8 unbelievable houses that will make your jaw drop

Check out these amazing homes from around the world that have to be seen to be believed!

From a treehouse in the Brazilian rainforest to a cliff-top house in Sydney, these epic homes featured in 100 Contemporary Houses showcase some of the most pioneering modern archictecture of the past decade in the world today.

Expect breathtaking photographs as well as an insight into how each house was built, how they function and 'deliver' for every owner. Open your eyes to a host of new and already established talents. It will make living in a normal house seem utterly boring!

1. Acayaba House by Marcos Acayaba, Brazil

wooden tree house with pathway and surrounding rainforest

(Image credit: TBC)

This tree house-inspired property has been created to simultaneously imitate and integrate the surrounding Brazilian rainforest. The Brazilian born architect, Marcos Acayaba, is famous for his irregular and sustainable designs, which are often inspired by nature. Acayaba House is located on a slanted hillside and is secured only by three concrete columns so as to take up less room and encourage natural plant growth.

2. House in Leiria by Aires Mateus, Portugal

white house with underground rooms

(Image credit: TBC)

This minimalist and contemporary looking house is located on a hill overlooking the city of Leiria. The interior is divided into two areas, one for socialising and one for sleeping. The bedrooms are located below ground level so as to reduce any noise from interrupting a deep sleep. ‘Voids' in the ceiling have been used instead of windows to attract maximum natural light indoors.

3. Holman House by

Durbach Block Architects, Sydney, Australia

white house with glass windows and swimming pool

(Image credit: TBC)

Situated on the edge of a 230ft cliff, Holman House has floor-to-ceiling windows, which provide extensive views of the sea and the sky. Not a great place to visit if you're scared of heights - a corner of the house overhangs the cliff, supported only by four steel pillars. Designed to blend into the scenery, the ground floor is constructed with natural stonewalls, like an extension of the cliff itself. The property has been described as monolithic in its white form, sitting above the jagged coastline.

4. Shell by

Kotaro Ide, Japan

white shell house with surrounding forest

(Image credit: TBC)

Also created to blend into the surrounding environment, the futuristic structure of Shell House is raised by 1,400mm, creating the illusion that it's floating above ground level. The interior design mirrors the exterior shape of a conch shell. Terraces throughout the home have been built with ulin wood and a central courtyard creates a sociable atmosphere.

5. Linear House by

Patkau Architects, British Columbia, Canada 

charcoal coloured house with translucent acrylic panels and white pathway

(Image credit: TBC)

Described by the architect as ‘more shelter than a proper house', this charcoal-coloured house is almost invisible next to the dark green foliage of the cluster of fir trees next to it. The interiors are luminous in comparison, lined with translucent acrylic panels that illuminate the spaces throughout the day and night, making use of natural and artificial light. The house can be opened up during the summer by 24m of retractable glazing and canopies, which turn it into an open-air pavilion.

6. Ravine Guest House by

Shim-Sutcliffe, Canada

wooden house with chimney in forest

(Image credit: TBC)

The interior and exterior of this wood and glass pavilion create a deliberate ambiguity, as elements are interwoven to create a series of interlocking spaces. A large central indoor-outdoor fireplace reinforces this ambiguity. The three-acre property is surrounded by red pines and black locust trees and has been described as a glowing lantern in the forest.

7. House in Kuala Lumpur by

Jouin Manku, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

boxy house exterior with white compound and garden

(Image credit: TBC)

This 3,000 square-meter residence was designed to accommodate both private and public functions. It's boxy exterior is juxtaposed with the softness and elegance of the circular interior. The house is separated by three layers; the first floor for public functions, the second, for guests and the top floor for the family. Each room is decorated with natural wood in contrast to the white walls, with has high ceilings and large windows.

8. Poli House by

Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects, Coliumo Peninsula, Chile

white wall house with glass door and carpet on floor

(Image credit: TBC)

Handmade concrete and untreated wooden frames were the two main materials used to build this house - which has a primitive, stripped-back feel to it. Situated on a wide, open space on top of a cliff, the house sticks out in stark contrast to the jagged cliff face below with dramatic effect.

100 Contemporary Houses is available now at Amazon.

contemporary house magazine

(Image credit: TBC)

Like this? Then you're going to love this futuristic crofthouse designed to be at one with the elements.

Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.