Everyone expresses themselves in their own way. While some choose art forms like music and dancing, others like to write poems and prose. Among all of them, the most underrated forms of art are architecture. As we all know designing a great home is really tough as it needs to give the feel more comfortable than anywhere else in the world.
Many architects design homes that fit properly into urban centers all around the world. But there are a few who like to stand out and use their homes to make a statement.
Here are some of the strangest and bizarre houses details from around the world.
01 “Microwave Oven” From The Beginning Of The 20th Century, Europe
At the beginning of the 20th century, Dual-use radiators were popular in Europe. They were used to heat food and dry shoes. As they have been phased out by more modern technology they can hardly be found anywhere. Now we have electricity as the former option to heat with hot water and steam became very energy-consuming.
2. Seasonal Fridge, Russia
The houses built in the 60s had a seasonal fridge. The architects designed a special niche with the thick walls of the houses to keep perishable and canned products during the winter season.
3. Blocked-Up Windows, Great Britain
It shows how ridiculous laws have affected a culture with the blocked up windows in the old buildings of Great Britain. The British and the Scots had to pay taxes for the number of windows they had in their houses in the 17th century. So, only rich people could afford to have all their windows are glass as it was extremely expensive and difficult to produce glass.
People had to block up windows with bricks if they didn’t want to pay the tax. Poor people had to live in complete darkness for generations as they didn’t have any windows at all.
4. Phoenix Bird, Stockholm (Sweden)
In the historical center of Stockholm it can be seen a symbol of a Phoenix bird that hangs over the doors of some buildings. This medallion is a fortune in the 18th century. When the houses in the old city caught fire it had the potential to destroy the whole block or even district as they were built so close to each other. Firefighters first extinguished the houses with this distinctive medallion on the façade, and the houses of poor people were saved later.
It was like fire insurance. The fire insurance company that used to sell these medallions back then is still in business today.
5. Manhole, Wiesbaden (Germany)
The lid of this manhole in Wiesbaden, Germany resembles the ’Millennium Falcon’ spaceship from Star Wars which is the entrance to the dungeon of the Salzbach canal. It was served as a canal before, and now it’s used for excursions.
6. Doors To Saloons, Western United States
A hinged door that can freely open to both sides is the feature of any respected saloon in the Wild West. It looks like completely impractical construction at first glance. But it has a few very direct purposes.
Ventilation is the first purpose and the second one is puritan in nature, it was to protect the gazes of the pious inhabitants of western towns from the indecency inside the saloon. The frequent saloon-goers could see the light from afar and knew that the bar was open. The third reason, “bat wings,” made saloons recognizable even without a sign.
7. Garbage Chute, Former USSR
In 1938, the instant waste disposal device was first made for a house in Vladivostok. They were located inside of the actual apartments before and later they were moved to be in a central location on each floor of the apartment block for sanitary purposes. Due to the unsanitary conditions they create residents of apartment buildings ask management organizations to weld waste chutes closed today.
8. The Absence Of Windowsills, Montenegro And Bulgaria
In Bulgaria and Montenegro, it’s not customary to build window sills inside rooms. Even if it might seem impractical, it’s all because of the walls in Bulgarian and Montenegrin homes. They are thin because of the climate and there’s really no space left for a windowsill. The Montenegrin language doesn’t even have a word for “windowsill.”
9. A Window Between The Bathroom And The Kitchen, USSR
You can see a window between the bathroom and the kitchen in a Soviet house. This window visually expands the space; a standard bathroom in a panel house is pretty small. The other reason is that this window provides extra light. But this architectural solution is not used anymore.
10. Pull-String Light Switches, Great Britain
Bathrooms in old British houses still have pull-string light switches. They have made that for safety reasons as humidity and electricity are not a good mixture. As people were afraid that they might be in danger of electric shock, the standard light switches were not used in bathrooms. British people decided to set a pull-string light switch which is an outstanding feature of English houses
11. Milk Doors, USA And Great Britain
Milkmen used to deliver our milk until the middle of the 20th century. And some houses had the walls with these tiny milk doors. Milkmen would open this door and leave a bottle with milk right between the walls.
12. Witch Windows, Vermont
One of the features of the old houses of Vermont is diagonal windows. They are called “witch” windows as an old legend says that due to unknown reasons, witches can’t enter diagonal windows on their flying brooms.
It has a more realistic explanation too; it’s difficult to figure out where to install a normal window in an attic and they need to find a way out by turning the windows by 45º. These windows provide better lighting and much needed ventilation.
13. Well-Yards, Saint Petersburg (Russia)
A symbol of the Northern capital of Russia is courtyards (or well-yards). Peter the Great has ordered the construction of buildings in the Dutch style so the old buildings looked beautiful from all sides according to one of the legends.
Another version says that it’s all because of the groundwater. Each foot of the land was to be used for building as it was pretty expensive to prepare the soil for construction. Many people from all over the country used to come to the Northern capital and each person needed a place to live so, these multi-story courtyards appeared.
You can find the addresses and photos of all the well-yards in Saint Petersburg here.
14. American Toilet
The drainage system in American toilets are filled with water gives the impression that the drain is clogged. So, it might scare a European person. But the truth is that the high level of water protects the bowl’s walls from getting dirty. Due to that, Americans are not using brushes more frequently. Some urinals in the USA don’t have an actual bowl.