Sure, there are plenty of castles in unlikely places, but none of them look anything like this wacky creation near university-heavy Cambridge, Mass. Listed for $1.295M, the three-bedroom, 3,300-square-foot home was designed by an MIT laser scientist, who set out to build something nearly unheard-of in 1980: an energy-efficient residence that runs, halfway at least, on passive solar technology. According to Zillow Blog, the property features a large window that "floods the castle with light, which is absorbed by a ceramic floor and four-inch-thick wall." Stained-glass windows sourced from a church add visual interest, as does a round turret housing a spiral staircase. Apparently the design references "old homesteaders' grain silos and the Shakers' round barns," says the listing agent. "The Shakers' philosophy behind the round barn was that there was no wasted space and corners."
· House of the Week: New England Castle [Zillow Blog]