Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Homes of the Future ... Today

It's a work of art AND a house.
It's a work of art AND a house.

Coop Himmelb(l)au is an internationally acclaimed, Austrian architectural design firm known for its deconstructed, angular buildings that use metal, concrete and glass. It's rare for the firm to design a private residence, so architecture buffs were excited to learn about the Himmelhaus, a Venice, Calif., home built initially as a duplex but reconfigured to work as a single-family dwelling. The realty agency advertising the home for sale stated that the architects "explode the constraints of functionalism into a thousand pieces, in the process creating a complex sculptural form interwoven with the apparatus of living" [source: Deasy/Penner & Partners].

In other words, it's not just a house, it's a sculpture -- but it's a functional sculpture. The kitchen was designed by Bulthaup, a high-end German manufacturer. Bulthaup's kitchens are "so pristine and precisely engineered they resemble NASA gear" [source: New York Times]. The house has 360-degree views that include the Hollywood sign and the Getty Museum.