Not to diminish the value of construction staples such as concrete, glass and steel, but we appreciate a little bit of creativity every now and then. Today we’re looking at homes and hotels made up of unconventional building materials — from cake to corn and everything in between.

Miscellaneous recyclables (“Earthships”)


EarthshipEarthships are off-the-grid, 100 per cent sustainable homes made from recycled materials such as tires, bottles, wood, and of course, earth. The concept was created by a man named Mike Reynolds in the early 1970s. You can find his original Earthship community in Taos, New Mexico. Photos: porschadani/photobucketWikimedia


salt hotel

salt hotel-1A salt-based hotel would only make sense on a high-altitude Bolivian salt plain. One million 14-inch blocks of compressed grains were used to build the Palacio de Sal Resort at the edge of the Salar de Uyuni plain. The hotel contains 16 rooms with chairs, tables and beds all made of salt. Unsurprisingly, the hotel has been included on several “World’s Most Unusual Hotels” lists.  Photos: HomeKlondike

Beer bottles

bottle templebottle-temple-1Far exceeding the stereotypical 99 bottles of beer on the wall, this 20-building temple complex in Thailand is comprised of more than 1.5 million Heineken and Chang beer bottles. It may be the only buddhist temple that smells like a brewery. Photos: RenegadeTravels


Corn Cob houseDubbed “Tourner autour du Ried,” France’s corn on the cob house is designed in a circular shape, allowing sunlight to filter through the structure during the entire day. Corn is already part of nearly everything else we use these days, why not use it to build our homes too? Photo: StAndré-Lang Architectes


cake room-1Cake room

Artist Scott Hove’s constructed an entire room out of the sweetest building material possible. As we reported earlier this year, the desert-based dorm was part of Hove’s “Guns and Ecstasy” exhibit in San Francisco. Photos: Cool Hunting


Ice hotelTemporary ice hotels can be found in colder climates all over the world. Pictured above is the world’s first frozen flophouse in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. Photo: Wikimedia


Lego houselego-house-1The only unconventional thing about using Lego as a building material is the scope of this life-size project. British television host James May had the two-storey home constructed out of 3.3 million Lego bricks. Unfortunately, the building had to be knocked down after it proved too costly to relocate from the English winery it was built on to a nearby theme park. Photos: Luxo

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