Some great ideas appear when an architectural firm turns its eye on its own workshop. Such is the case with Studio Franz Messner. A renovated Italian studio that's home to Messner Architects, it respects the original structure while transforming it into a suitable workspace. Two walls running parallel to each other create a storage area in the center of the building, with two mirrored workspaces — with lofts — on either side. More interesting are the "light-catchers" that sit above the two new windows, extending through the roof to harness the alpine daylight and redirect it into the space.
Set next to a pond in upstate New York, the LM Guest House is an award-winning mix of glass, steel, and wood. The structure was designed to be as sustainable as possible, and thus takes advantage of geothermal heating and cooling, radiant floors, motorized shading, solar panels, and rainwater harvesting. An open floor plan connects the living, kitchen, and sleeping areas, while a slatted wood core hides the mechanical systems, bathrooms, and storage. The entire facade is made of glass that was pre-fabricated off site, supported by a steel frame that cantilevers over the the living areas and provides contrast with the natural white oak detailing.
Inspired by a series of sketches that showed the traditional summer house broken into multiple structures, the Little House on the Ferry is a modern multi-building seasonal hideout. The property on Vinalhaven Island in Maine sits next to a former quarry, creating an even more rocky landscape, and is home to three small buildings. The main space houses the living area, a bathroom, and the kitchen, and is connected to the other two buildings — which hold a single bathroom and bedroom each — by an exterior deck. All three were built in a factory using cross-laminated timber and hauled to the site, reducing both cost and impact, and use a system of sliding screens to provide privacy or alternately let in the views of Penobscot Bay.