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Japanese Home Connected to Nature

The Krampon House in Hyogo, Japan is a two-story home by Shogo Aratani Architect & Associates. Clad in black, the striking home has a patio, a balcony, a living room skylight, and large windows on the second floor. The clear views and open-air spaces connect the home with the rocks and trees of the surrounding environment. Inside, wood is used for everything from the floor to the library at the ...

Czech Home Turns Its Focus to the Garden

The Chameleon House by Petr Hajek Architekti is a six-volume home in Praha-Lipence, Czech Republic. Built in the middle of a garden, the structure holds a single room in each of its protrusions, which are positioned to face the surrounding flora. Uniform in white, the glossy walls reflect the natural lighting. Within the home, there is a foyer, a living room, a master bedroom, a children’s room, a guest room, ...

Forest Retreat by Uhlik Architekti

This dark modern cabin was designed by Uhlik Architekti and built using materials and labor that are local to the Central and South Bohemian Regions of the Czech Republic. A rustic getaway, the lodging has one end on the ground and the other balancing on a boulder. The unusual angle modernizes the otherwise timeless design. Clad in charred wood, the facade is broken up by two large windows with external ...

Small Family House with a View

House Y by Kurashitokenchiku is a small family house in Japan. The front of the home is clad in wood and painted gray, while the timber of the side and back is left its natural color. The back porch opens up to a view of the Japanese Southern Alps. Inside, the low window seats encourage taking in the surrounding landscape from all angles. The interior is sparsely furnished and structured, ...

German Resort Cottages in the Woods

Commissioned by the Hofgut estate, these three cottages by Format Elf Architekten serve as contemporary getaways in the woods. Located in Bavaria, Germany, the resorts stand on countryside plots, where they are paired with a patio and picnic benches crafted from natural wood. The longhouses, or langhäuser, themselves are made in the form of colloquial pitched-roof barns and clad in black-stained timber. Each houses a full kitchen and bedroom suite ...

Refurbished Cottage in a Northern Catalonia Valley

Once an abandoned shepherd’s cottage, El Bosquet is now a modernized country home. The two-level structure was renovated by Arcadi Pla Masmiquel & Núria Pla Illa so that the exterior would retain the old world character and the interior would shine with contemporary elegance. The architects kept the original rock walls, terrace, and stairway at the same time that they expanded the windows and added a wooden balcony. They lined ...

Plain Living in Touch with Nature, by Low Architecten

Living in touch with nature, in a plain structure, was what the homeowner of this house wished for when approaching LOW Architecten for its design. The house is located in the town of Keerbergen, Belgium, in a wooded area with lots of shade, creating a need for natural light that was thought to be captured best through the roof.  The beautiful asymmetrical skylight provides that extra daylight into the room.  The roof ...

Brighton’s Waste House, Eco Home Made from Trash

The result of a collaborative effort from Brighton University and the studio BBM, the Waste House is Britain’s first home constructed almost entirely from trash. 85% of the house – which initially appears to be a conventional, shingled two-story building – is comprised of, among other things, plastic razors, denim jeans, video cassettes, and 20,000 airline toothbrushes for insulation. The miscellany may make the construction seem precarious, but the designers ...

A Contemporary Take on a Slovakian Country Home

IST-Family House by JRKVC is a Slovakian country home made of local materials such as clay, straw, and wood. The restrained architecture balances colloquial forms with modern-day sustainable design, finding the happy medium in a small space with a roofed porch, known as a “gánok.” From the porch, one enters through a turquoise doorway, coming into the three-sectioned ground floor. On this main level, the divided spaces are unified by ...

Swiss Home in the Mountains

This remote home was designed by Lacroix Chessex in the mountains of Trient, Switzerland. The angular house is composed of two volumes and accompanied by a shed. Clad in black, both structures contrast with the surrounding environment and the interior, which is lined with naturally finished wood. From inside, one can enjoy the sweeping views while resting on a window seat. Photography by Joel Tettamanti