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Courtesy PlansMatter
Courtesy PlansMatter

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]

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Ker Robertson, Getty Images
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architecture
5 Scrapped Designs for the World's Most Famous Buildings
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
Ker Robertson, Getty Images

When an architect gets commissioned to build a skyscraper or a memorial, they’re usually not the only applicant for the job. Other teams of designers submit their own ideas for how it should look, too, but these are eventually passed over in favor of the final design. This is the case for some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks—in an alternate world, the Arc de Triomphe might have been a three-story-tall elephant statue, and the Lincoln Memorial a step pyramid.

GoCompare, a comparison site for financial services, dug into these could-have-been designs for Alternate Architecture, an illustrated collection of scrapped designs for some of the most famous structures in the world, from Chicago's Tribune Tower to the Sydney Opera House.

Click through the interactive graphic below to explore rejected designs for all five landmarks.

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Paul Wegener
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Design
For Sale: The Safest House in America, Complete With Hidden Command Center
Paul Wegener
Paul Wegener

For some people, locking the front door just isn't enough to feel fully safe at home. Maybe they set up a home security system. Maybe they go out and buy a fancy smart home hub with a security camera. Or maybe they spend six years and $30 million to build a veritable fortress mansion, as one guy in Atlanta did. That house, called the Rice House and referred to as one of the safest homes in America, is now up for sale for $14.7 million.

Built by an entrepreneur who hired a security architect with a background designing Justice Department buildings (and his own bunker/house), the Rice House is billed as a "modern fortress" in the real estate listing.

For its owner, creating an impenetrable home was more of a personal challenge than a real security need, according to Bloomberg. But by its features, you'd think it was built for a Bond super-villain or a head of state, not a businessman in a wealthy Atlanta neighborhood.

A secure door with several locks
Paul Wegener

It has its own water and power supply, a 5000-square-foot command center hidden behind a waterfall, a vault, and doors capable of withstanding machine gun fire. There’s an indoor gun range, in case you need some target practice. There’s enough room in the garage for 30 cars, in case you have a few dozen Batmobiles—or you want to invite friends to hunker down with you during the apocalypse.

And since anyone who lives there might be more invested in staying safely inside the gates than going out on the weekends, the place has plenty of amenities that make it a standalone mini-community. It’s got its own art gallery, a gym, a bowling alley, a wine cellar, a home theater, and a pool. It has three kitchens and two commercial elevators, with staff quarters so the servants you inevitably need to cater to you never need to leave, either.

But wait, there’s more. If the house lacks something you want, that’s fine! Because according to the listing, “the property purposefully awaits final personalization.” In other words, for your $14.7 million, it’s not finished.

Check it out here.

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