Blog by Beebe Cline

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15 Intriguing Homes Perched Above the Earth

From the earliest times, humans have often opted to live in structures above the ground — whether ihigh above in trees, in cliff-face caves, in stone towers or on stilts above the water. Back then the decisions were made for practical reasons: convenience, economy, isolation and protection from floods, marauding armies or wild animals. As towns developed, it made sense to live in rooms above street-level shops. In rural areas people lived in rooms above the animals' quarters. The 20th century brought the development of vertical stacked high-rise buildings with ubiquitous penthouses and their wraparound outdoor terraces.

Today living above the ground can open up all sorts of possibilities, from simply allowing views over a garden wall to maximizing amazing views, making the most of a small plot and taking advantage of cool breezes. The constraints of a tight plot can be overcome by putting a house on columns. A house on stilts can allow for buildings above water. In a tropical climate, a tree house can provide protection and refreshing breezes.

However, this style of living isn't for everyone. Some of these houses infringe on neighbors' privacy. Others have issues with universal access. Take a look at these stunning homes perched above the ground. Could you live in one of these spaces?
Future Imagined: Skytower in Oblivion

Living above the ground is taken to an extreme in the science fiction movie Oblivion; the Skytower residence is 3,000 feet above the polluted earth below. It has all the classic features of a supercool modern home: wraparound decking, fully glazed walls and, of course, a heliport.