This Vacation Rental Site Will Let You Stay in a Frank Lloyd Wright House

Courtesy PlansMatter
Courtesy PlansMatter

Architecture nerds need never stay in a poorly designed vacation rental again. Co.Design tipped us off to Plans Matter, an Airbnb-like rental service that’s specifically geared toward helping you stay in architecturally notable homes.

The list of vacation rentals available reads like an architecture nerd’s fever dream. Want to spend a few nights in a Frank Lloyd Wright home? You’ve got seven to choose from, including the Kinney House pictured above. What about a building designed by the famous light artist James Turrell? Or maybe you’d prefer a penthouse apartment designed by Rudolf M. Schindler, a pioneer of Southern California Modernism?

The listings are all sourced by the site’s creators, architects Connie Lindor and Scott Muellner, and approved by the company’s advisors, architect Julie Snow (who designed the cabin below) and the designer and museum director Andrew Blauvelt. So you can be sure that you're actually choosing from residences with a top-notch architectural pedigree, not just a fancy McMansion that looks good in pictures.

A cabin with floor-to-ceiling windows looks out over a moonlit lake.
Courtesy PlansMatter

For the most part, non-millionaires will never be able to live in a home designed by a world-renowned architect. A Frank Gehry house can go for as much as $24.15 million. A penthouse designed by the legendary I.M. Pei is selling for $9.6 million. The Vanna Venturi House, by the postmodern icon Robert Venturi, sold for $1.35 million in 2016, and that was after a dramatic price drop.

While staying in a Frank Lloyd Wright isn’t your average bargain Airbnb, it’s no more expensive than a nice hotel (or a cheap one in a high-priced area like New York City). One of Olson Kundig’s pretty Rolling Huts cabins in Washington can be yours for as little as $135 a night.

For an architecture buff, these places are worth planning an entire vacation around.

[h/t Plans Matter]

8 Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings Join the List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Mariano Mantel Follow, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0
Mariano Mantel Follow, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

The UNESCO World Heritage Center recognizes sites of great cultural, historical, or scientific importance, from manmade cities like Venice to natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef. A group of new locations honored this month aren't nearly as old as some other sites on the list, but in just the past century or so, they've made a huge impact. During its 43rd annual session, the World Heritage Committee elected to add eight buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the American architect who pioneered the Prairie School movement in the 20th century.

The Frank Lloyd Wright structures joining the UNESCO list include Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona; Hollyhock House in Los Angeles; the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago; Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City; Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania; the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House in Madison, Wisconsin; and Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Each building was constructed between 1905 and 1938, and they represent just a handful of the more than 400 Wright works still standing today.

The group makes up a single World Heritage Site known as "The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright." Together, the buildings are the 24th World Heritage Site recognized in the U.S., accompanying such places as Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Everglades National Park in Florida, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. They're not the first example of modern architecture to be added to the list, though. The Sydney Opera House, the city of Brasilia, and the Bauhaus School in Germany are also World Heritage Sites.

According to organization's website, adding landmarks to the UNESCO World Heritage list "helps raise awareness among citizens and governments for heritage preservation," and that "greater awareness leads to a general rise in the level of the protection and conservation given to heritage properties." Countries that house heritage sites are also eligible for funding from UNESCO to preserve them. All of the sites included "The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright" are already protected as National Historic Landmarks, and many are open to visitors.

The World’s Largest Underwater Restaurant Just Opened in Norway—Take a Peek Inside

Ivar Kvaal
Ivar Kvaal

Months before it opened, the world's largest underwater restaurant in Norway was already flooded with reservations. Recently, Business Insider reported that Under has finally started serving its first guests. If you can't book a table at the hottest restaurant below sea level, you can look at the photos taken inside to get an idea of the unique dining experience.

In addition to being the largest underwater restaurant on Earth, Under, from the architecture firm Snøhetta, is also the first of its kind in Europe. It's located in the notoriously treacherous waters off Norway's southern coast.

Underwater restaurant jutting out of the sea.
Ivar Kvaal

After entering the angled building from the shore, guests descend into a 100-person dining room with panoramic views of the ocean and passing marine life. The concrete structure is designed to blend seamlessly into the surrounding environment, eventually acting as an artificial reef that attracts plants and animals. The location boasts such biodiversity that Under is also being used as a research center for marine biologists.

Dining room of underwater restaurant.
Ivar Kvaal

Jellyfish in the ocean.
Ivar Kvaal

Once seated, diners will be treated to a seasonal meal from an international team of chefs led by Nicolai Ellitsgaard. The menu highlights locally sourced produce and sustainably caught wildlife. A full meal lasts roughly three-and-a-half to four hours.

Shellfish dish at Under restaurant.
Stian Broch

Spiny crab.
Stian Broch

Dining room of Under, the underwater restaurant.
Ivar Kvaal

Dining room of Under
Inger Marie Grini/Bo Bedre Norge

Seats at Under are fully booked from now to the end of September. If you're content with getting your name on a waiting list, you can try to reserve a table for earlier in the year through the restaurant's website.

[h/t Business Insider]