This quirky Austin holiday home is described as ‘part Willy Wonka, part Big Lebowski’, and the giant shell-like stay is topping Airbnb’s most viewed listings this fall.
The Bloomhouse was designed in the 1970s by University of Texas student Charles Hawker for his graduate thesis as aa ‘living sculpture’. His friend Dalton Bloom commissioned the project, which took 11 years to complete, using eco-friendly building materials and experimental and innovative building techniques.
According to The Bloomhouse’s website, the dwelling was formed with steel rebar, coated in layers of hand-sculpted polyurethane foam, and finished with concrete stucco. It’s well-insulated, eco-friendly and sound insulated too.
Inspired by organic architecture, there’s nearly a straight line in sight at the 1,100 sq ft Austin holiday home, whose curvilinear design draws on the flow of air and crustacean forms with domed, cave-like interiors. Its design is meant to trigger the psychological and physiological feeling of safety and shelter, with curving forms inducing peace and calm. Downstairs is the dining room, kitchen – with a spectacular shelving system made from cherry wood and foam, plus a curving countertop and sink – and living room with a conch-shell fireplace.
A spiral staircase leads to a reading nook and tower, and the Austin property has a singular bedroom, complete with a very 1970s circular bed. Rent The Bloomhouse is for rent via Airbnb from $565 per night – or you can go direct.