A modern mansion in Beverly Hills. (Photo: Forbes)
Architectural beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but some mansions are just plain ugly. Blots on the landscape, oversize and over-the-top mega-homes are sometimes a pricey mishmash of building styles.
They look garish, gaudy and full of pretension, festooned with too many fancy columns and adornments. Or, under the guise of "modern," these residences have as much style as a bomb shelter or look like they’re from outer space. Money, after all, doesn’t buy taste.
Beverly Hills, Calif.
With circular walls of glass and soaring steel beams, this over-the-top modern mansion dazzles enough to make your head spin. At 7,500 square feet, with a seven-car garage, an elevator and gated security it looms large on a half-acre lot.
According to Zillow.com, the six-bedroom, seven-bath home boasts custom-curved stainless steel windows and doors, marble floors and an interior garden courtyard with “hypnotizing views of its infinity edge pool.” From there you can see Los Angeles and the Pacific beyond. After an initial list price of $11,895,000, the home sold in March 2011 for $9 million.
Featured in Woody Allen’s 1973 science fiction comedy “Sleeper,” this private mansion is perfect ... for aliens. Officially called the “Sculptured House,” the residence is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Situated on a mountain west of Denver, the house is known locally as the “Flying Saucer House,” according to Zillow.com it was sold in a foreclosure auction for $1.5 million in 2010.
From the front, this concrete-and-cedar-sided manse looks about as appealing as a bomb shelter. The design is so cold it could pass for a storage unit ... for ice. Designed by architect Charles Gwathmey (known for the 1992 renovation of New York’s Guggenheim Museum), the chunky modern residence is nestled into a suburban hillside, with most of the glass to the rear overlooking woods.
Those with a predilection for turrets might revel in this garish 17,000-square-foot, five-bedroom mansion. The residence is scalloped with rounded towers that poke out of the bland landscape like a series of windowed silos. These silos overlook a backyard pool, outdoor kitchen, tennis/basketball court and four-car heated garage. Fit for a catering hall, the grand front door has a massive arched window and leads to an oversized foyer with double floating staircases.
Gas Station Home
Lake Success, N.Y.
With an oversized portico and a four car garage facing the forecourt, this mansion might pass for a hotel — or a gas station. But set in a community audaciously named Lake Success, how could this six-bedroom contemporary stucco palace on two acres be anything but over the top? It’s on the market for $5,880,000.
See more of America's ugliest mansions.
- Home & Garden