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What Happens When 12 Architects are Given Carte Blanche

French developer Christian Bourdais has has given a handful of architects a rare creative opportunity with his Solo Houses project, allowing them complete freedom within a fixed budget to design a vacation home as they see fit. So far, he's enlisted eight architects to fill twelve slots on a remote site in Spain's Matarraña region, and the first to come to fruition is a symmetrical home (above) by Chilean studio Pezo Von Ellrichshausen. Here the design centers around a courtyard and swimming pool supported by a single large concrete column and, as the firm describes it, "Occupants feel a floating sensation as they hang over a podium that only sustains the centre of the building." We're guessing the rest of the architects enlisted felt a similar free-floating sensation working with the blank page afforded by the project. Below, some of the wildest Solo Houses entries:

↑ One look at this explosion of projected boxes and it should be obvious that French-Portuguese architect Didier Faustino is better known for his experimental installations. Describing the project to Arch Daily, Faustino explains that "the house receives the sunlight which is then refracted into its very center, thus creating a new experience of space: the wooden floors bring weightlessness to the body; traditional points of reference (up and down, right and left) vanish."

↑ When you give Tokyo-based architect Sou Foujimoto unfettered artistic freedom, you can count on the rising star to flex his penchant for latticed, privacy-eschewing design. Creating what is undoubtedly the strangest interpretation of 'vacation home' on the site—one that's already worth a closer look on its own merits—Foujimoto plans to wrap a glass cube in a grid of raw timber.

↑ In this circular home, designed by L.A.-based architects Johnston Marklee, all rooms are connected via sliding doors that allow for a completely open space. Recalling the round Argentinian abode he designed some years back, the place trades off a compact form for a 360-degree view.

· Solo Houses: When Architects Are Given Carte Blanche [Arch Daily]
· Pezo von Ellrichshausen's Casa Pezo is first of 12 architect-designed dream houses [Dezeen]