I'm a huge fan of Irish author James Joyce. In 1904 he spent a week living with his friend, medical student Oliver St John Gogarty in Sandycove, a couple hours Northwest of Dublin. Rather than a house, Gogarty was leasing a Martello tower from the British War Office. Martello towers were built in several countries of the British Empire during the 19th century, from the time of the Napoleonic Wars onwards, basically to repel foreign attackers with cannon fire. Joyce left after Gogarty fired a gun in Joyce's general direction. It is now a museum to Joyce.
the tower at Sandycove
A dozen years later Joyce wrote Ulysses, in which characters Stephen Dedalus (based on Joyce) and Buck Mulligan (based on Gogarty) share rent in a Martello tower, appearing mostly in the first chapter.
So I was pretty excited to read that Duncan Jackson, founder and co-director of Billings Jackson Design, bought a Martello Tower in Suffolk County, England to build a house for his family. Piercy Conner Architects hooked him up, winning a Royal Institute of British Architects award in the process. How gangsta is your crib?
click to enlarge.