The beauty of architecture is that every structure offers the opportunity for an entirely unique creation. And thanks to relaxed regulations, Belgium has become a hub for the off-kilter builder to flout the normal and swing for the fences. Fortunately, for those of us with a sense of humor, some of them are bound to be stinkers!

Blogger Hannes Coudenys took notice of all the hard-on-the-eyes Belgian houses standing proudly around his country. So, in 2012, he launched his Instagram account devoted to documenting the beastly abodes. Some of these houses might be ugly enough to dethrone the most hideous house on your block!

1. You’re looking at the house of the biggest Avatar fan of all time. Actually, they are the one and only Avatar fan. Too bad they chose such an unpopular film as a guide because their home is just as displeasing.

Ugly Belgian Homes / Instagram

2. What gives you more head space than one pyramid? Two pyramids. This go round, they opted for double the walls and barely any windows. That way, they won’t see their neighbors shaking their fists at the declining neighborhood property values. 

Ugly Belgian Houses / Instagram

3. This house is brought to you by the letter “L,” as these owners took an L in designing this unsightly home. Hopefully, they have better luck next time picking a letter to inspire, say, the shape of their summer place. 

Ugly Belgian House / Instagram

4. A witch turned a poor kitty into a house…cat. Calling this sweet facade ugly feels mean, as every cat has at least one good quality. However, nobody wants to live in a place with a face. 

Ugly Belgian Homes / Instagram

5. No design screams power move quite like a house with no windows. What they’re lacking in fresh air and vitamin D, they make up for in racket ball opportunities.

Ugly Belgian Houses / Instagram

6. Rustic may be some people’s taste, but this takes it to the extreme. In fact, from the street view, trees appear to be rooted in the roof. Thank goodness they included a garage, though. That leaves room to park your dinosaur.

7. Is the other half of this house invisible, or did it secede from the rest of the structure? The fraction of a building that remains standing is pleasant enough, but the residents must live in constant fear that the sliver remaining would vanish like the rest.

Ugly Belgian Houses / Instagram

8. Skeptics said you can’t put every kind of window in one home, but the architect behind this house said, “challenge accepted!” Windows galore means less house to look at, so that’s one silver lining.

Ugly Belgian Houses

9. So we build a castle, but here’s the catch: we make it as unappealing as possible. Just when we think we’ve got it looking plenty unattractive, we’ll paint all doors in an alarming red. Then no one will ever try and seize it from us!   

Ugly Belgian Houses / Instagram

10. Roofs are expensive, and it was either this or a jetted bathtub. Guess which one got more votes. The neighbors can keep their overrated doubled square footage.   

Ugly Belgian Homes / Instagram

11. Prepare for lift off. This ugly house will launch into space in three…two…oh wait. We forgot to add any of the rocket technology. So just slap a “for sale” sign in the front yard, and we’ll get it on the next round.

Ugly Belgian Houses / Instagram

12. Triangle houses are great… if you love smacking your head into walls constantly. The brilliant minds behind this design solved the sloped ceiling issues — pop open an aimless skylight.

Ugly Belgian Houses / Instagram

13. What it lacks in windows, it makes up for in tray table space. The fun thing about this house is, if you roll off the roof, the sad bushes will cushion your fall. But since some whiners insisted on a glimmer of natural light, they squeezed in a wimpy glass rectangle near the floor.

Ugly Belgian Houses / Instagram

14. As the legend goes, the Belgian architect fairy drops ugly structures out of the sky. One landed right in the middle of this homely house. For the odd trapezoid windows? There’s no excuse.

Ugly Belgian Houses / Instagram

15. They thought Kevin was a niche architect since he’d only ever designed plane runways. Boy, did he make the doubters eat their words! So what if a dozen aircraftS have landed there by mistake. It’s called a signature style!

Ugly Belgian House / Instagram

16. “I’m not like other houses. I’m a little bit….askew.” We get it, house. You like attention. In an effort to follow a different path, this home builder made a structure that people will stop, notice, and grimace at.

