Ever wondered what it would be like to wake up within the iconic pink walls at La Muralla Roja? Or, you could finally swim in the rooftop pool atop the Brutalist Torres Blancas in Madrid, or even enjoy the weekend in a house designed by Pritzker laureate Shigeru Ban in Sri Lanka. Thanks to house renting platform AirBnb, that architecture daydream is now a reality. Residential architecture masterpieces can often feature in an architecture lovers bucket list but can be limited to looking at it from the outsides. Now, you can actually experience many famous works for what they are designed to be. This time we have selected 17 homes, rooms, offices and even capsules designed by your favorite architects around the world. Are you ready to book your next vacation?
Location: Calp, Valencian Community, Spain
Construction Year: 1968
Built on a cliff overlooking the sea, the rosy-hued modernist icon has a 2-bedroom apartment up for rent, boasting a penthouse pool and private outdoor parking. Residents can enjoy walking through the labyrinth of picturesque roof terraces, interlocking stairs and bridges that span the colourful property.
Location: Weligama, Sri Lanka
Construction Year: 2010
Area: 825 m2
After designing and building post-tsunami reconstruction houses in Sri Lanka, Shigeru Ban was commissioned to design a residence for an owner of a local tire company. Located on a hilltop site facing the ocean, the floor, walls and ceiling of the villa frame three different views.
Location: Madrid, Spain
Construction Year: 1969
Height: 81 meters
This brutalist monument (often seen while driving into central Madrid) is a fixture in many precedent studies for residential architecture – it’s one of the most complicated and innovative reinforced concrete structures of the era.With its unique lobby, circular rooms and rooftop pool its butterfly-like floorplans have many architects wondering how it was possible to design something that truly owned circular living spaces on a large scale.
Glow Worm House / RCR Architects
Location: Olot, Catalunya, Spain
Construction Year: 2005
Area: 400 m2
This house was designed to overlook spectacular views towards the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park, and is also a quick 10 min walk to the town of Olot in Catalunya. Equipped with modern fittings, the house also has a pebbled light well inside, allowing for both natural daylight and sunsets during dinnertime.
Location: Easter Island, Chile
Construction Year: 2010
Area: 77 m2
For the eco-conscious traveller, or someone who wants to experience what it’s like to live in a sustainably designed dwelling, this prefab cabin is your getaway. AATA Architects explain the idea behind the cabins so that “the construction process, material resourcing and daily usage of the cabins had to have minimal impact on the very fragile environment of Easter Island.” The cabin is equipped with rainwater collection, solar panels and is naturally insulated and ventilated to match the tropical climate of the island.
Location: Costa Esmeralda, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Construction Year: 2015
Area: 180 m2
Located in a forest of pine trees, Casa L4’s concrete texture and colour is in harmony with the calm environment. Set back from the coast, the home is private and intimate, with a unique free staircase and diffused light entering the house from various openings. Most of the program is laid out on the ground floor with the stairs leading to the roof, where “a quiet space for contemplation unfolds.”
Casa Tiny / Aranza Arino
Location: Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, México
Construction Year: 2016
Area: 59 m2
Inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s novel “Walden”, which reflects upon living in a natural landscape, this tiny house is a quiet getaway from the world. Entirely minimal in design and function, this micro-house is reflective in nature. A place where you can turn of your phone and reconnect with nature, or maybe work on that book you’ve been wanting to write, guests of the house also get privileged access to neighbouring Casa Wabi (a residency for artist) and Hotel Escondido. The hammock doesn’t hurt too.
Location: Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico
Construction Year: 2006
Area: 350 m2
Described by the architect as a house “for extreme weather that surpasses the standard limits of comfort of the city-dweller; a low-cost house requiring minimum maintenance; a house for any number of habitants, flexible in its uses and configuration; a house that can open up completely to the exterior or close in on itself; a beach house that can be built in a distant corner of the world.” Built in concrete, the house features a large cantilever and an outdoor hammock room (a recurring theme in Oaxaca AirBnbs!).
