The Banyan Drive Treehouse is built around the contours of the banyan tree beneath, with a glass panel in the floor of the treehouse to keep the banyan in mind. Although it's not a real treehouse and is just twelve feet off the ground, the small space is designed with escape in mind.
This library slide is in the Panorama House in South Korea, designed by Moon Hoon. The house itself is beautiful, but the slide is the best part. It's strong enough to support adults as well as children, which means everyone who lives here gets to reward themselves with a trip down the slide each time they visit the library.
photo via Feiner Lichttechnik
Kuchlbauer Tower, an observation tower on the grounds of Kuchlbauer Brewery, is the architectural anomaly designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The tower measures 35.14 meters and boasts a kind of Alice in Wonderland-esque inability to fit in with the surroundings. The brewery is one of the oldest in the world, and the tower serves as a museum and keeper of the Bavarian Purity Law of beer, which dates back to 1516.
Contained within 425 square feet, this micro-loft in Manhattan is made of several layers of space, tucking in and out of the walls as needed. The deceiving interior design allows for plenty of storage while leaving the apartment as spacious as possible.
This penthouse chalet in the Swiss Alps, designed by Heinz Julen, is basically one gigantic, sprawling attic, which is amazing. The warm and simple wooden interior provides some balance to the ridiculously luxurious layout. The penthouse is available for rent, if you're up to the trip.
Steve and Jeri Wakefield, the coolest grandparents ever, enlisted the help of family friend and architect James Curvan to design a detailed treehouse for their grandchildren. The castle in the sky is equipped with electricity, air conditioning, and ventilation, but that's much less interesting than everything else inside. The thoughtfully furnished interior will make you yearn for your childhood, and your own reading nook.
Before it was turned into a hotel in WWII, Astley Castle was a fortified manor belonging to the royal family. It was eventually abandoned and left to fade into its surroundings, but it has since been renovated by Witherford Watson Mann Architects. The restored and modern version stays fairly true to the original construction because, you know, a castle is still a castle.
Is there anything Legos can't do? As a diehard fan of them since childhood, I'm pretty sure the answer is no. And now, someone has made the everyman's (everykid's?) classic toy and indicator of future architectural genius, into an elegant chandelier. Tobias Tostesen, designer of this beautiful light fixture, knows how much more interesting Lego bricks are than some fussy pieces of crystal. You're moving up in the world, Lego.
When you're ready to retire, you're probably going to want something like this beautiful and remote farmhouse, cozily nestled into the hillside as if it were born as part the landscape itself. It's located in New Zealand, on the hills between Muriwai and Bethells beaches, and it looks like you'll have to make friends with the local sheep who have claimed the grassy hills to themselves. Inside the farmhouse, a sleek and modern living space, complete with a pool, makes sure you won't miss the comforts of the city.
Mrs James Ward Thorne: Dining Room 1770-1774 Hammond-Harwood House, Annapolis, Maryland
Narcissa Ward Thorne, better known as Mrs. James Ward, was an incredibly talented sculptor of miniatures, as you can see in this incredible architectural collection, completed in the 1920s and 30s. Thorne's interiors ranged from opulent homes of the early American South, to elaborate English and French drawing rooms, to decadent parlors of New York City brownstones. The collection is now on display in her hometown of Chicago, at the Art Institute.