Ugly Belgian Houses / Instagram

17. Special attention was paid to eliminating natural light for this house, but the piece de resistance is the phallic male box. Not only is it a killer conversation starter, but the mail carriers can’t deliver fast enough…probably to get as far away as possible.

Ugly Belgian House / Instagram

18. One thing’s for sure, the homeowners of the shorty on the left won’t have to worry about an excess of sunlight disrupting their sleep. Once they get fed up with their looming darkness, they can move into this hodgepodge of windows calling itself a house.

Ugly Belgian House / Instagram

19. Rather than replicate the traditional style of the lower structure, these geniuses stacked a brand new non-cohesive 9 stories right on top. 

Ugly Belgian Homes / Instagram

20. Nothing to see here. Nothing suspicious going down in here at all. If you don’t believe it, scale the smooth gripless walls, pull yourself up on the rooftop, and take a look for yourself through the suspiciously small windows.

Ugly Belgian Houses / Instagram

21. Several times a day, confused customers yank on the door of this abode thinking it’s a Foot Locker, Sephora, or a NASCAR clubhouse. The neighborhood association has feelings about this house, most definitely.  

Ugly Belgian Houses / Instagram

22. This is what happens when you make someone draw up blueprints on an empty stomach. Quick! Get a charcuterie board before they jump from Swiss cheese style to cured meats.

Ugly Belgian Houses / Instagram

23. Would it make a difference if you knew identical twins lived in these mirror image digs? They don’t, so what excuse does this contractor have? If the process didn’t involve breaking one house in half, like a shared KitKat, then we’ll eat both these buildings.

Ugly Belgian House / Instagram

24. So the vision for this domicile was King of the Castle meets rhino horn. The calculated touch of a crown entryway lets all visitors know to kneel down to the royal majesty of tacky choices.

Ugly Belgian Houses

25. Belgians don’t wear their patriotism on their sleeves. They paint it on the exteriors of their houses. In case you forgot where these eye-watering-ly bad buildings are located, all you have to do is look at the countless Belgian flag homes.

Ugly Belgian Houses / Instagram

Bold architectural choices aren’t native to Belgium, even if they are fighting for that homely title. All over the globe people are taking the concept of living spaces, and turning them on their heads…

Don’t Get Serious

1. Freedom Cove – British Columbia, Canada: Artists Wayne Adams and Catherine King created the self-sufficient sanctuary of their dreams in the remote, solitary waters of coastal British Columbia. As a sculptor and a retired ballerina, they sought a house that was as unique as themselves. Their “floating food garden” is certainly one of a kind.

The Sun

Painted bright pink and teal, the character of their anchored houseboat packs a punch. It features include an art gallery, dance floor, expansive greenhouse, and a lighthouse that doubles as a shower. Together the couple has lived and raised two kids on the interconnected platforms for 26 years.

Tree Hugger

Besides looking super funky, the house is environmentally sustainable. Wayne and Catherine generate their own electricity using photovoltaics. All of their water is collected from a nearby waterfall. Food grown from their gardens and fishing from a hole in the floor is how they get their food. Their dedication to green living is something to envy.

Tree Hugger

But living this lifestyle has some downsides. High winds and severe storms routinely occur in the area, so their roof has blown off a few times, and pests — like a 3-pound rat — complicate their efforts to maintain their floating residence. But after years of adapting their home to their surroundings, they accept the challenges.

Tree Hugger

2. Noah’s Arc – The Netherlands: We’ve all had some intense dreams, but carpenter Johan Huiber’s took one wild nightmare super literally. One night he dreamed an intense storm flooded his province of Noord-Holland. He woke up inspired. Johan decided to build a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark.

Landeskirche- Hannovers

In 2007, the Christian fundamentalist opened the doors of his massive ship to the public. At 70 meters long, 9.5 meters wide, and 13 meters high, it would take a miracle to make this big boy float. But it does! The Ark was designed for sailing Dutch canals, but it can’t handle waves higher than 2 meters.

Wiki

Ready to move on to the next project, Johan sold the Ark to puppeteer and entrepreneur Aad Peters in 2010. He paid 900,000 euros and had big plans for the investment. Identifying not as religious, but as a storyteller, he filled the ship with live animals and intended to sail his attraction around Northern Europe. 

