The 10 best tiny homes in California

March 23, 2020 by  
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If you’re looking for some cool tiny home retreats to try out a more minimalist style of living or just looking for a serene vacation spot, well, California is definitely the place to be. We’ve scoured the beautiful coastal state for some of the best tiny homes in California. Take a look! Gorgeous tiny home thrives in the California sunshine Surf’s up in this gorgeous tiny home, which is designed to be both comfy and mobile. One of Canadian studio  Minimaliste’s most recent tiny home builds, the compact 331-square-foot structure was built to perform just as well in warm climates as it does in colder regions. The interior space, although compact, was strategically laid out to provide optimal space, including a cozy sleeping loft made possible by the home’s slanted roof. Related: 8 tiny homes built tough for off-grid living Converted school bus in Malibu Creek State Park This gorgeous glamping retreat is located near Malibu Creek State Park and promises incredible mountain views. The interior is spacious and sleeps up to four people comfortably. Although you’ll most likely enjoy this cozy interior, the outdoor space is what makes this skoolie so special. An open-air deck with ample seating and dining space is a wonderful area to take in the views over breakfast, lunch and dinner. The nearby hammock is a prime napping spot. Young couple build tiny home to avoid sky-high Bay Area housing prices It’s well-known that California’s Bay Area is one of the country’s — and the world’s — most expensive places to live. However, its also an idyllic area to put down roots, or wheels for that matter. When Nicolette and Michael decided to live in the Bay Area so that Michael could stay in college, they had an impossible time finding proper housing. Frustrated at price of housing, the ambitious couple decided to just build their own tiny home . The result is a stunning, 300-square-foot home on wheels that comes with a full kitchen, sleeping loft and even a reading nook. Off-grid eucalyptus tiny home radiates cool Californian vibes Another creation by Canada-based  Minimaliste Houses , the Eucalptus tiny home is a sight to behold. Built for a client who wanted to explore the California coast, the beautiful tiny home on wheels is optimized for off-grid fun. Besides its modern design, the 28-foot-long home is equipped with roof-top solar panels , tight thermal insulation and natural light, all of which contribute to the home’s self-sustenance. Try out tiny home living in San Francisco’s ‘Pavilion’ This tiny home retreat is a perfect place to enjoy the beautiful city of San Francisco. The Airbnb property is just 450 square feet, but its charming cottage-style design, made up of several recycled and repurposed materials , makes it feel so much bigger. The retreat sleeps up to two guests, who can make use of its many amenities such as a light-filled, glass-enclosed living space surrounded by a serene garden with a pond. Relax in this retreat with a hot tub in San Francisco If you’re looking for a tiny home experience in California that is guaranteed to bring a little tranquility to your life, check out this retreat in San Francisco. Located in a spacious backyard of the owner’s home, the minuscule studio sleeps two guests comfortably in its shed-like space. The interior is compact, with just one room fitting in the bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. But, the biggest draw to this retreat is its outdoor space. The home is surrounded by an open-air hardwood deck with a two-person hot tub. Built around a 700-year-old redwood tree that offers as much of a romantic touch as it does shade, the rental also boasts an outdoor shower, where you can bathe under the stars. The ‘Nugget’ in Costa Mesa takes tiny home living back to basics Located just a 10-minute drive to the beach, this beautiful tiny home in Costa Mesa is the perfect place to recharge your batteries. Although it is just 140 square feet, the retreat sleeps up to two guests comfortably. With its large sliding glass door entryway, the home boasts a minimalist feel that makes it just as perfect for a business trip as it does for a relaxing stay at the beach. A private deck wraps around the home and is shaded by bamboo trees. Tiny home getaway near San Diego These days, many travelers are forgoing the excessive displays of luxury in fancy hotels for simpler getaways. Tiny home retreats, like this gorgeous cabin-inspired tiny home near San Diego, offer guests a chance to relax and reconnect with nature. Located near beautiful Mount Laguna, the tiny home sleeps up to four people between a double bed and two sofa beds. Although the living space is more than sufficient, it is the outdoor area that is so special. The glamping retreat is completely immersed in nature, and features a rooftop terrace for guests to take in a bit of stargazing before enjoying a toasty nightcap around the private fire pit. Vintage glamping travel trailer in San Fernando Valley If there’s one iconic image that encompasses California adventure, it’s the gleaming vintage travel trailer, like this 1954 trailer just outside of Los Angeles. The trailer itself sleeps up to four and has a lovely interior. The magic really begins with the outdoor space, which features a covered deck with a romantic canopied double bed, perfect for sleeping under the stars during the long summer months. Additionally, guests can enjoy the incredible views of the San Fernando Valley from the adjacent outdoor lounge space. Off-grid tiny home in southern California Sometimes, you just need to get away from the hustle and bustle. For those times, this off-grid tiny home in Southern California will do the trick. The compact studio is outfitted with a plush, queen-sized bed. The space is tiny, but as an extra bonus, the home features a custom, garage door-style window that can be fully opened to enjoy amazing views of the 20 acres of beautiful private land that surround the tiny home retreat. Images via Minimaliste, Airbnb and Glamping Hub

