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Woodland Cabin

Set beside a lake in rural Belgium, the Woodland Cabin is a small, inexpensive getaway. Self-built on a budget under $40,000, it measures 35 square meters, with a concrete strip foundation, suspended wooden floor, and beams and siding that come from the architect's father, who milled them from trees sourced in the surrounding woods. Heat comes from a wood burning stove, and its waterside setting serves as an ideal backdrop for work, gatherings, or just long, relaxing naps.

Photos: De Rosee SA

  • Methow Cabin

    Aligned with the northern Washington valley in which it sits, the Methow Cabin is a striking basecamp for cross-country skiers and mountain bikers alike. The angular structure sits some four feet above the ground to protect it from snowdrifts, and the sloped room keeps snow from building up while creating space for a protected entryway and sleeping loft. It's clad in cedar siding that's continued through the living area to blur the lines between indoors and outdoors, and with room for 8 and nearby access to a whole network of trails, it's ideal for groups of explorers.

    Photos: Eggleston/Farkas Architects

  • Glen Lake Tower House

    Perched on a hilltop in northwestern Michigan, the Glen Lake Tower House makes the most of its placement by rising above the treetops in an unapologetically boxy fashion. Two parallel metal-clad walls support the main three-story plywood structure, suspended a full story above the ground. The home's suspended design allows for a covered parking area underneath, with steel stairs leading up past the bedrooms, eventually ending at the top floor living/dining space and cantilever deck, with a tastefully unadorned interior and outstanding views of the lake and surrounding hills available both indoors and out.

    Photos: Balance Associates Architects