Top 10 Most Unique and Unusual Small Homes

These are some of the world's smallest and most unique houses.
Christopher McFadden
small houses1, 2

Houses around the world vary in design and size from street to street and country to country. But some of them, it turns out, are very small and unique indeed.

From art installations to a very old example in Wales, these houses are truly amazing things. If you ever get the chance you might want to book a world tour specifically to check them out.


What is the weirdest house in the world?

There are some great candidates for the world's weirdest house. According to sites like some great examples are: -

- The Hobbit House, Wales. 

- Old Water Tower, Belgium. 

- Brooklyn Clock Tower Home, New York City. 

- The Flintstones House, Malibu, California.

What different types of houses are there in the world?

This is a very hard question to answer as houses, like many buildings, come in many shapes and sizes. Build forms also vary from standard "templates" to uniquely designed structures the likes of which we will see later in this article.

There are also different building standards and traditions in different countries around the world. But, if we want to speak about the classifications of houses we can provide a more definitive answer.

Here are some examples (this list is far from exhaustive and doesn't include attachment types e.g. detached, semi-detached, etc) : -

  • Connected Farm
  • Housebarn
  • Longhouse
  • Laneway House
  • Linked Houses
  • A log home or Log cabin
  • Lustron House
  • Manor House
  • Mansion
  • Maisonette
  • McMansion
  • Manufactured House
  • Microhouse

  • Monolithic Dome
  • Minka
  • Mudhif
  • Octagon House
  • Patio House
  • Pit-House
  • Plank House
  • Pole House
  • Prefabricated House/Non-Traditional House
  • Ranch 
  • Ranch-Style House
  • Shack
  • Queenslander
  • Roundhouse
  • The Saltbox
  • Split-level house
  • Shotgun house
  • Detached Single-Family House
  • Souterrain
  • Stilt House
  • Pile Dwellings
  • Snout House
  • Splits

What is the largest house in the world?

There are quite a few candidates for the title of the "world's largest house". But one that is commonly cited is the permanent residence of Mukesh Ambani (the Richest man in India).

Called Antillia, his "house" is actually a 27-story skyscraper situated in downtown Mumbai. It cost an estimated $2 Billion to erect and was built by Perkins + Will and Hirsch Bedner Associates.

It is truly huge and has around 400,000 sq feet (37,160 m2) of living space. The whole structure took around 4 years to complete. 

What are some of the most unique and unusual small houses?

1. The Hemloft - British Columbia

The Hemloft is one of the smallest and most unique "houses" in the world. It was designed and built by a Canadian software developer-turned-carpenter Joel Allen. 

His egg-shaped tree house is located in the woods near Whistler, British Columbia but its exact location is a closely guarded secret. Apparently, it was erected without actual government permission.

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2. Mountain Cabin - Austria

small unique houses mountain cabin
Source: Böhringer/Wikimedia Commons

Mountain Cabin is another tiny and unique house. With its distinct ash-grey color, this little house is certainly a landmark in the Austrian village of Laterns. 

It is about 87 square meters in area and is used as a holiday cottage by adventurous tourists. It really is a very different take on the traditional design for houses.

3.  The Exbury Egg - UK

small unique houses exbury egg
Source: exburyeggtour

The Exbury Egg was designed and built by Artist Stephen Turner. It is a floating home and research station all in one egg-shaped package. Stephen's work tends to specialize in "long term artistic explorations of environmental settings". 

To create his dream home, Stephen teamed up with Space Placemaking and Urban Design (SPUD Group).

4. UFOGEL - Austria

small unique houses ufogel

UFOGEL in Austria is another interesting take on the concept of a house. Situated on a hillside in one of the most idyllic spots in Austria, it is a truly unique building.

Its design blends the ultimate in comfort with a very futuristic stilted design. It must be quite an experience to stay in this one.

5. Snow House - Italy

Snow House, designed by a Milan-based design firm Santambriogio, is an incredible all-glass home. It is entirely built from light blue, hued glass and steel frame. 

What is interesting is that even the internal furnishings, like the bed, tables, etc, are also made from the same glass. This is a very unique house indeed.

6. The Keret House - Poland

small unique houses keret
Source: Rozmiar Pierwotny/Wikimedia Commons

The Keret House in Poland might be the world's slimmest house. It is so narrow that it actually sits between two existing multi-story buildings.

The entire structure measures between a meager 92 to 152 centimeters in width. This isn't technically speaking a house, per se, but was specifically designed as an art installation in Warsaw, Poland.

7. Transparent House - Japan

small unique houses tokyo
Source: Nicolas Boullosa/Flickr

The Transparent House, located in Tokyo, Japan, is another tiny, yet unique house. Designed by Sou Fujimoto Architects, this 90 square meter house was, according to its designers, inspired by our ancient ancestors who inhabited trees.

Its transparent design offers plenty of sunlight but at the cost of absolutely no privacy whatsoever. It is built from white steel-frame and glass and it was, funnily enough, designed to resemble a tree.

8. Skateboard House - USA

The Skateboard House, as the name suggests, was designed to be the dream home for any skater. Every single element of its interior has been specifically designed to allow someone to skate anywhere they want. 

The house was designed and built for Pierre Andre Senizergues (PAS), a former World champion and Pro Skater and the founder of Etnies.

9. 1sq Meter House - Germany

This tiny 1 meter squared "house" is actually a portable DIY wooden structure that can be assembled with ease anywhere you want. If you would consider it a 'true' house, this is probably the world's smallest house.

It was designed by Berlin-based architect Van Bo Le-Mentzel and is designed to be used either vertically or horizontally. If nothing else it is very unique!

10. Quay House - Wales, UK

small unique houses quay house
Source: JK the Unwise/Wikimedia Commons

Quay House is one of the most famous landmarks in Wales, UK. Located in the pretty coastal town of Conwy, North Wales, it is officially Britain's smallest house.

It is also incredibly old with records indicating it was probably built sometime in the 16th Century. Quay House was even occupied right up to 1900 with its last tenant being a 6-foot-3-inch (1.9 m) tall fisherman called Robert Jones.

It is a favored tourist attraction in the area and can be found near the walls of the incredibly well preserved Conwy Castle. 

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