New Lannoo book Edgy Architecture by Agata Toromanoff reveals spectacular gravity-defying homes


Some architects clearly like a challenge.

A new coffee table book has revealed the world’s ‘edgiest’ homes – eye-catching houses located in some of the most treacherous places.

Studded into cliff faces, steep mountain slopes and other unlikely plot locations, these head-scratching architectural wonders defy logic – and gravity.  

The book – Edgy Architecture: Architecture in the Most Impossible Places, by Agata Toromanoff and published by Lannoo – contains beautiful photographs of the sleek abodes and explanations of how and why they were built.

From China’s Qiyun Tree House, which features a set of box-like structures perched precariously on top of each other, to the aptly named House On The Cliff in Alicante – which looks like something out of a James Bond movie – these buildings, designed by some of the world’s most renowned architects, including Julien De Smedt, Frank Lloyd Wright and the late Zaha Hadid, are guaranteed to amaze.

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The Nariga House is located in a mountainous region in northern Mexico and studded into a steep mountainside. It gives the occupants 360-degree views of the stunning surrounding area

The stunning Nariga House peeps out above the lush vegetation and has been designed by P+O Arquitectura to respect the local wildlife and leave the ecosystem untouched - the reason why the architects decided to raise it so high from the mountain floor

The stunning Nariga House peeps out above the lush vegetation and has been designed by P+O Arquitectura to respect the local wildlife and leave the ecosystem untouched – the reason why the architects decided to raise it so high from the mountain floor

The stunning 11-metre-high Qiyunshan Tree House in China is a higgledy-piggledy mishmash of boxes. Designed by Bengo Studio, it incorporates a number of 'observational spots' that provide views of the nearby mountains

The stunning 11-metre-high Qiyunshan Tree House in China is a higgledy-piggledy mishmash of boxes. Designed by Bengo Studio, it incorporates a number of ‘observational spots’ that provide views of the nearby mountains

The Qiyunshan Tree House has been made with natural materials - mostly wood and glass - to blend in with the surrounding forest

The Qiyunshan Tree House has been made with natural materials – mostly wood and glass – to blend in with the surrounding forest

Villa Escarpa in Portugal's Algarve region juts out and somehow balances over a steep escarpment covered in pretty flowers

Villa Escarpa in Portugal’s Algarve region juts out and somehow balances over a steep escarpment covered in pretty flowers

The designer of Villa Escarpa only had a small plot to work with and wanted to maximise the space - he couldn't go across or behind, so he went outwards. The property offers stunning ocean views

The designer of Villa Escarpa only had a small plot to work with and wanted to maximise the space – he couldn’t go across or behind, so he went outwards. The property offers stunning ocean views

The YA House, designed by Kubota Architect Atelier and located in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan, is a sleek, elegant affair boasting sharp lines that spike out from a slope in a mountainous area

The YA House, designed by Kubota Architect Atelier and located in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan, is a sleek, elegant affair boasting sharp lines that spike out from a slope in a mountainous area

The YA House was designed with light in mind, with the designers keen to illuminate the property naturally. A mixture of concrete and glass has been used, with the concrete elements seemingly floating in the air

The YA House was designed with light in mind, with the designers keen to illuminate the property naturally. A mixture of concrete and glass has been used, with the concrete elements seemingly floating in the air

Northeastern Spain's Sunflower House features a cube-like design by Cadaval & Solà-Morales and is meant to reflect and mesh with its rocky, cliff-side location. Each 'cube' has been positioned to maximise the views

Northeastern Spain’s Sunflower House features a cube-like design by Cadaval & Solà-Morales and is meant to reflect and mesh with its rocky, cliff-side location. Each ‘cube’ has been positioned to maximise the views

Each of the Sunflower House's cubes houses a traditional living space. There's a bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and living room

 Each of the Sunflower House’s cubes houses a traditional living space. There’s a bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and living room

The stunning Two-In-One House in Norway houses two families and incorporates a basement apartment. Designed by Oslo-based Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekte, the building is supposed to give the illusion of uniformity, although it is split up inside

