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Casa VI

Built atop an existing ruin in Italy's Bergamasque Alps, Casa VI juxtaposes a local stone exterior with a sleek modern interior. Using a sloped roof and a set of skylights, the two-story cabin offers year-round sunlight and terrific views. The ground floor houses the living room, kitchen, and a bathroom, while the upper floor plays host to a pair of bedrooms and a loft. While the exterior looks as though it could be centuries old, the contemporary interior consists of reinforced concrete, larch wood, and iron, and is finished with handmade elements like the fireplace, table, chairs, sink, and stairway.

Photos: Marcello Mariana / Alfredo Vanotti Architetto

  • Red House

    Set in the western suburbs of Oslo, the Red House strikes a bold contrast with its surroundings. The home is set perpendicular to a nearby stream, and thus juts out of the hillside instead of sinking into it. The top floor is reserved for the owners, and houses the entryway, master bedroom, kitchen, living area, and covered terrace, while the lower floor is filled with children's bedrooms. The interior is surprisingly calm, compared to the bright exterior, and does a fine job of framing the views of the landscape outside.

    Photos: Nils Petter Dale / Jarmund/Vigsnæs AS Architects

  • Seascape Retreat

    Located on the edge of the Pacific about two hours from Christchurch, this Seascape Retreat is laid out to perfectly take advantage of the land on which it sits. Thanks to a living roof, the one-bedroom studio blends in well with the hill behind it, while walls built from locally-sourced rock help ease the transition between its surroundings and the floor-to-ceiling windows of the living, dining, and kitchen areas. Under the roof you'll also find a bedroom, bathroom, and covered patio with fireplace, while outside there's a water tank on one side and a sunken hot tub on the other.

    Photos: Simon Devitt / Patterson Associates Limited