The World’s 10 most Bizarre Wooden Buildings

Wood is one of the world’s oldest construction materials that are still in use today. Technology and craftsmanship has taken this material to a whole new level of creativity and, today, wooden buildings are still considered to be amongst the most beautiful structures on the planet.

Here’s a look at some bizarre wooden buildings that glorify the natural beauty of this fantastic building material:

a)    The Wooden Skyscraper, Russia: This building, originally the brainchild of a well-known Russian gangster, Nikolai Sutyagin, was meant to be a two-storey home. However, a visit to Japan exposed this notorious criminal to Japanese wooden buildings and he decided to use the roof space more efficiently. First came three floors, but the house was looking ugly, “like a mushroom”. Today, this four-storey building houses the former-mafia boss who’s struggling with life after prison & money – much like his home.

b)    The Upside-Down House, Poland: A 114-day construction job, the upside-down house was built as a symbol of the communist era and how it would lead to the end of the world. The tiny village of Szymbark attracts plenty of tourists because of this building, but tours are quite short as everyone tends to get disoriented by the lay of the land.

Photo by magro_kr

c)     Inversion House, USA: A story of one man’s garbage being another’s gold, two condemned buildings got a new lease of life when the Art League, which called these buildings “home”, decided to convert them into temporary exhibits. The front building’s exterior was peeled off, simulating a funnel-like entrance into a vortex. The vortex became a tiny passage, for kids, to crawl through the two buildings and come out onto the other side.

Photo by Bryan Peters

d)    The Mushroom House, USA: Built to mimic the various shapes found on the forest-floor, architect Terry Brown decided to create this piece of art in an upscale neighbourhood, becoming the target of his affluent neighbours’ scorn. Using wood, coloured glass and shells, amongst other things, Terry’s home has become a symbol of his eccentricity.


Photo by The Rocketeer

e)     One Log House, USA: The Americans seem to have a taste for the bizarre, with their third entry to the list. Designed by an individual named Art Schmock, One Log House is carved out of a hollowed out Red Wood tree. The house was never meant to be lived in, and ended up being a road-side attraction before anything else. The house has a 7-foot high ceiling with enough room to hold a kitchen, a bedroom, living space and even a dining room. At 32 ft in length, the log weighs in at 42 tonnes, and comes with wheels!

Photo by Kristie Wells

f)      Pickle Barrel House, USA: Another bizarre entry from the land that lives on the edge, the pickle barrel house is, as the name suggests, house made to look like a barrel. The two barrels are connected by a wooden passageway, with the taller barrel providing two whole floors of wooden magnificence. Clearly, the architect who designed this house had nothing better to do!

Photo by Kristina_5

g)    Korowai Tree Houses, Papua New Guinea: Built on stilts that, sometimes, go as high as 25 or 30 feet, the KorowaiTree Houses are simple structures that are nothing short of an uphill climb. Originally designed to keep scavengers, even monkeys, away from their food stores, these homes were built on really high stilts with removable climbing ladders. The homes are well above the flood-water levels and were also built high up to protect the tribe from other cannibalistic tribes. Each stilt is made of Ironwood, giving them protection from fire as well.

Photo by busyboo

h)    Final Wooden House, Japan: Created by Japanese architect , Sou Fujimoto, the house has been created with lumber to show the use of large beams to create fantastic shapes, nooks and corners. Based on stepped-space, the design is totally out of this world, but you can see it in Japan.

Photo by mab-ken

i)      The Tree House, USA: Built out of a tree, into a tree and through a tree, this Robert Harvey Oshatz production took all of seven years to complete. An astounding living space in the middle of the forest, Robert took inspiration from a random scribble on his notebook. What the overall look means, is open to everyone’s interpretation and so far, everyone’s interpretation has been vastly different!

Photo by twistedsifter

j)      The Woodland Home, Wales: For architect Simon Dale, this would have been one of those dream projects that you just wait all your life for. Reminiscent of the hobbits’ burrows from J.R.R. Tolkien’s magical lands, the Woodland House is all about comfort using natural materials. A warm and cosy structure that is almost beyond every imaginative thought, the Woodland Home probably becomes the dream home for one who lays eyes on it.

If you are looking for magic with a natural tinge, then these wooden homes are definitely worth a visit. A fantastic portrayal of nature’s beauty, combined with human ingenuity, these buildings are the epitome of man’s capabilities and much more!

Matt Pollock is an architectural writer currently staying in Australia learning about the unique style of moveable, pre-fabricated homes that are popular in Queensland.  He is particularly interested in alternative building methods and green design.

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