelters: United States

Starting in the 1970s and ’80s, earthen homes, also known as earth-bermed houses, made their way onto the architectural scene and continue to grow in popularity today. These homes draw inspiration from traditional structures such as the turf houses of Iceland or the adobe shelters of the Pueblo people.

One of the key advantages of earthen homes is their resilience to extreme climates and crisis events. In addition to their practicality, these sustainable homes also incorporate repurposed waste materials. For example, plastic bottles and tires can be used as walls, and glass bottles can be embedded in the ceilings or walls for decorative purposes.