The apartment I live in now has a dropped ceiling, except for the parts where it doesn’t, and you can look up through random un-dropped ceiling portals and see the original metal ceiling, and from certain angles you can see sections where the original metal ceiling has been torn away to expose wiring and roof beams and various dark crevices that I’m absolutely certain are teeming with silverfish and roach nests. Examining my trashed, and possibly hazardous-to-health, ceiling makes me feel incredibly anxious, and yet I do it like twice a day. Looking at this kind of thing is like watching a horror movie; the anxiety is terrible, but you can’t get enough. Grab your Xanax and let’s look at some terrible, horrible, irresistible photos of precarious houses.
In 2016, El Nino fueled freakish weather all over California. Storms triggered so many landslides that the city of Pacifica declared a state of emergency due to erosion. Imagine waking up, looking out the window, and seeing that your backyard is now a crumbling void. But wow, what a great ocean view! Pray for a drought.
Who lives in this house in Nepal? Mountain goats? I wouldn’t even sneeze in this place.
“Alright, guys, this is a 500 ton apartment building, so before we start knocking out all these load-bearing pillars, make sure you throw up a dozen 2X6s and a few sheets of plywood.” Look how the garage doors are bowing out from the entire building being pulled down by gravity. The person responsible for this work should be thrown in prison. No trial, just toss them in a cell.
This one gets bonus anxiety points because a brick house is basically just a pile of rocks to begin with. The way that roof is sitting on those pillars is the architectural equivalent to seeing a coffee mug sitting half-off the edge of a desk.
This photo makes me anxious, but the house itself doesn’t look anxious at all. This house looks like me on the sofa about 20 minutes after the weed hits. “I don’t care what you get on the pizza, but make sure they give us at least six of those little cups of ranch!”
This photo’s actually from a luxury house in Jakarta; that’s right, this house was built like this intentionally. I could get behind the crooked beams, but that table?! This house is like a wacky idea you get at 3AM with your friends that ends up getting taken way way too far, like getting a tattoo of a watch on your wrist or something.
This is hands-down the worst photo on this list. It might be the most anxiety-inducing photo in existence, period. This Brazilian bridge cracked clean through, and what did they do? They got a little metal plate and nailed the two halves of the bridge together. As you can see in the photo, this bridge is both high and over water. If you look closer, that photo on the left was taken from inside a car. Who drives across a bridge that’s nailed together?!
The ground under this house fell away after an earthquake. The house looks more or less undamaged, but good luck getting a good night’s sleep knowing your house is teetering over a bottomless chasm to hell.
“I want you to design a building that will make people wonder if someone slipped LSD into their coffee.”
This narrow Toronto house was built on a former driveway – allegedly without a foundation – and the first time the wind kicked up, it slumped onto its neighbor. I don’t even like people brushing up against me on the subway; if I came home and someone’s entire house was leaning up against mine, you know someone would be getting an earful. (This house was torn down soon after it started leaning.)
This is actually a permanent art installation in California. According to the artist, it’s about the precariousness of home and the anxiety of rising home values. If you really want to see how anxious people are about housing prices, just put this cottage up for rent on Craigslist and watch hundreds of applications roll in. (“Honey, do you need anything from the store? I’m going to parachute down to the corner.”)