Chicken Point Cabin

The name sounds like something out of The Dukes of Hazzard, but make no mistake: there's nothing kitschy about Chicken Point Cabin. Created by the minimalist wizards at Olson Kundig, this rectangular getaway employs a huge hand-cranked 20' x 30' window wall to open the living space to the lake in Northern Idaho on which it sits. The home is approach both from the water and the road, with a 19-foot steel door offering access on the forest side. Inside, there's a master suite in the plywood loft above the main living area, extra bedrooms on either side, and exposed blocks, beams, and supports that give the space a industrial feel that contrasts with the surrounding wilderness.

Photos: Olson Kundig

  • 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

  • Shokan House

    Set near a reservoir below the summit of a Catskill mountain, the Shokan House has a glass exterior that acts as a mirror for the landscape. Underneath that shiny veneer is a two-level structure, with a vestibule, bedroom, and garage formed by the concrete foundation, and above, a lengthy, open space with a dining room, kitchen, library, and two bedrooms, all separated by walnut cabinets that match the wood and painted steel furniture. The steel, glass, concrete, ceramic tile, and wood used to build the structure are left exposed, creating a striking contrast with the surrounding natural views.

    Photos: Brad Feinknopf / Rafael Viñoly Architects

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