Published on November 14, 2023Updated on November 27, 2023
Dream structures with bold lines or historic designs are dotted across the world. Dedicated to comfort, holidays and luxury living, the most beautiful houses in the world hint at the originality and power of their owners. Want to discover the most interesting? We’ve chosen the ten most incredible houses ever built for you.
When choosing the most beautiful houses in the world, you need to take a number of factors into account, particularly the architecture and the environment. Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the harmony between an architectural style, a period and a space determines how charming a home is and its aesthetic value. Minimalism and wood are more appropriate for a house on the edge of a forest, while Art Deco curves are suited to Miami’s South Beach, where many buildings share this style. The most beautiful houses in the rankings also include pavilions, villas and manor houses that symbolise a bold architectural movement.
Price is also an assessment criterion: the purchase price of a house (rather than the value set by the vendor) reflects market trends. The most expensive houses in the world are often also the most beautiful, at least at a given time, as the luxury property market defies rationality in favour of how the house makes people feel and boldness.
These are the two criteria we used to choose the 10 homes in our list. They all have two things in common: they leave a lasting impression and are remarkable examples of architecture applied to family comfort!
Architect: Enric Ruiz-Geli
Floor area: 130 m²
A prototype of a futuristic house imagined twenty years ago, Villa Nurbs stands in stark contrast to the typical seaside architecture of Empuriabrava, a marina town on the Costa Brava. Its organic form, the result of computer-aided design, is an assembly of different pieces constructed by moulding ceramics, concrete and composites. From 3D prototypes, Villa Nurbs gradually transformed into a unique building, with every structural element invented specifically for it. Faced with such a high concentration of technology, we have to recognise the aesthetic success of AI-assisted construction, which has brought urban planning into a new era.
Architect: Pero Feric
Area: 500 m²
When you arrive at Pointe Milou on the island of Saint-Barthélemy, which overlooks a natural landscape typical of the West Indies, you’ll catch a surprising glimpse of the Mediterranean. Conceived and designed by Pero Feric, the original owner, Villa Los Leones combines architectural elements from the Greek islands and Croatia with Moroccan and Roman decor. Built using modular construction, this family home with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a jacuzzi and a swimming pool, is now one of the most unusual and remarkable villas on an island with no shortage of luxury homes.
Architect: Victor Horta
Floor area: 155 m², three storeys
In the real estate industry, this would be called a town house with a mansard roof. In the history of architecture, it is known as "the masterpiece of the Brussels Art Nouveau movement". Hôtel Tassel in Brussels was designed for a geometry professor who lived there with his grandmother. The architect Victor Horta incorporated all of his friend’s requests and added fabulous details, including plant decor, beechwood staircases, stained-glass windows and a mix of panelled ceilings and metal beams. Everything in this house tells the story of an era – the early 20th century – and an artistic movement at the crossroads of industry and design, making it one of the most beautiful homes in Belgium and the world in its category.
Architect: Shubin + Donaldson
Area: 3,000 m²
With a fully-equipped spa, gym, tennis court, cinema room, custom-built sauna and steam room, 53-metre lap pool, garage for forty cars, and more, there's no doubt that La Vue, the new luxury villa completed in 2023 in Bel Air, Los Angeles, has assets in spades. Priced at $185 million, the house has another trick up its sleeve: its panoramic view of California, combining the sea and the hills, is simply breathtaking. This explains the plethora of full-height windows and doors that adorn this magnificent palace, which is one of the most expensive private residences in the world today.
Architect: Ogden Codman Jr (finalisation)
Area: 2,700 m²
With 1,200 trees set in 8 hectares of greenery tended to by 50 gardeners, Villa La Léopolda, located between Nice and Monaco, has managed to keep its 'natural' air intact over the decades. Offering breathtaking views over Cap Ferrat, it was the setting for the famous film To Catch a Thief, starring Grace Kelly, and continues to build its legendary reputation year after year. One of the most expensive private residences in the world (an estimated 500 to 750 million euros), the Côte d'Azur marvel is a well-kept secret as few are allowed to visit and its current interior has never been publicly revealed... All that is known is that it is worthy of a royal palace!
Architect: William Ingram (original owner)
Area: 600 m²
Villa La Vigie has become the ultimate chic venue for personal and professional events near Monaco and has lived the life of luxury for over a century. Breathtaking views over the Mediterranean, Neoclassical architecture typical of the Riviera and excellent decor are the hallmarks of this exceptional residence, once owned by Karl Lagerfeld. The top fashion designer came here to draw inspiration from the surrounding nature, to rest and refine his new creations...
Architect: Mason & Wales
Area: 800 m²
Located a few kilometres from Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Hidden Island Retreat offers spectacular panoramic views of this region of New Zealand. Between the Remarkable Mountain range with its permanent snow and reflections on the lake, this exceptional residence is set in an absolutely incredible unspoilt natural landscape. The materials chosen for its construction, in particular wood and stone, fit with the charm and serenity of the surroundings. Both authentic and contemporary, this home delights residents in search of peace, quiet... and beauty.
Architect: Mohamed Amine Siana
Area: 650 m²
A villa that is "out of sight" yet feels "open": this was the twofold brief that the future owner of Villa Z gave his architect. The result surpasses his expectations: using the urban planning laws of Casablanca, surrounding the building with opaque walls and working with the forms of North African architecture, Mohamed Amine Siana designed a unique house, with unprecedented proportions and perfectly designed light to give the inhabitants a real horizon. The feat reflects the current trend for luxury homes that are both modern and authentic.
Architect: Guz Wilkinson
Area: 852 m²
Located on Sentosa Island, Sky Garden House is just a stone's throw from Singapore's most famous districts. The luxury house has followed the trend among the Asian city-state's ultra-modern buildings for being covered with plants: it seems to blend into its environment. Like a post-modern version of a cave dwelling, this astonishing villa features numerous skylights, giving glimpses of the sky despite the obstruction of the walls. From the basement swimming pool and wooden staircase to numerous Zen-style garden features, all the spaces in this futuristic villa have been optimised to promote serenity. And great taste in design.
Architects: Perkins&Will and Hirsch Bedner Associates
Area: 37,000 m² over 27 floors
173 metres high, 27 storeys and 6 basements: there’s no doubt about it, the private residence of Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani does not have the proportions of a regular luxury home. This high-rise building was designed to be the most imposing private residence in history, with unrivalled facilities, including an Olympic-size swimming pool, a cinema, a private hospital and 600 staff to keep it running. This gigantic scale is complemented by the remarkable architecture with its asymmetrical design, which manages to convey an impression of visual comfort despite its vast dimensions for what is... a family home.
An objective definition of a "beautiful house" is difficult to achieve as tastes vary so much from person to person. Fortunately, architecture awards and competitions provide an opportunity to find out about recent buildings that have been voted for by professional juries. The Archinovo prize focuses on the most recent architectural projects in France and gives an idea of trends in contemporary luxury homes. Numerous competitions organised by the media or estate agents also provide an insight into the aesthetic and environmental criteria on which the most beautiful homes are judged!
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