Calling all architecture enthusiasts and unique Airbnb aficionados. Cross an item off your bucket list when you book this luxe, blob-shaped abode listed on Airbnb.
Nestled on a wooded lot in the scenic community of West Lake Hills, where homes routinely sell for seven figures, the structure at 0 Encinas Rojas St. (yup, the home number is zero), best described as a beige mass of swirling shapes and undulating curves, has long attracted special attention.
The cave-like dwelling served as the graduate degree thesis statement for architect Charles Harker, who studied at the University of Texas in the early 1970′s. Charles and his client, Dalton Bloom, sought to build a structure unlike any other. The home was formed from steel rebar, polyurethane foam, cement plaster and features cherry wood accents inside. Harker meticulously shaved each wall, handrail, nook, and cranny, and after 11 years of construction, The Bloomhouse was born. A 1,101-square-foot structure that is as much a work of art as it is a home, the domicile seeks to strike a harmonious relationship between humanity and nature.
Upon its completion, the project was applauded as a masterpiece of contemporary architecture. In 1984, it won an award of merit from the Austin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The Museum of Modern Art even featured it in an exhibit on modern homes.
Over the years, the home fell into disrepair. In 2017, it was purchased by Dave and Susan Claunch, who restored The Bloomhouse to its former glory and offered it up to the public for short-term and long-term rentals.
Now, weary travelers with an affinity for the odd can escape the banality of everyday architecture for a retreat that forsakes restrictive right angles and straight lines for fluid curves and organic forms.
On Airbnb, Lodgewell, the vacation home rental agency that manages the property, boasts the title “Superhost,” a designation reserved for Airbnb hosts considered a cut above the rest.
On the listing’s Airbnb page, dozens of comments from former guests praise the Insta-worthy accommodations.
“Such a magical and serene place,” wrote Syndia, who stayed in July 2020. “Just what we needed for a quick weekend getaway from Houston. All the amenities were top quality. We will definitely stay there again.”
Another happy camper remarked how the home, while located just minutes from many of Austin’s tourist hot spots, is a destination unto itself.
“Wow,” wrote Jenna, who stayed in May 2019. “What a magnificent Airbnb. As soon as you walk through the entrance you will have your breath taken away by its beauty. Professional and quick communication, easy to follow directions, clear check in and check out instructions, iPad with tips on what to do in Austin, beautiful interiors and decor (the list goes on). Only 10 mins from downtown but when you are in the house you’ll feel a million miles away. Honestly, this place just ticks all the boxes. I highly recommend grabbing some cheese, wine and a good book before you head to the Airbnb so you can enjoy the wonderful deck and the sounds of nature.”
One lodger succinctly summarized the Airbnb’s appeal along with its enduring importance as a relic of Austin’s bygone era of weird.
“Great part of Austin history that keeps the theme of ‘Keep Austin Weird’ with the feel and amenities of a luxury boutique hotel,” wrote Mika, who stayed in August 2020. “The decor was perfection!”
Short-term rentals start at $593/night. For more information, visit airbnb.com.
Now, enough with the words. Why blab on and on about this Airbnb when we can let these photos talk the talk for us? Scroll below to take a peek inside this wacky, weird, and incredible space.
What do you think about this Airbnb? Is it worth the price? Would you book a stay here? Share your thoughts in the comments below.