It seems odd that a building built upside down would be popular, but surprisingly there are several upside down houses around the world. It’s a bit like visiting “Alice In Wonderland”, a world where everything is opposite. Yet, people are drawn to upside down homes whether they are actual homes, works of art, tourist destinations or meant to make a political statement. Whatever the purpose, there are many upside down homes around the world and they certainly draw attention.
Here are 20 of the most famous upside down homes in the world.
1. Norman Johnson’s Upside Down House – Sunrise Golf Village, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Perhaps the most well known upside down home built in America is the Norman Johnson house. The model home was built by Norman Johnson to attract home buyers to the Sunrise Golf Village located west of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Built in 1961 to attract home buyers to the community, the house was featured in Life Magazine. It has since been torn down. Although it’s not certain the home attracted buyers to the community, it certainly did attract tourists. The typical 1960’s style Florida home had carport attached with a 1960’s Dodge convertible mounted to the carport floor (ceiling). Inside the home, 1960’s style furniture was mounted upside down. There was even a palm tree out front that seemed to be trying to figure out which way it should rise from the grass.
2. Chester Wheedon Upside Down House – Indianapolis, Indiana
Taking a cue from Norman Johnson, real estate developer Chester Wheedon and his company C & B Custom Builders built an upside down home to attract buyers. The brick ranch was located at the intersection of Rockville Road and West Washington Street in Indianapolis. It took 18 months to engineer and 4 months to build in 1965. The house had 3 bedrooms and 1 1/2 bathrooms all upside down along with a Ford Mustang mounted on the garage ceiling. In order to show the versatility of building in the neighborhood, Wheedon built an exact replica of the home next door but right side up. The Wheedon house attracted 50,000 visitors its first year. Although it may have attracted home builders, the house was turned into office space after a few years.
3. Polish Upside Down Home – Szymbark, Poland
Polish businessman and philanthropist Daniel Czapiewski commissioned the building of an upside down home in Szymbark in northern Poland in 2007. The house is not completely upside down but rather teeters on its roof and chimney. It’s meant to be a symbol of the crazy and uncertain era in eastern Europe that came with the end of the Communist era. It took 114 days to complete the project and it remains a common tourist site. Czapiewski would build similar structures and inspire other home designers and artists.
4. Whoopsy House – Clifton Hill, Niagra Falls, Canada
Daniel Czapiewski also worked on the design of an upside down home built in the Clifton Hill neighborhood of Niagra Falls in Canada. Czapiewski designed this house along with Marek Cyran as a statement and a tourist attraction. Known as the “Whoopsy House”, it both flipped over and crooked. Tourists visiting the eccentric area around the Niagra Falls natural attraction can visit the home and tour the inside while being treated to this unique and disorienting building.is a tourist attraction.
5. The World Stands On Its Head – Usedom, German
This cape cod style home was built in 2008 in Trassenheide on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom. Built as a tourist attraction, this upside down home can draw a crowd. The 2 story home sits on its roof. What should be the attic is actually the entrance. No attention to detail was spared except for the interior stairway which is right side up to take you upstairs to the main floor.
6. Sakasa Resuto – Matsumoto City, Nagano, Japan
One of the most famous upside down buildings in the world is not a house but a working restaurant. The Sakasa Resuto is located in Nagano, Japan. The restaurant takes being upside down to every detail. The building rests on the side of its roof shingles. The exterior signs are upside down as well as all signage on the building. The interior features light fixtures encased in upside down buckets. Even the emergency signs are mounted upside down. The menu’s text is written in mirror image.
7. Device to Root Out Evil – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Contrary to some views this “Church” is not meant to be blasphemous but rather an artistic symbol of “rooting out evil”. The instillation of the upside down structure of a 25 foot tall church rests on its steeple in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Designed by American sculptor Dennis Oppenheim, the life size piece was built in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1997 and later moved to Calgary. The “church features an aluminum frame and red Venetian glass shingles. It hasn’t failed to draw attention.
8. Antalya Upside Down House – Antalya, Turkey
Erected in 2016, the upside down home in Antalya, Turkey is already a successful tourist draw. Built near a popular tourist destination and near several hotels, the Turkish upside down home is a fun spot to visit. Guests love to take pictures inside the home where furnishings and accessories are mounted on the ceiling. Photographs can make it appear the visitors are walking upside down.
9. Topsy-Turvy House – Moscow, Russia
In recent years, Russia has had an attraction to build upside down houses throughout the country. One such house is located in the All-Russia Exhibition Center in Moscow and is open to tourists. The upside down house sits on its roof. Guests of the exhibit can feel like they are walking on the ceiling of an actual home. The house itself is of a common European design and features standard furnishings and accents but these are all mounted on the ceilings including the living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and garage. Guests get a thrill walking around the house upside down much as they would get a thrill from riding a roller coaster. Of course, guests love taking pictures inside the topsy-turvy house.
