Croft Lodge Studio

Built around a 17th-century cottage in the English County of Herefordshire, the Croft Lodge Studio is more of a preservation than a restoration. The 300-year-old ruins — including rotted timbers, crumbling stone, dead ivy, and even abandoned cobwebs — were left untouched, encased in a new black corrugated iron shell. This causes the structure to take on a redundant form, with a duplicate roof, windows, and walls placed over the old remains. The interior is warmed by a pair of wood-burning stoves and currently serves as a design studio with a store, kitchen, sleeping area and a living room, but also has the ability to be easily converted into a three-bedroom house when desired.

Photos: James Morris / Kate Darby Architecture

  • Montebar Villa

    Perched on the edge of the Swiss Alps, the Montebar Villa uses its exterior facade and contoured form to blend into its mountainous setting. To abide by local restrictions, the design started with a dark gray pitched roof, leading to its current single-material exterior of porcelain stoneware tiles. Each tile was meticulously designed and placed to the exterior walls, six-sided roof, and custom shutters for a seamless boulder-like cladding that gets lost in the landscape. In contrast to its monolithic facade, a glazed south-facing wall bathes the interior with natural light and provides views of the vineyards and valley below.

    Photos: Jacopo Mascheroni / JM Architecture

  • Ustaoset Cabin

    Resting 1,066 meters above sea level, the Ustaoset Cabin takes advantage of the stunning landscapes Norway has to offer. The home takes a minimal approach to the traditional mountain cabin with clean lines and vertical pine cladding, meant to weather into its natural backdrop over time. The exterior is mimicked on the inside where light pine planks cover the ceiling, walls, and floor. Although appearing compact in size, accommodations for 13 are found between two rooms, a modular living room, and bunk lofts. The rest of the home is comprised of an open living area with an angled ceiling and full-height glazing, exposing views of the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, as well as a nearby lake and glacier.

    Photos: Knut Bry / Jon Danielsen Aarhus

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