Location: Mexico City, México
Construction Year: 2014
Area: 2.200 m2
The building is located in the Colonia Roma, a historic neighbourhood in the central sector of Mexico City. The ReUrbano project transforms an old house of historical value that was abandoned after the death of its eighty year old occupant into a housing building. The dwelling is part of 9 apartments of various sizes and configurations, and has a commercial area in the front façade. The project forces us to confront the value of architectural form within the urban grid, as well as that of heritage and ways to intervene it.
Location: Catuçaba, São Luís do Paraitinga - Sao Paulo, Brazil
Construction Year: 2015
Area: 42 m2
Described as a “primitive retreat,” MINIMOD presents an alternative to traditional construction: based on prefab plug&play logics, it uses Brazil CLT Wood-Technology to manipulate its natural timber material. Built as a series of prototypes, this house is located in the east of São Paulo Estate surrounded by a chain of coastal mountains. With undulating landscapes and dense vegetation, different faces are left open to frame the surrounding views.
Edificio Copan / Oscar Niemeyer
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Construction Year: 1961
Height: 118 m
One of the largest apartment buildings in Brazil, Niemeyer was responsible for the buildings’ curved modernist façade. Due to the sheer size of the building and the number of residents, it got its own ZIP code in the city. The one-bedroom up for rent is located on the 21st floor, and has TV and WiFi included.
Location: Pioneertown, California, USA
Construction Year: 2007
Area: 74 m2
Conceived as a small house with glass walls and open floor plan, the itHouse maximizes the relationship of the occupant to the surrounding landscape while minimizing the building's impact on delicate site conditions. Energy efficiency is achieved in the itHouse through passive heating and cooling, utilizing site orientation and cross ventilation, radiant floor heating, hi-efficacy appliances & equipment and the use of solar photovoltaic & thermal panels. It also features that hanging fireplace – which can be enjoyed in cooler nights.
Schwartz House / Frank Lloyd Wright
Location: Two Rivers, Wisconsin, USA
Construction Year: 1938
The Bernard Schwartz House is Frank Lloyd Wright's built version of his Life Magazine "Dream House" design from 1938. Owned by the Schwartz family until 1971, the property is now owned by brothers Gary and Michael Ditmer who are restoring it with painstaking care, offering tours and even stays in the masterpiece. A rare opportunity for Wright lovers, you can rent the entire house for a night or more (however for students, keep in mind that renters have to be 25 years old or above)
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Construction Year: 1984
Area: 6.000 m2
A popular tourist attraction and bizarre architectural experiment, the Kubuswoningen is located in the Oude Haven, the most historic section of Rotterdam’s port. Known for his desire to challenge conventions, Blom did not want the Kubuswoningen to resemble typical housing; he strived to dissolve the attitude that “a building has to be recognizable as a house for it to qualify as housing.” You can stay in one of the iconic, “pencil-head” cube residences, which has 3 floors. The top floor offers 360-degree views of the city, as well as the other cubehouses surrounding you.
Silodam / MVRDV
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Construction Year: 2003
Area: 19.500 m2
A transformation of a former dam and silo building, the Silodam is a mixed program of housing, offices, work spaces, commercial spaces and public spaces are arranged in a 20 meter deep and ten-story-high “urban envelope”. The apartment in question is a luxurious 142m loft offering views towards the port (where you can watch the ships come in) and a private terrace.
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Construction Year: 1972
Area: 3.091 m2
An AD classic, the capsule tower is a fixture for architecture-lovers in Tokyo. Designed by Kisho Kurokawa in 1972, the Nakagin Capsule Tower is a rare built example of Japanese Metabolism, a movement that became emblematic of Japan's postwar cultural resurgence. The building was the world's first example of capsule architecture built for actual use.Though you sadly cannot sleep in the capsule (the nearby apartment where you sleep in is included in your booking), you’re welcome to visit the apartment for the duration for your stay.
Location: Jyväskylä, Finland
Construction Year: 1949
Aalto's town hall is a study in opposition: elements of classicism and the monumental blend with modernity and intimacy to form a cohesive new centre point for the community. Aalto designed the town hall as a complete work of art – which can be seen in its details and furniture designed specifically for the building. Because of its architectural importance, Säynätsalo town hall and its inner courtyard are protected by a building preservation order in 1994, and during office hours you can visit the town hall from your apartment (or get a guided tour).