Those who live in glass homes frequently just have a bunch of bottles lying around and have built a transparent, flimsy stronghold in a DIY-Philip Johnson kind of way. These are six of the most bizarre bottle structures in the world, ranging from a beer bottle shrine in Thailand to an embalming fluid bottle house in Canada. Just remember not to intentionally toss any large stones while you’re there.
David H. Brown utilized his approximately 500,000 leftover embalming fluid bottles to transform his retirement from the funeral industry into an amazing shimmering construction project. In 1952, Brown’s firm utilized old death preservative containers as bricks to build the modest, cheerful Embalming Bottle House in Boswell, Canada. The house even features a little gazebo with a view of the nearby lake.
Observing beer bottles scattered around, the monks of Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew began construction in an attempt to promote recycling. They started collecting the Chang brown and Heineken green beer bottles in 1984, and they eventually inserted almost 1.5 million of them into a Temple of a Million Bottles. From then on, they continued building, absorbing whatever people would offer them, and today they have water towers covered in mosaics made of glass and beer bottle caps, homes, and even a crematorium.
Looking closer reveals that the designs on the outside walls of the Bottle House in Ganja, Azerbaijan are entirely fashioned from bottles. At first glance, you might not think anything unusual about the building. They are supposedly the primary construction material and are painstakingly organized into intricate patterns and portraits. However, because it’s a private residence, it’s difficult to determine the exact extent of the bottle work.
On her 1/3 acre yard in Simi Valley, California, Tressa “Grandma” Prisbrey created sculptures and constructions out of bottles and other rescued waste debris for 25 years, beginning in 1956. After her death in 1988, the industrious Prisbrey left behind 13 structures and a number of odd sculptures, including one made entirely of doll heads. Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village is now recognized for being a superb illustration of traditional building, having been included on the National Register of Historic Places.
In Kaleva, Michigan, a tiny town with a population of little over 500, soda plays a significant role in the history of the business. In fact, one home in the village was built using almost 60,000 glass bottles. Former owner of the nearby Northwestern Bottling Works, John J. Makinen, Sr., lived at the Bottle House. Completed in 1941, the front has the words “Happy Home” written in glass, while the side walls are decorated with further geometric patterns. Regretfully, Makinen passed away unexpectedly in 1942 before he could fully enjoy the glistening house.
The Edouard Arsenault Bottle Houses are among the loveliest, despite not being as ornate as some of the other bottle houses on our list. Constructed with over 25,000 bottles in every conceivable hue, the trio of structures radiate inside a verdant landscape in Wellington, Canada. Their creator, Arsenault, was 66 years old when he was inspired to build a castle in Vancouver after seeing a picture of one, and he finally added a pub and church. Like every other building on this list, it’s a fascinating illustration of how to make the delicate castle of your dreams out of whatever materials you have on hand.