Homes are a place of retreat from the hustle-and-bustle of life, a private haven that gives a person space to explore himself and his surroundings. While this is true in all sense of the word, there are some who have taken this concept a bit too well. Not only do they consider their homes a place of retreat, it also is a place to hide from the world — literally. Call these houses crazy; call them fascinating, interesting, or even sheer genius – but you could never accuse them of being boring.
Here are two of the most fascinating homes that you would love to hide in for a long, long time:
The House of Stone (Fafe Mountains, Northern Portugal)
It may seem a bit of an understatement to describe this house as “Flintstone-like”, but it’s really meant to be a form of respect and endearment. Known as Casa do Penedo, or the “House of Stone”, the structure blends with its natural settings like a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich – and that is highly impressive. Casa do Penedo was built between four large boulders that give an air of down-to-earth simplicity, but don’t be fooled by its rustic, “Stone-Age” facade. It is actually quite modern, with a swimming pool that’s carved out from one of the large rocks, stone furniture, stairs, log railings, a fireplace, bullet proof windows and a steel door.
The two-story house was originally created in 1974 as a family retreat, although it attracted too much attention from tourists that its current owner, Vitor Rodrigues, was forced to move out so he could avoid all the curious onlookers.
The Dune House (Atlantic Beach, Florida)
Call it quirky, call it bizarre, but you have to admit it’s one-of-a-kind. After all, where in the world do you find a house that has a roof that needs mowing?
Now a duplex, the house sits in an ocean front sand dune, and considered a landmark building by modernist groups today. When you look at it from the ocean side, you’ll see a grassy mound with Martian eyes staring right at you, and from the street level, you’ll see two similar apartments that contractors call “the south cheek” and “the north cheek.”
The Dune House was built by the Harvard-trained architect William Morgan in 1975. He had a great view of the sand from his master’s bedroom, and next to his house was a lot that was mainly a dune (created in 1964 by Hurricane Dora). During that time, Morgan was thinking of building a rental property, but he had gotten quite fond of the dune that he decided to build inside it instead of on top of it.
The house is quite small — only 750-square-feet — with each of the rooms opening to each other. It has two stories, with beach-level terraces and upper floor bed-and-bathrooms. It’s an ideal place for a single renter or an intimate couple.
Sadly, Morgan was diagnosed with lung cancer, and he and his wife have decided to sell the Dune. The house is currently on the market for $1 million.