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Perfect Wall House

Based on concepts proposed by forensic engineer Joe Lstiburek, the Perfect Wall House should last centuries thanks to a clever design that puts the majority of the building materials on the outside. Specifically, there's an outer shell of corrugated metal siding, a layer of rainscreen, two layers of rigid foam insulation, an air, water, and vapor barrier, a layer of particle board, and then a thin layer of pine. The result is an interior full of exposed joists, primarily painted white, with natural wood floors and accents, black fixtures, and tons of built-in storage afforded by the space between the studs.

Photos: Casey Dunn / Rauser Design

  • Manigod Chalet

    Tucked away in the French Alps is the Manigod Chalet. Converted from a 1833 farmhouse, elements of the original 19th century cabin were preserved by enlisting the help of local craftsmen and the use of weathered wood for beams, ceilings and floors. A beige and brown color palette provides a rustic warmth, while cement tile kitchen floors and a Bourgogne stone fireplace add contemporary elements to the interior. An abundance of windows can be found on all three floors, offering 180-degree views of the snow-capped mountains.

    Photos: Vincent Thibert / Marie Claire Maison

  • Melbourne Loft

    Filled with fluid forms and dramatic curves, a former butter factory was transformed into a modern work of art to house this unconventional Melbourne Loft. The open floor plan surrounds a museum-quality staircase that leads to a roofrop terrace overlooking the cityscape. A monochromatic palette gives the space a gallery feel to compliment the minimalist decor and sculpted walls, while highlighting the grey marble counters and dark, second-story wood floor. The original steel trusses were removed to accommodate an upper floor with two bedrooms, a bathroom and an optional studio to release the creativity this interior is sure to inspire.

    Photos: Fraser Marsden / Adrian Amore Architects