Set in a sloping meadow in Pliezhausen, Germany, the E20 House allows its concrete exterior to show through without overwhelming the minimal interior. The home is hexagonal, allowing for a room layout that lends itself to eye-catching reveals. Warm wood floors and cabinets pair with white walls and exposed gray concrete to give the interior a cozy yet distinctly modern feel, while abundant windows let in plenty of natural light while providing views to the outdoors.
Set on the edge of the Anglesea coastline, the Dame Of Melba House uses carefully selected materials to overcome its salty seaside environment. The exterior is clad in locally sourced timber, meant to slowly weather over time and expose a gray hue. Its top-heavy design allows for a set of cantilevered overhangs, one acting as a carport and the others as decks. Unlike traditional floor plans, the interior is flipped to have the main living area on the second level, while the sleeping quarters reside on the ground floor. This elevated design allows for premium ocean views from the full-height glazing in the kitchen and living room.
Bigger isn't always better, especially when it's impeccably designed. Minimod Shelters uses this philosophy to make up for its tiny stature. At just 290 square feet, these prefabricated pods are made with steel frames and recycled wood and include a bedroom, bathroom, living and dining room. Whether it be a guest house, studio, or weekend retreat. each model is completely customizable and combinable to meet your needs. Although it's not required, a stellar location is recommended to take advantage of the structure's large glass openings.
Surrounded by over 10 acres of forest in the Hudson Valley, the Tinkerbox House uses the owner's hobbies as the focus of its design. The process began with a spacious garage large enough for storing and tinkering on cars, while also housing a wine cellar and workshop for building furniture. Accessed by a two-story entryway, the open living space above is comprised of a kitchen, living room, and dining area that extends out to a covered terrace with an outdoor fireplace and grill. Externally, the rectangular form contrasts its dense wooded setting with a charred cedar cladding, created using an ancient Japanese technique called Shou sugi ban.
Extending out from the Idaho mountains, the Bigwood House brings an industrial aesthetic to its desert landscape. The east end of the house is anchored into the hillside by a stone and concrete foundation, allowing the steel and glass volumes to project out and focus on the rugged scenery. Covered patios sit below the cantilever wings for a shaded place to relax during the warmer months, while also creating separation between the structure and the winter elements. A glazed bridge housing a sitting area connects the two forms. Operated by a hand-wheel crank, its twenty-five-foot-long wall pivots open to Bald Mountain, Griffin Butte, and Adams Gulch.
Located on the French Island of Corsica, the H2 Cape House uses a low profile and natural materials to blend into its Mediterranean setting. A green roof paired with slats of red cedar cladding infuse with the coast's lush vegetation, also allowing sunlight to filter through the home's central terrace. The expansive single-story design makes way for a number or outdoor areas — including two swimming pools — to enjoy the seaside surroundings, while extensive internal glazing maximize views for the interior. A private beach outlines the exterior, along with a small port for ocean access to the property.
Instead of demolishing the existing beach shack, the Dorman House adds a vertical extension to create undisrupted views of the ocean. The original home remains mostly untouched, with the exception of a new bathroom and laundry in the former kitchen. A spiral staircase leads to the new addition above, housing a kitchen, dining and living room. Internally, the timber box structure is completely lined with Silvertop Ash that not only adds coastal character, but also responds to the area's seasonal changes and time of the day. North-facing full height windows break up the timber planks to brighten the space, while framing in views of the Victoria coast.
Peter Bennetts / Austin Maynard Architects
Set next to the Oberholz cable station, the Obereggen Mountain Hut is a modern take on the classic Stube. It's home to a restaurant, and is split into three main sections, each laid out so that the glazing on the end faces a nearby mountain. The hut is also constructed entirely from wood, with spruce used for the structure and interior, larch for the facade, and oak for the furniture. A sunken design ensures that the views aren't spoiled on arrival or as you enjoy your meal.
