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8 clearly cool glass houses

By: Matt Hickman on July 29, 2012, 5:32 p.m.
glass house in cemetery

Photo: diamond geezer/Flickr

8 of 10

85 Swains Lane

Architects: Nick Eldridge, Piers Smerin

Location: London

For many, it’s unnerving enough to live in close proximity to a cemetery. But living in a cemetery in a glass-walled home? Eh, we think we’ll pass — the vibe is just too Architectural Digest meets Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. Still, 85 Swains Lane at London’s historic — and purportedly haunted — Highgate Cemetery is a spectacular work of modern architecture complete with four bedrooms, a retractable glass ceiling, screening room and some very famous interred neighbors including Karl Marx, Douglas Adams, Malcolm McLaren, Michael Faraday and a large chunk of the Dickens family (save for Charles himself). To be clear, only about 32 percent of the Eldridge Smerin-designed home is made from glass. The rest of the structure is built primarily from a material that’s quite popular in the neighborhood: granite.