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Iceland Cliffside Retreat

With concrete walls that emerge from the rock unevenly, this Iceland Cliffside Retreat is in some ways a reflection of the island nation's craggy glaciers. It's also a truly modern structure, spread across multiple floors with huge swaths of glass that provide the subterranean levels needed light and provide views of the water below. Sadly fictional for now, we'd happily take in our morning coffee on its oversized lower terrace.

Photos: Alex Hogrefe / Visualizing Architecture

  • Hood Canal Cabin

    Set off the Puget Sound fjord and surrounded by forest, the Hood Canal Cabin takes advantage of its picturesque location with a vertical design. Built atop an existing 20 square foot foundation, it's clad in black cedar, with a contrasting light pine plywood and white panel interior that's home to a kitchen, wood-burning stove, bedroom, and sunlit shower. The entry is marked by a thin canopy that shields the entry from the elements, and is joined on the exterior by a large deck that sits on the same corner as the living/dining area's glazing.

    Photos: Andrew Pogue / MW Works

  • Knapphullet Cabin

    Hidden along the rocky coast of southeastern Norway, the Knapphullet Cabin serves as a serene extension of the property's main house. The large boulders surrounding the structure form a naturally protected area, and also serve as a wall on the interior. Floor-to-ceiling glass lets in plenty of natural light while allowing for outstanding views of the water outside, wooden elements help blend the inside with the out, and the precast roof covers a living area, suspended bed, and bathroom, while serving as stairs and a rooftop deck.

    Photos: Kim Müller & Ivar Kvaal / Lund Hagem