Oskar Dariz & Jens Rüssmann / Peter Pichler Architecture
Built along the banks of the Leie river just downstream from the Belgium city of Ghent, the VDB House is designed around the needs and wants of its bachelor owner. The main floor is focused on the river, with the kitchen and indoor living spaces encased mostly with glass, opening to the pool area and pool house. Upstairs is the master bedroom and bath with private access to the rooftop terrace, as well as two other bed and bath rooms. Downstairs the vibe goes from airy modern getaway to underground night club, complete with dark woods, a bar with a window into the pool as its backdrop, a DJ booth, dedicated cabinets for wine and cigars, and a display area for the owner's car collection.
Tim Van de Velde / Govaert & Vanhoutte Architects
Inspired by medieval keeps, the Monte Rosa Hut is a multi-story shelter in an isolated mountain setting. Located in the shadow of the Matterhorn, it boasts five floors, with communal areas on the bottom, sleeping areas above, and a ribbon of windows that wraps around the building, following both the path of the sun and the spiral stairway, letting in natural warmth while providing outstanding views.
Nestled among the vegetation of the Oaxacan coastal town, the Puerto Escondido Concrete House makes the most of its modest footprint. The entire structure is formed from concrete, including the walls, gabled roof, floors, lofted sleeping platform, stairs, and kitchen sink and counter, which extends out onto the patio, forming the main eating area. Concrete patios extend out from multiple sides, creating both the eating area and a place for lounging by the concrete pool, while slatted wooden blinds provide both privacy and shade.
Camila Cossio & Edmund Sumner / Aranza de Ariño
Keeping its 1960s charm intact, the Writers House is a nostalgic renovation that's a celebration of old and new. The home was originally built by the owener's grandparents — both Jewish holocaust survivors who had passed away — so maintaining the residents initial sentiment was a top priority. All of the rooms have been respectfully updated with the addition of polished concerete floors, whitewashed plywood walls, and new steel windows, while hints of the past echo through the existing wallpapers, chandeliers, and orange brick exterior. The original Jacob Rudowsky custom joinery and Rudowski furniture were refurbished and complemented by new modern pieces. The exterior saw the addition of a large party deck, flanked by a pair of black aluminum screens for privacy during those warm Aussie nights.
Set on Taiwan's east coast, the Atolan House puts the region's native building techniques at the forefront. The structure sits on a foundation of stones collected from the excavation process — a feature that inspired the home's namesake, which translates to "a place with many rocks". This theme also runs into the interior with large stone walls complimented by elements of steel, wood, and concrete. Intentionally angled to match the contour of the coastline, views of the Pacific Ocean are on full diaplay from every room in the house, as well as the rooftop terrace and infinity swimming pool.
Equipped with a series of modular features, the Balnarring Retreat isn't defined by function. Each of the plywood walls contain folding components — a pull down bed, desk, and book shelves — transforming the space into an area for entertaining, meditating, yoga, or catching up on work. A north-facing glazed wall saturates the interior with nature, flooding the living room with natural light and views of the bordering pond. Created as a place to slow down from hectic urban living, the space is intentionally lo-fi, allowing the scenic surroundings to be your entertainment.
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.
Situated on the Suffolk and Essex border, the Church Hill Barn was formally a collection of farm buildings for the Assington Hall Estate. Using a large barn at the center of the property, the existing structure was left exposed to the interior, creating a palette of brick, timber, and polished concrete. Materials for the restoration were salvaged from other buildings on the site that were too far gone to restore. The floor plan was left largely open, with the exception of freestanding birch plywood partitions to conceal private and sleeping areas. Glazed sliding doors fill openings in the original brick facade for access to the courtyard, while also framing in views of the open fields.
Steve Lancefield / David Nossiter Architects
Sealed by an ominous slab of dark stone, the F House is a stark contrast from its somber facade. A tree-lined walkway leads to a timber slat wall, opening to the first of a series of private courtyards. The structure itself is composed of mostly glass, creating a bright, light-filled interior to admire the property's mature trees and gardens. Internally, the double-height volumes consist of a lounge, lobby, kitchen, dining room and living area, minimal in both color and decor. At the rear of the home, a glazed wall opens out to an enclosed swimming pool and outdoor exercise pavilion, separated from the rest of the exterior by a glass balustrade.
