Extraordinary Australian "bubble house" hits the market

A truly unique piece of Australian real estate is up for grabs. Architect Graham Birchall’s personal home, based around a series of 11 intersecting bubble domes, has gone up for sale in Ipswich, Queensland.

Birchall built the home in the 1980s as a study of the adaptable nature of spheres. The domes range in diameter from 4 to 8 meters (13.1 to 26.2 ft), and give the whole building a unique look. Some of the bubbles look distinctly like eyeballs, and that’s because of the remote-controlled iris-like window shades; to help build these windows Birchall actually emailed NASA to ask for some design drawings of the Mars Rover, which they supplied.

Functionally, it looks like a perfectly normal, if very beautiful, home, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a four-car garage. There are balconies and several terraces, a glassed-in entry tunnel, curving staircases, a gorgeous library, and colorful gardens. The circular kitchen was crafted by a boat builder/carpenter to fit the space, and the upstairs office looks pretty incredible too.

A timber heater in the large downstairs family room heats both the upper and lower floors, with a long flue that extends right up through a big hole in between storys. Another multi-story feature is the internal water-cooling fountain, and some of the ceilings are as much as 5 m (16.4 ft) high.

Property values tend to hover around a million Australian dollars (~US$716,500) in the area, but none of them look remotely like this thing, so we’ll be interested to see how much it ends up going for. An absolute labor of love and a remarkable creation; we certainly wonder what Birchall’s building next. Check out a heap of photos in the gallery, and a short video below.

What do you think?

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