10. Crazy House – Affoldern, Germany
Known as the “Crazy House”, this attraction was built near Edersle Lake, Germany in 2014. The red house is completely upside down both exteriorly and interiorly. Even items like children’s toys and a wading pool outside the home are turned upside down. The interior of the home is decorated upside down. Even pajamas and wall art face downward. The kitchen and bathroom fixtures are also mounted on the ceiling of the home giving tourists a great photo opportunity.
11. Nellie Bly O’Bryan House – Lee Vining, California
This upside down cabin home was built in 1956. It is a solid shack perched upside down with interior objects including a bench, chairs, bed, boots and a ceramic cat mounted to the ceiling. The house was designed by Nellie Bly O’Bryan who was inspired by the children’s books “The Upsidedownians” and “Upside Down Land”. Nellie’s upside down cabin was located on US-395. After her death in 1984, the home began to rot, so locals repaired and moved the structure in 2000 to the Old Schoolhouse Museum located in Lee Vining in the Mono Basin near Mono Lake in the Yosemite area.
12. Dirk Oster’s 200 House – Getorff, Germany
This home was built as part of an attraction at a local zoo near Hamburg, Germany. It was commissioned by Dirk Oster and opened to the public in 2010. The house’s roof is reinforced with steel beams and rests slightly slanted on the ground, and the house rises 23 feet above the ground. Attention to detail includes the interior rooms including the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms appearing completely upside down. About 50 items within the home are bolted upside down including a furniture, a 100 pound wardrobe and even down to the last details like the microwave in the kitchen. Even the fake food in the kitchen is positioned upside down.
13. Upside down house in Taiwan – Taipei, Taiwan
A colorful American style house is a popular exhibit in Taiwan. The tourist attraction is located in Huashan Creative Park. The 3 story home has 3230 square feet and everything about it is upside down. Attention to detail includes upside down clocks and photographs as well as furnishings and decorations. As with other upside down houses around the world, visitors love to take photographs of themselves appearing to be walking on the ceiling and enjoying the home’s features “upside down”.
14. London Livery – Southwark, London
This building located on Southwark Street in London is an artistic installation by Hackney artist Alex Chinneck. It’s entitled “Miner On the Moon”. The building was originally a horse and carriage storage facility built in the 1780’s. It had been vacant for many years. Chinneck wanted to create a unique work of art yet maintain the building’s look of purpose and utility. Upside down signage was found in nearby buildings and in Wales. Other works by Chinneck include a house with a slumped façade and a melted brick wall.
15. Wonderworks – Orlando, Florida and Pigeon Forge, Texas
With 2 locations, Wonderworks is an interactive exhibit that sits on its head. Wonderworks is located in Orlando, Florida and in Pigeon Forge, Texas. The buildings look like a version of the White House turned on its head. The interior is also basically upside down. The museums feature a 12 seat movie theater, a 36 foot high ropes course and more than 100 interactive exhibits.
16. House of Katmandu -Majorca, Spain
House of Katmandu is located in a theme park on the Spanish island of Majorca. The upside down Tibetian style mansion is a them park attraction. Guests of the House of Katmandu go on an Indiana Jones type of adventure in a quest for a legendary red jewel. Along the way, guests of the attraction meet an ancient monk and a mermaid princess. The mansion is completely upside down, inside and out.
17. House Attack – Vienna, Austria
As with most upside down homes, they are built as a work of art and to attract the curious to see “House Attack” in Vienna, Austria is an instillation added to the Vienna Museum of Modern Art or Kunst (also known as MuMok). The original museum is an extremely modern and sleek building built in 1962. In 2006, artist Erwin Wurm created the unique installation for the museum and into the exterior of the museum. The piece is a single family home that looks as if it has collided with the museum’s building. There is a lot of artistic interpretation that could be used when viewing this Austrian museum of modern art. The museum itself houses some of the greatest art of the twentieth and twenty-first century, yet the most amazing piece of work can be seen before even entering the building.
18. St. Petersburg Apartment – St. Petersburg, Russia
As a part of the Museum of St. Petersburg, this upside down apartment is an exciting stop for museum goers. As with other upside down tourist attractions, the upside down apartment features furnishings and accessories mounted upside down throughout the exhibit. Visitors can explore and take photographs of the exciting and unique apartment where absolutely everything is turned upside down.
19. Sao Miguel Upside Down House – Sao Miguel, Azores
This simple looking house is located on Sao Miguel in the Azores. Located on the side of a road, the attraction is meant to attract tourists. The simple structure is turned on its roof resting precariously on the side of a roadway. Visitors can’t help but stop to take a picture “holding up” the house.
20. Top Secret, Inc. – Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
This replica of the White House turned upside down is a symbol of the state of America. The attraction includes tours of an upside down Oval Office, Press Room and more. The “Top Secret” attraction includes a room with upside down shelves filled with “Watergate tapes” and much more. This satirical attraction has drawn attention from many visitors to the area. It is certainly a unique way to look at the politics of America.