Jim Stewart poured $24 million–which he earned writing calculus textbooks (?!)–into building his dream home. It curves at nearly every point, and is nestled on a hill outside Toronto. But that’s not what makes the house special. Stewart, a math professor, one-time world class concert violinist, and inveterate party host, wanted to build a home that would suit his every need, so the house doubles as a concert hall, seating 150 people with standing room for 50 more.
Stewart makes ample use of the feature, throwing 11 parties in a recent six week span. He’s named the house the “Integral House,” after the twisting sign for the calculus operation.
The house wasn’t designed by a name-brand starchitect like Rem Koolhaas or Frank Gehry, although both of them were in the running for the job. Rather, it was created Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe. The duo were given no time limits (the build started in 1999) and no design contraints–in short, the commission of a lifetime. As a result, expensive touches abound, such as a 24-foot glass wall that disappears into the floor with the push of a button, and custom curved hardware. Check out a slideshow of the house (with pictures taken by the famed Edward Burtynsky) and read more about it here.