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Kiev Slide Apartment

Normally having a plant-covered wall in your kitchen would be the highlight of your apartment — but then again, most apartments don't have slides inside. Set on the top floor, the Kiev Slide Apartment had its old, floor plan-dividing stairway replaced by a new staircase for going up, and a stainless steel slide for coming down. The renovated space has an open floor plan on the bottom floor, which also houses two children's bedrooms, while the unused upper floor was converted into a master bedroom with ensuite, guest bedroom, and office. Skylights let in plenty of natural light and provide a healthy way to wake up, but we're guessing a trip down the slide would be the highlight of your daily morning routine.

Photos: KI Design

  • Walden House

    Annabelle Selldorf is far beter known for her public buildings — like the Neue Galerie in New York City and Le Stanze del Vetro in Venice — than for private residences, which is just one of the things that make Walden House so special. Set on 105 acres in the valley west of Vail, this 10,000+ square foot house is built around a separate courtyard, with more intimate rooms that you'd expect based on its size, thanks in part to large windows at every turn providing fantastic views of the surrounding mountains, and pocket doors that help to temporarily close off certain areas from the rest of the house. In total, it has seven bedrooms, ten baths, a gym, and a professional-grade kitchen inside, with a chicken coop, greenhouse, two-bedroom, two-bath caretaker's house, and small pond outside.

    Photos: Todd Eberle / Selldorf Architects

  • 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