Whether a rare feature or unexpected detail, it takes something truly unique to distinguish a home as one-of-a-kind. From an architectural waterfall of steel and glass to a centuries-old hacienda, these six properties are true individuals.
A Subtropical Escape in Australia
For those looking for the seclusion of a hideaway with all of the trappings of a luxury resort, look no further than this New South Wales estate. Spread across 18 acres of lush subtropical foliage, the property consists of a total of five pavilions each with their own charm, nestled amongst landscaped gardens, quiet ponds, and trees. A dream-come-true for nature lovers, this property is the perfect home base for exploring the nearby beaches and rainforests of Byron Bay.
A Castle on a Cliff in South Africa
Hugging South Africa’s southernmost shores, this Pletternberg Bay palace is perched on a rugged cliffside, overlooking a vast ocean expanse. Much of this castle’s charm comes from its ancient past—artifacts left in the landscape from former inhabitants thousands of years ago, a winding natural path leading to a cave that dates back to prehistoric times. Its modern features include outdoor showers boasting spectacular views and a sheltered patio that offers ample room for entertaining.
An Architectural Landmark in Canada
Joining a portfolio that includes the San Diego Convention Center, Simon Fraser University, and the Museum of Glass in Washington, D.C., is this residential masterpiece in West Vancouver’s British Properties neighborhood. Renowned architect Arthur Erickson once described the home as “his most complete work”. Composed of cascading steel and glass, the home is stunning in its mastery. The playful mid-century furnishings were all designed by the late architect and his team, making this sale a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
A Historic Hacienda in Mexico
From a refuge for Spanish conquistadors to an art school for luminaries including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, the Ex Hacienda de San Pedro Mártir has been home to legends throughout its many lives. Originally built in 1521, the hacienda’s cobblestone paths, stone archways, and mosaic-inlaid main staircase allow visitors to travel through time, every corner flooded with the magic of an earlier era. Ultimately, it is the combination of old-world charm and modern luxury that make this treasure trove of history impossible to resist.
An Elegant Row House in Russia
Combine Beaux-Arts architecture, traditional American interiors, and a chic location in Moscow, and you arrive at an intercontinentally-inspired property that feels truly cosmopolitan. Inside the complex—composed of six adjoining mansions—elegant chandeliers mingle with ornate coving and mirrored finishes, offsetting handsome solid wood cabinetry and stone fireplaces. Top design professionals from across the globe were invited to complete the project, including Ralph Lauren Home and Gregory Tuck Architecture. The resulting home is a study in classic sophistication, earning it top mention in several prominent publications including Galerie and Departures.
Exclusive Island Development in Dubai
If it’s exclusivity you’re after, this beachfront villa is the spot. Located on Nurai Island, one of Abu Dhabi’s most prestigious island developments, this sprawling five-bedroom, six-bathroom property takes pride of place on more than a quarter acre of prime real estate. With bright and airy interiors thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, and a unique floor plan that features moat-like indoor pools, this home blurs the boundaries between indoor and outdoor space. After all, when surrounded by panoramic views of the Persian Gulf, there’s really no reason not to let the outdoors in.
Whether it’s an ancient castle converted for modern living or a vintage architectural gem maintained to perfection, these homes break down traditional paradigms when it comes to real estate. Statement-making and unexpected, each of these properties offers a fresh take on what it is to be an original.
However you want to stand out from the crowd, Sotheby’s International Realty has a home to fit. For more out-of-the-ordinary listings, try these six uncommon homes and assemble your shortlist of astonishing properties.