The stunning Two-In-One House in Norway houses two families and incorporates a basement apartment. Designed by Oslo-based Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekte, the building is supposed to give the illusion of uniformity, although it is split up inside

Sitting on top of a steep slope, the Two-In-One House is covered in vertical cedar wood panels, along with other materials that can withstand Norway's snowy conditions

Sitting on top of a steep slope, the Two-In-One House is covered in vertical cedar wood panels, along with other materials that can withstand Norway’s snowy conditions

Perched on a slope on the outskirts of Barcelona, X House, pictured, was designed by architects Eduardo Cadaval and Clara Sola-Morales. It was designed to offer views of the mountains and the sea

Perched on a slope on the outskirts of Barcelona, X House, pictured, was designed by architects Eduardo Cadaval and Clara Sola-Morales. It was designed to offer views of the mountains and the sea 

Villa Anzére, pictured, is a property embedded into the side of a Swiss hill. The design is based on a traditional Swiss chalet and the terrace on each level has views of over 4,000 peaks, including the Matterhorn

Villa Anzére, pictured, is a property embedded into the side of a Swiss hill. The design is based on a traditional Swiss chalet and the terrace on each level has views of over 4,000 peaks, including the Matterhorn

Konieczny's Ark, pictured, is situated on a slope in the middle of mountain fields in Poland. It was designed by architect Robert Konieczny and it has been described as looking like 'a bunker' and 'a piece of rock rolling down the hill'

Konieczny’s Ark, pictured, is situated on a slope in the middle of mountain fields in Poland. It was designed by architect Robert Konieczny and it has been described as looking like ‘a bunker’ and ‘a piece of rock rolling down the hill’ 

This property, called Villa in Kaiko, is a holiday home overlooking the ocean in Atami, Japan. The book describes it as a 'highly expressive structure with a zig-zag facade'

This property, called Villa in Kaiko, is a holiday home overlooking the ocean in Atami, Japan. The book describes it as a ‘highly expressive structure with a zig-zag facade’

This house, called Casa Del Acantilado (Cliff House), is located in Granada, Spain, and was inspired by the architect, Gaudi. The book describes it as 'one of the most extraordinary houses ever built'

This house, called Casa Del Acantilado (Cliff House), is located in Granada, Spain, and was inspired by the architect, Gaudi. The book describes it as ‘one of the most extraordinary houses ever built’ 

Located on a cliff on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, this house is perched on the bedrock of the cliff. It is described as 'visually stunning' in the book

Located on a cliff on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, this house is perched on the bedrock of the cliff. It is described as ‘visually stunning’ in the book

The aptly named HillSide House in California is a three-level residence that looks as though it's a modest size from a street-level view. It actually stretches down a steep hill and boasts balconies, terraces and balustrades aplenty

The aptly named HillSide House in California is a three-level residence that looks as though it’s a modest size from a street-level view. It actually stretches down a steep hill and boasts balconies, terraces and balustrades aplenty

The HillSide House has been by designed by Zack de Vito, with energy efficiency and sustainability at its heart. The house utilises a hi-tech solar power system and a window arrangement implemented to reduce the need for indoor lighting

The HillSide House has been by designed by Zack de Vito, with energy efficiency and sustainability at its heart. The house utilises a hi-tech solar power system and a window arrangement implemented to reduce the need for indoor lighting

The House On The Hill in Alicante was designed by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos and embedded into a deep slope, overlooking the Mediterranean

The House On The Hill in Alicante was designed by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos and embedded into a deep slope, overlooking the Mediterranean

The House on the Cliff is suspended over the contour of the hill, the book explains, with the protruding part resembling binoculars.

The House on the Cliff is suspended over the contour of the hill, the book explains, with the protruding part resembling binoculars. 

Edgy Architecture: Architecture in the Most Impossible Places is published by Lannoo

Edgy Architecture: Architecture in the Most Impossible Places is published by Lannoo



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