We all know what a home looks like in Seattle. But what about elsewhere?
Musgum mud huts are traditional Cameroon homes built of mud. Musgum huts were built in a variety of shapes: some tall domes, others conical, others a reverse-V shape, and still others geometric designs. Local residents built them from mud, thatch, and water using few tools. The huts are classified as a type of adobe structures, and they are an important architectural style of Cameroon, although few people live in them in the present day.
Earthships are passive solar homes made of both natural and recycled materials (such as earth-filled tires), designed and marketed by Earthship Biotecture of Taos, New Mexico. Earthships are meant to be “off-the-grid ready” homes, using only minimal (or nonexistent) public utilities and fossil fuels. Earthships use available natural resources, especially energy from the sun, thermal mass construction, and natural cross ventilation, to regulate indoor temperature. They also use photovoltaic solar cells, rainwater collected from the roof, water recycling, a windmill, old rubber tires, and other repurposed materials. Residents often grow much of their own food in built-in greenhouses.
The Korowai are a people of Indonesian New Guinea. They number about 3,000, and until 1970, it is believed that they had no contact with outsiders. The Korowai live in tree houses as high as 114 feet above the ground. The tree houses protect the Korowai from the swarming mosquitoes below, troublesome neighbors, evil spirits, and other wildlife. Most tree houses are 30–40 feet high. A large Banyan or Wanbom tree serves as the main pole, with smaller poles added at the corners of the house for more support. Entire family groups, including their pets and other domestic animals, live together in one tree house. A single notched pole serves as a ladder.
Bonus: The Safe House
Built by KWK PROMES in a small village on the outskirts of Warsaw, Poland, The Safe House was designed so that homeowners will never feel unsafe or exposed. It’s the ultimate in security. You could survive a zombie apocalypse in this house, which has features such as a working drawbridge, secret openings, movable walls, giant shutters, and a LOT of concrete. It also has a swimming pool.