Retro-futuristic homes have been around for a while, but they have become the focus of attention as of late.
The perfect example of this style is the bubble house, which was first built in the 1940s.
We found 10 amazing bubble houses that will inspire you, but first, let’s see what bubble houses are.
- What is a Bubble House?
- Maison Bernard, Théoule-sur-Mer, France
- The Seashell House, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
- Biomorphic House, Neve Daniel, Israel
- The Flintstone House, California
- Museumotel, Raon L’Etape, France
- Dome Home, Nong Khai Province, Thailand
- Baan Bubble House, Kharkiv, Ukraine
- The Unal House, Ardeche, France
- Palais Bulles, Theoule-Sur-Mer, France
- The Bubble House, Queensland, Australia
What is a Bubble House?
With some serious curve appeal and lots of personality, these amazing structures are inspired by natural formations. Bold and bulbous, the bubble house architecture is brilliant and unique.
Architects in the 1960s became inspired by organic shapes and started designing these free-form structures that are out-of-the-box. They are surely not for everyone, but you must admit they are very eye-catching with their curvaceous, spherical shapes.
The first ever to build a bubble house was Wallace Neff back in the 1940s in Litchfield Park, Arizona. And in the next decades some architects took this concept to a completely new level.
More recently, the balloon bubble houses or tents took off, and glamping became a thing. Although those glamping tents are not permanent structures, they are very popular for outdoor enthusiasts.
Let us now take a look at 10 amazing bubble houses that will surely inspire you.
Maison Bernard, Théoule-sur-Mer, France
Antti Lovag’s 1970s masterpiece in the South of France is like a dream from another planet. Imagine a house with tubular tunnels and a deep red exterior, bubbling out of the landscape like something from a sci-fi movie.
Who lived in this spectacular house? Industrialist Pierre Bernard. He saw beauty in the rugged landscape of Théoule-sur-Mer and wanted a home that echoed it. Round windows open like portholes, connecting inside to outside, making it all part of the same wild scene.
Today, La Maison Bernard stands restored and brilliant after a 5 year renovation. French architect Odile Decq breathed life back into it, leaving the iron frame to grow, then setting it in concrete. It’s a house that evolved, taking shape as ideas flowed.
Step inside, and you’re in a kaleidoscope. Odile Decq’s colors spin you from room to room. Bubblegum pink, sunny yellow, lime green—it’s a color journey that keeps you moving, exploring, wondering.
Now the best part: you can see it for yourself. The Maison Bernard Endowment Fund opened its doors to the public a few years ago. Artists can even stay, create, and be inspired by this otherworldly space. It’s more than a home; it’s an experience, an adventure in design, waiting for you to explore.
The Seashell House, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
This house is considered one of the world’s most charming AirBNBs, probably because of its unique seashell shape. It was built like most of the bubble houses, using a special concrete that coates a bespoke structural framework.
Designed in 1994 by architect Eduoardo Ocampo, the house is very high in demand, but if you don’t have a fixed schedule you might be able to find some availability.
In order to please the owner, Ocampo built the house with spiral staircases, a door that lies in the mouth of the shell, and hand-formed walls.
Throughout the two bedroom home you’ll see lots of seashell motifs sparingly placed. For example, there are a few engraved doors and some architectural chairs, plus a few shells that drape the patio and pool areas.
Biomorphic House, Neve Daniel, Israel
One of the newest bubble home constructions, this wonderful bubble house was built in 2007 by the French-born architect and designer Ephraim Henry Pavie. It is a four-storey home that is located on Israel’s West Bank. Inspired by spherical shapes that exist in the natural world, this freeform building was constructed entirely from concrete.
The elongated windows bulge out from the structure, giving the house a futuristic style. The unusual structure features circular shapes that are unconventional, but they work for his designs.
The intricately crafted curves are featured throughout the house, and the expansive windows allow light to pour indoors while drawing in the surrounding landscape.
The unique plan of open space is adaptive and transforms the space until Pavie felt satisfied with the end result.
