Sculpted into the mountains in the southernmost region of Spain, the Seven Gardens House is a true work of art. Modeled after nearby caves and grottos, its grey stone facade hugs the hillside, curving around the terrain to reduce impact on the surrounding landscape. The layout is constructed from a mirrored pattern, creating a series of sheltered terraces that lead out to seven outdoor gardens — a feature that lends to the home's name. Large glazed panels break up the otherwise cumbersome exterior to bring in views of the Sierra de Grazalema in the rear and the Atlantic Ocean ahead.
Part refurbishment and part new extensions, the Room No Roof Building makes use of a 1950s residential building in West London. The added third floor is where the home gets its name. Situated between a bedroom and a bathroom, a glazed open air space brings the serenity of the outdoors in with natural light and a small tree. Additional windows were added to the first floor living areas, including a a pivot window in the kitchen extension that opens up to a patio, overlooking the square below.
Ingrained in a cliffside on the Malibu coast, the Mugu House sits without disruption to its surrounding environment. The home is constructed from a prefabricated concrete produced from locally sourced materials, resulting in noticeably fewer CO2 emissions. A moveable layer of wooden screens form native tribal patterns and conceal the exterior from the coast, while also creating a series of solar occultations. Adorned with lichens and succulent, the interior layout of the home was determined by the topography of the landscape, with traditional partitions replaced by the organic projection of the rocky hillside. The emphasis on nature didn't stop there: a massive bay window provides panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean below.
Set in the Laurentian Mountain region of Quebec, the Estrade House uses a natural palette to remain in sync with its lakeside surroundings. Clad in a mixture of stone, timber, and black cedar, the series of volumes flow down the natural slope of the terrain, creating an array of staggered outdoor spaces. Large rocks from the excavation were used in the landscaping to further blend the property into its environment. The exterior facade flows inward through the natural wood floors, walls, and ash-stained cabinets. Connected by a double-sided fireplace, the open living area is encased with glass, affording expansive views of Cabin Lake below.
Ulysse Lemerise Bouchard / MU Architecture
Combining a garden shed and a greenhouse, the Kekkila Garden Shed offers a visually pleasing workspace for the at-home gardner. The prefabricated design is made from Finnish pine and safety glass for a sturdy structure that can be assembled with nothing more than a screwdriver. A set of glass shelves allow light to travel down through rows of plants, while an automatic opener in the roof helps to control the internal temperature. For those of you who are lacking a green thumb, the shed can also double as a guest room with the best views in town.