A home can be many things: a place of comfort, a place to create, a place to keep your stuff. At the same time, it can be a place that turns a few heads. Across the world, in suburban corners and urban centers and nearly off the grid, stand homes that appear strange and distorted, like they came from the mind of M.C. Escher or Dr. Seuss. But for all their intricacies and architectural imagination, they’re still homes.
In Rotterdam, a set of connected houses resemble a row of Rubik’s Cubes, each tilted at a 55-degree angle atop a hexagonal pillar. (This unique design was actually created as a crafty solution to zoning issues.) Similarly, in East Jerusalem, dozens of housing units are stacked on top of each other in a creation known as the “Honey Bee Hive House.” Designed by architect Zvi Hecker, it is both loved and loathed by architects far and wide. From one of the world’s steepest streets, which creates the illusion that every house is sinking, to a 15th-century home that was erected on a tilt to allow wagon traffic to pass, here are some of our favorite lived-in geometric wonders.