The Flintstone House, California
Florence Fang is the current owner of The Flintstone house. Located in Hillsborough, California, the house is an ode to the popular cartoon the Flintstones.
As you can imagine, it became a popular attraction but unfortunately, some people living in the town of Hillsborough think it’s too much. With dinosaurs and the Yabba Dabba sign in the backyard, neighbors find it an eyesore.
The structure was built in 1977 in a quite unique way. The house was made by spraying a concrete mix called shotcrete onto steel mesh, all that over a series of giant balloons. For decades the house remained in its original off-white shade, but it was painted orange in 2017.
A little while later, the purple dome was added. The interior is surprisingly restrained, if you were to judge it from the loud exterior decor. Designed by William Nicholson, it features Jerusalem stone floor tiles and whitewashed walls.
Curved backlit alcoves add some depth to the living space, and the orange and purple splashes create a subtle flow that matches the outdoors. And the kitchen is quirky to say the least with a futuristic glass island, circular shelving, and intricate metal doors.
Museumotel, Raon L’Etape, France
The Museumotel offers guests in the northeastern region of France a unique stay. Nestled in mountainous landscapes, the structure comprises 11 buildings. Constructed in the late 1960s by Swiss architect Pascal Hausermann, the estate was intended to become a Utopian society.
Paired with bold, functional design and affordability, it was created at the height of the “bubble fever”. It was popular for a few years but due to neglect, it eventually fell into a state of disrepair. In 2003 the structure underwent major restorations and reopened to guests.
The specially designed windows are tailored to fit in with the concave rooms and overall quirkiness of the motel. With a rotund shape, the estate is designed with retro schemes that pay homage to its origins.
At the latest news, the motel closed down in 2015 and sold in late 2019. We’re not sure who the new owner is, but we’re curious to see the new plans for the property.
Dome Home, Nong Khai Province, Thailand
This colorful property located on a Mango farm in Thailand was completed in six short weeks. Hajjar Gibtan, the owner of Domegaia, helped his friend Steve Areen with the undertaking of this project. The firm specializes in eco-building workshops, therefore this building was a great idea.
The home was built using AirCrete, a mixture used for construction that is made up of foam, concrete, and air.
Due to its unique texture and composition, the mixture can be molded into any shape. This sustainable building material is environmentally friendly, plus it provides air-tightness and excellent thermal insulation.
The interior is just as quirky as the exterior, with a grass mat that is placed beneath the sink counter. The shower is set among a circle of stone, making it one of the most creative bathrooms we’ve ever seen.
A unique house that bursts with character, it comes with a pond that was installed in its surrounding grounds, making it even more special.
Baan Bubble House, Kharkiv, Ukraine
Designed by Nat Telichenko, this private dwelling offers a striking contrast to its neighboring houses. The house was built in the spirit of retro-futurism, forgoing straight lines and traditional design aesthetics. Curved lines and sloping ceilings dominate the design of this house, with no straight lines in view.
Spanning over 1,000 feet it isn’t the largest bubble home we’ve seen, but it is just as impressive as the others. It is split in several zones that are well-defined, and the exterior is also eye-catching. There’s an array of circular mirrors that adorn the outer walls, which reinforce the retro-futuristic vibe of the home.
Thanks to technologies integrated into the design, the house keeps the space cool in summer and retains heat in winter. Its owners enjoy the views of the nearby lake and the different themed terraces.
There’s a classic Japanese rock garden, a Mediterranean terrace that contains an infinity pool, and a Chinese garden with a dragon tail. Plus there’s a bubble boat that contains a lounge zone where you’ll find yet another terrace.
The Unal House, Ardeche, France
This remarkable house is a feat of architecture. Built by Joel Unal and Claude Hausermann-Costy around a natural landscape, the Unal House is nestled in a remote idyll.
Gentle to the surrounding nature during construction, there were no trees or rocks that were removed from the site the house was built on.
