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High Five

5 places you probably didn't know people actually lived in

A typical house with four walls? For some people, that's boring. These unusual locations - including a cement factory - actually serve as homes, but would you want to live in them?

It's part cathedral, part cement block and part Garden of Eden. No matter how you look at it, Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill's residence is impressive. The unusual home is located just outside of Barcelona, where the star architect already built the airport and the famous W Hotel at the city beach, known for its distinctive silhouette.

Now aged 76, Bofill has designed more than 1,000 buildings all over the world - but perhaps the most interesting of them is his very own house.

It was back in the 1970s that Bofill discovered the old cement factory from the 19th century. He bought the rundown facility, tore out most of its 30 silos and spent two years turning the remaining eight into a spacious villa.

In the thick cement walls, Bofill put long, narrow windows that are reminiscent of the Catalonian Gothic style with their round arches. He turned the factory's large central building into a hall with 13-meter-high ceilings, which he uses for receptions, parties and seminars. Another spacious hall is used as a dining room. The heart of the building is the "sala cubica," a cube-shaped room that stretched over two floors.

Bofill chose to leave the factory's visible chimney intact - it can be seen from all over Barcelona.

Some other remains of the original cement factory have also been left and stand in the garden like huge sculptures. There, nature has reclaimed the once industrialized space. Vines crawl up the facades, contrasting sharply with the building.

Click through the gallery above for more out-of-the-ordinary homes.

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