The Sun

 But the vision didn’t match reality. Aad compared his animal houseboat to “camping on the sea.” He removed the real animals and built reproductions of biblical stories instead. Since then, he’s had several crashes that damaged the Ark, but, still, it has weathered the storm.

Scoopnest

3. Sandcastle House – Rio De Janiero, Brazil: Sun, sand, and sea. The three ingredients to your own slice of paradise come at a high cost. But Marcio Mizael Matolias has lived beachfront on the ocean for 22 years for free — in a sandcastle.

The Sun

Supported by driftwood, a 6-square-meter room lies a beneath a much grander looking sandcastle. Initially, Marcio intended to fill the bunker with his sizable book collection. But, having grown up on the beach, his small underground room felt like home.

The Sun

The elaborate turrets of the castle made it a local attraction. Marcio said his design was inspired by the Spanish architect Gaudi. Despite the simplicity of his home, Marcio feels like a real King. There are challenges to living in a sand structure, but he has worked out solutions.

The Sun

Marcio runs a second-hand bookshop outside his castle and receives donations from appreciative tourists. Since there is no bathroom, he uses the firehouse nearby for 1 dollar. Sand Castle King Marcio has adopted that carefree beach attitude.”I’m happy! As everyone says and as you can also read in some books, happiness is a spiritual state.”

The Sun

4. Private Zoo – Dubai: Rashed Belhasa has made a career out of flaunting his lavish lifestyle to his captivated Instagram followers. So when it came to his mansion, Rashed knew it would have to be wild enough to attract attention…

Moneykicks / Instagram

So, he added an impressive private zoo to the grounds! Lions, tigers, and bears! Literally, he has the trifecta of frightening animals roaming his property. He names each addition after his favorite brands, like Versace and Dior. According to Rashed, only the baby cubs are allowed to come inside for snuggles. 

Moneykicks / Instagram

Mariah Carey, Jackie Chan, Tyga, and countless other famous people have hung out with the wealthy youngster in his zoo. To the critics that call his nonprofit wildlife park cruel, he claims to rescue neglected animals from other private zoos with fewer funds.

The Sun

5. Falcon’s Nest – Prescott, Arizona: For astrologer and tarot readers Ernst and Srishti, fate intervened when it came to this house. On their regular runs through the countryside, they would pass a peculiar tower house and fantasize about calling it home.

Curbed

Out on yet another run, the couple was hit by a speeding pickup truck. They were injured, but they healed and the insurance payout made the impossible possible. They purchased the strange house, called the Falcon’s Nest, for 1.5 million in March of 2018.

Curbed

Designed by architect Sukumar Pal, the giant dwelling stands 104 feet high with 10 floors. It’s the second tallest single-family home on the planet. A house so big must be a bear to clean, and the new owners claim it takes two full days to clean all 304 windows!

The Sun

6. Mars Desert Research Station – Hanksville, Utah: Life on Mars is the new normal for the people who call this interesting dwelling home. The red rocky terrain of the Utah desert serves as headquarters for a scientific project, where astronauts, engineers, and college students recreate and study what living on the Red Planet might be like.

The Sun

Eight scientists cram themselves into a small laboratory no bigger than a tiny apartment. Here, they limit themselves to freeze-dried food, share one toilet, and simulate almost everything a Mars space mission would entail. Even though it’s all about science, living in this space would be an unforgettable experience. 

Mars Desert Research Station

7. Åkrafjorden, Norway: From the outside, it may not look like much, but that’s kind of the point! Tucked away on a remote mountainside and made with grass, rock, and wood, this hidden home looks like it’s a part of nature. Inside, though? That’s a different story…

Be Amazed / YouTube

Behold! Granting breathtaking views of the mountainside and nearby waterways, the cabin offers a simple but luxurious covered space. It fits 21 people, so you don’t even have to party alone.

Be Amazed / YouTube

8. Coober Pedy, Australia: It can get hot in Australia. So hot, in fact, that living above ground in the heat of the sun can be a real burn on the keister. The residents of Coober Pedy, however, solved that problem by building an entire city underground.