Boasting a spa and a swimming pool, the 360 degree viewing point offers gorgeous vistas of Mont Lozere and Mont Blanc. Illuminated by skylights in the ceiling, the sunlights seeps through into the living space.
The floor gives irregular tactile feelings to the space, since it was built without foundations and it sits directly on the rocky ground.
The home’s two bathrooms, three bedrooms and living spaces are connected via two spherical tunnels. There is an organic flow that runs throughout the interiors due to the carefully curated furnishings.
Labeled a Heritage House in 2004, the spherical property was classified a historical monument in 2010.
Palais Bulles, Theoule-Sur-Mer, France
Nestled on the French Riviera in Theoule-Sur-Mer, this extraordinary property is looking out over the Mediterranean sea. Le Palais Bulles was designed between 1975 and 1989 by Antti Lovag, the architect getting his inspiration from cave dwellings of prehistoric humans.
The property became even more famous when the renowned fashion designer Pierre Cardin bought this place in the nineties to use as his luxury vacation home.
One of the largest properties on our list, it is a whopping 3,937 square feet, and it boasts a 500 -seat amphitheater. It is an ideal location for wedding venues, fashion shows, movie sets that are looking for an eclectic vibe.
The retreat is tucked away above the Bay of Cannes and it is interspersed with pools and circular roof terraces.
Offering a dramatic backdrop, the property has a few gardens, swimming pools, ten suites, and a panoramic lounge.
Daring on the inside as it is on the exterior, the maze-like interior is designed with angular architecture and overall spherical themes that are prominent throughout the entire property.
Fun Fact: in 2017, the property was listed on Christie’s International Realty for the astounding sum of $420 million.
That made it the most expensive house for sale in Europe at the time.
The Bubble House, Queensland, Australia
Lying in the residential rural suburb of Karalee in Queensland, Australia, this unique Bubble House is curvaceous and surreal. Graham Birchall is the designer who imagined this amazing dwelling and it was actually his home.
Inspired by monolithic dorms, the architect created a structure that honors the beauty, simplicity and strength of the humble circle.
Split over three floors, the retro property might seem a bit similar to the Flinstone house.
It is formed of 11 intersecting domes, encompassing 11,302 square feet. Its bubbles range between 13 to 26 feet in diameter, making it a fairly large property. Each bubble is painted in a different color which gives it an eclectic, unusual look.
If you think it’s only strange looking from the outside, we challenge you to look inside. The rooms look as if they’ve landed straight from a sci-fi movie set.
The bespoke architectural detail and peculiar round walls make it an interesting house. It has three bedrooms, a basement, a library, dining room, lounge, and you can enter the house through a round entrance tunnel.
There are many other unorthodox details in this house, each more unique than the next.
Bubble houses? They’re not just futuristic fever dreams; they’re a playful nod to innovative architecture that challenges our idea of a traditional home.
From Antti Lovag’s sprawling masterpieces to smaller, quirkier finds, these structures make us rethink boundaries and embrace the wilder side of design.
As we’ve seen, each bubble house tells its own story, blending with landscapes or boldly standing apart. They’re a testament to human creativity, where architecture dances with whimsy.
So, next time you’re daydreaming of a unique home, why not think spherical? It’s a bubbly twist on the ordinary!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a bubble house?
A bubble house is a surreal structure that looks like a giant balloon, but it’s made out of a special type of concrete.
Is the bubble house real?
Yes, it is just named a bubble house because it’s shaped like a giant bubble. Giant balloons were inflated and poured over with a special concrete.
Who builds bubble homes?
The ‘real’ bubble house was built by architect Graham Birchall. Located in the suburb of Karalee in Queensland, Australia, the house was his thesis project, which then became his residence. But the original bubble house was built in the 1940s by Wallace Neff.
What is a bubble house made of?
Bubble houses are made of a construction method named Airform, invented by Neff. It is basically an inflated giant balloon that is coated in Gunite, which is a special concrete.
Who owns the bubble house?
The original bubble house was owned by Wallace Neff. He is the inventor of this architectural style and the concrete material needed to build these houses.