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Saint Paul Apartment

A successful merging of the old and the new, the Saint Paul Apartment takes full advantage of its interior contradictions. The one-bedroom space is housed in the attic of an 18th-century building in Paris' historic Le Marais district, and sports a neutral palette that lets the home's details shine. Those details include natural rafters that command attention thanks to the white walls and ceiling, a sleeping area separated by a steel and glass wall, and a wall of solid walnut panels that hides storage space, a dressing room, laundry, and bathroom. The result is an impressive space that feels much larger than you'd expect given its small size.

Photos: Alexis Cottin & Julien Fernandez / Margaux Beja

  • 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

  • Trollhus House

    Set atop a concrete base to protect it from the more than 60 feet of snow its elevated plot sees each year, the Trollhus House is an elevated take on a ski chalet. Literally. The home's positioning is dictated by nature, with the living spaces facing south for maximum exposure to the sun and the shaded northern side filled with utility areas. Tar-treated wood siding helps the home blend into the landscape, and contrasts well with the warm, light fir of the interior.

    Photos: Bruce Damonte / Mork Ulnes Architects