Overlooking the lake where the owner lost his younger brother, the Mask House is a solemn space of contemplation. The entry is placed at the end of a long elevated walkway, with a slatted wall hiding the home's retangular form from the outside world. The interior is clad in light wood, except for the sleeping area, which is lined with a dark felt-like material, and the tile-finished bathroom. A wall-sized window provides views out to the lake; alternatively, the roof serves as a terrace, accessed via an external staircase.
Resembling the classic farmstead outbuilding on the outside, The Barn uses a mix of rustic finishes and modern updates for a one-of-a-kind guesthouse. Clad in reclaimed barnwood and cedar shake shingles, the exterior gives the appearance of a structure that has weathered overtime, while the interior tells another story. The ground floor acts as a garage for the owners to work on motorcycles, bicycles, and vintage cars. Above, the hayloft consists of a guest room, kitchenette, and gym, keeping the barn aesthetic with reclaimed oak floors, a plank ceiling, exposed trusses, and sliding doors. On one end of the loft, a glazed wall floods the interior with natural light, while framing in dramatic views of the surrounding meadow and Teton Range.
Audrey Hall / Carney Logan Burke Architects
Located on a 20,000-acre private preserve in California, the Butterfly House takes inspiration from the brightly-colored insects that inhabit the surrounding meadow. The home is made up of three pavilions, with the center housing the main living areas and sleeping quarters on either end. Each structure is topped with sloping v-shaped roofs, giving the home its name while also funneling rainwater to be used for the property's irrigation system. With a landscape of canyons and hillsides surrounding the site, the outdoors is brought in through extensive glazing that opens up to numerous outdoor spaces.
Joe Fletcher Photography / Feldman Architecture
At just a mere 98 square feet, the Micro Cabin can stand on its own in the dense Ontario forest. The cozy retreat operates completely off-grid, warmed by a wood-burning stove and lit by natural light, creating the most honest escape you can get from your everyday life. Its dark timber cladding stands out against the snowy landscape, contrasted by the interior's natural plywood sheathing. A lofted bedroom sits above the ground floor living area to make the most of its modest size.
Located on the outskirts of Córdoba, Spain, the Cave House is a unique house with a unique backstory. The hollows from which it's built originally served as shelter for farming and livestock, and are incorporated into the new architecture as natural walls. The stone and concrete flooring pays respects to the rocky surroundings, while the white finish of the new walls helps brighten the subterranean areas and reflects light coming in through the south-facing windows.
Overlooking the Durlston Country Park in Swanage, the Quest House is arranged to accommodate its sloped plot while maximizing views of its valley setting. The single-story structure is formed by two parallel concrete planes, anchored by timber dry-lining and glass. Appearing to levitate above the land, the home balances on a Purbeck stone retaining wall that separates the driveway and yard, creating a cantilever shelter to keep vehicles out of sight and out of the elements. Internally, an open living area and kitchen reside at the center, flanked by two bedrooms on either end, while full-height glazing frames in unspoiled views of the scenic valley and surrounding mature trees.
Set over 3,200 feet above sea level near one of Norway's premier skiing destinations, Geilo Cabin is built to withstand the harshest winter weather. Its facade is made from black-painted wood and black-tinted concrete, hiding within an inner courtyard created by the main area, guest house, and carport. The interior is similarly sparse, with black concrete floors, iron sulphate-treated oak, and a black fireplace, providing a stunning contrast with the natural landscape, especially during the winter months when the cabin is accessible by snowmobile or ski only.
Clad in charred cedar and black steel panels, the Martis Valley Ski Retreat is inspired by its alpine forest surroundings. The home is comprised of a pair of two-story structures, bridged by a glazed single-story living and dining area with undisrupted views of the pine and fir tree forest bed. The focal point of the room is a travertine marble slab fireplace, a material that can also be found on the kitchen workspace. The cedar facade was treated with an ancient Japanese technique called Shou Sugi Ban to blend in with the hues of the plot's evergreen tree trunks. Located at the foot of Northstar California, skiing is the main attraction with access to the runs of Lookout Mountain.