Be Amazed / YouTube

And we’re not talkin’ about muskrat hovels inhabited by Star Wars sand people. These are fully-functioning homes accompanied by bars, restaurants, hotels, and a swimming pool. It’s a perfect home down under the Land Down Under.

Business Insider

9. Cliff Haven, Utah: It would be an understatement to say that the desert canyons of Utah are brimming with pretty rocks. The brilliant red stones formed over millions of years, and they make for the perfect place to hide an idyllic little spot called Cliff Haven…

Be Amazed / YouTube

In all honesty, the interior of Cliff Haven is modest—it’s not unlike anything you’d see in your typical mountain cabin. Still, you won’t find many houses cut into the landscape like this one, and it’s a perfect hub for hikers!

Cliff Haven

10. Warsaw, Poland: Not every hidden house is far from society. In Warsaw, Poland, there’s a house wedged in an alleyway. Between three and five feet wide, it looks like a weird air ventilation shaft for the adjoining buildings. What’s its deal?

Be Amazed / YouTube

Built by Jakub Szczesny, the “Keret House” is less of a house and more of an art project designed to memorialize his Jewish ancestors killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. A look inside reveals that it is, indeed, quite narrow.

Be Amazed / YouTube

11. McKinney, Texas: On the outside, this is just an old barn. But as the (made-up) saying goes, never judge a barn by its paint job! This hidden house proves why: the inside is the bee’s knees and then some.

Morton Buildings

Don’t believe it? Just check out the inside! With a built-in bar, a wooden staircase, leather couches facing a big screen TV, and a few chandeliers, there’s practically no reason to ever leave this converted barn.

Be Amazed / YouTube

12. Swiss Alps: With a name like “ground houses,” the bar is set pretty low for these homes. But believe it or not, the style and execution of these mountainside abodes far exceeds expectations.

Trendir

For a whopping $4,000 per night (yup, you read that right), you can spend a beautiful evening in this Swiss mountainside ground home. Hopefully once there, you’re mesmerized by the breathtaking views, which are undoubtedly the cabin’s prime selling point.

Be Amazed / YouTube

13. Beirut, Lebanon: If you’re the type who isn’t fazed by heights or open air, then your ideal off-the-grid retreat might just be one of the many cliff-face houses that are set to be built. Of course, it isn’t just the way they look from the outside that’ll blow you away…

Laertis Vassiliou / Travel + Leisure

The interior of these mountain houses offer unspeakably gorgeous views. Imagine looking out into the ocean and feeling the sun on your face? This home is purely a hypothetical design—meaning it’s not actually built yet—but it looks like a perfect retreat for James Bond, doesn’t it?

Laertis Vassiliou / Travel + Leisure

14. Guarujá, Brazil: While a trip to the Amazon might be on anyone’s bucket list, it also sounds like a great way to end up on the wrong end of a snake bite. Unless you’re staying in this jungle home, that is…

Be Amazed / YouTube

Raised up so that you can see above the canopy—and avoid any unfortunate tangos with venomous spiders and face-tearing monkeys—this house lets you enjoy breathtaking views of the Amazon while enjoying a bit of luxury.

Be Amazed / YouTube

15. New York, New York: At first glance, this might appear to be a fine little cottage situated in an urban landscape. It doesn’t exactly look hidden, does it? Well, if you take a few steps back, you’ll see that there is something really special about this place…

Tria Giovan / Traditional Home Magazine

See, this house avoids the New York City streets in style. You can see that these rooftop houses aren’t just a stone’s throw away. They’re way up high, and they offer a perfect combination of city excitement and country isolation.

George Steinmetz via gothamist.com

16. Rothenstein, Germany: While a hidden underground bunker designed to preserve life in the event of nuclear fallout doesn’t exactly scream “comfortable living,” the Vivos Europa One in Germany might just be an exception.

Be Amazed / YouTube

In this bomb shelter designed for the millionaires and billionaires of Europe, there are well over 200,000 square feet of functional floor space. The shelter is broken up into apartments like this one, and it includes pools, gyms, and even restaurants.

Be Amazed / YouTube