Weird ‘UFO House’ left incomplete when architect died goes on sale for £1.2m
An incredible “UFO house” made of scrap steel, has finally been put up for sale at a cool $1.75 million (£1.29m).
The amazing property, dubbed The Steel House, is one of many amazing unfinished architectural "dream projects" around the world.
The house, which stands unfinished in Ransom Canyon in Texas, was the final project of artist and inventor Robert Bruno, who sadly died of cancer before he could complete it.
Bruno began construction of his Steel House in 1973. The 2,200 sq ft three-level building is constructed of carefully welded steel plated that create a unique organic form.
Some parts of the building remain unfinished. Bruno planned to install a library inside one of the Steel House’s legs, and an aquarium in another.
Some of its smoothly curving windows offer panoramic views of Lake Ransom Canyon below, while others are glazed with stained glass, giving the building an eerie, almost church-like atmosphere.
The building echoes the forms of Bruno’s sculptures, one of which stands in the Bruno Sculpture and Plaza outside the Texas Tech University College of Architecture.
It’s not clear if he ever intended anyone to live in it: “I’m not particularly concerned about having a house,” he said in a video filmed shortly before his death in 2008. “I built it because I like doing sculpture.”
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Bruno spent over three decades of his life on the project, improvising many of the details as he went along: “What you’re seeing is 33 years of design, not three months of design, and 33 years of labour,” he said.
Most of the curved steel panels were cut and welded on site, and Bruno used the shape of the original scrap steel as inspiration.
“A lot of the shapes are helped along by the material itself,” he explained.
There’s no air conditioning or other creature comforts inside, which could be a problem in the searingly hot Texas summer.
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Bruno did live in the building himself, briefly, in his final months, but it has stood vacant and slowly deteriorating ever since. There have been fears that someone might buy it for the scrap value of the steel alone.
He estimated the total weight of the house, based on the size of the salvaged pieces of Cor-Ten steel he used in its construction, at around 110 tons
In 2015, Bruno’s daughter, Christina, told The Dallas News that she wanted the Steel House to “stay in the family,” but this week’s decision to put the house on the market suggests that she’s changed her mind about that.
Mark Gunderson, an architect who was a student and friend of Bruno, told the Dallas News that he hopes it will be preserved as part of the sculptors artistic legacy.
“This house deserves a benefactor or foundation who might give it the care and attention it deserves,” he said. “Its loss to the real estate market would be incomprehensible and tragic,” says
That was certainly Bruno’s intention. He told Henry Martinez, a friend who now manages his estate: "This house will be here after I'm gone and you're gone. That's how long it's gonna be here. It'll be here forever."
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