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The 10 best tiny homes in California

UN releases World Water Development Report 2020

March 23, 2020 by  
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Climate change further challenges the world’s overstretched water resources, ultimately threatening all aspects of human life, according to the latest UN World Water Development Report. Most human needs revolve around water, so energy production, industrial development, food security, human and animal health and housing are also vulnerable to climate change impacts. The report states that the reliability of available water will decrease as the climate becomes more variable, amplifying floods, droughts and other water-related problems. Places already stressed from insufficient water sources will suffer more, while places that have so far been unaffected will feel the pain, too. Related: IPCC landmark report warns about the state of the oceans, polar ice content and the climate crisis Over the last century, global water use has increased by a factor of six. Between population increase, economic development and explosive human consumption, this growth continues at about 1% per year. Groundwater depletion doubled from 1960 to 2000. Some experts predict that 40% of the world will face a water deficit by 2030. “If we are serious about limiting global temperature increases to below 2°C and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, we must act immediately,” said Gilbert F. Houngbo, chair of UN Water. “There are solutions for managing water and climate in a more coordinated manner and every sector of society has a role to play. We simply cannot afford to wait.” The UN report acknowledges that while most countries recognize water as a crucial issue, few have specific action plans about adapting policies to protect this resource. The report suggests that climate change funds be used more for adaptation and mitigation of water issues. Adaptation includes social and institutional measures, plus natural, technological and technical steps to lessen climate change-related damage. Mitigation refers to the actions humans must take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Wastewater treatment generates a high amount of emissions. Some countries — such as Peru, Mexico , Thailand and Jordan — have already harnessed the methane in untreated wastewater as biogas, which provides enough energy to run the treatment process. The UN report also mentions wetland protection, conservation agriculture techniques, reusing partially treated wastewater for industry and agriculture and fog capture as possible water management interventions. + UN World Water Development Report 2020 Image via Alex Hu

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UN releases World Water Development Report 2020

Low-impact summer retreat boasts solar panels and a green roof

March 9, 2020 by  
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Seattle-based firm Heliotrope Architects has just completed work on a gorgeous summer home located on Orcas Island, off the coast of Washington state. Not only does the North Beach house boast a stunning aesthetic, but it is low-impact and uses several sustainable features, such as solar power and a green roof , to enable the home to be almost completely self-sustaining. The stunning, 2,400-square-foot North Beach home is located on the island’s stunning waterfront, tucked between a natural forest of fir trees on one side and an open meadow on the other. Framed in wide steel columns, the single-story house sits quietly in the landscape, clad in walls of glass that open the residence up to amazing views. Related: Green-roofed beachfront home fully embraces its coastal surroundings The house features a contemporary but cozy interior design. White walls and wooden flooring run throughout the dwelling. Walls comprised of sliding glass doors bring in natural light while also enabling the homeowners to truly feel connected with the outdoors. Several outdoor spaces, such as an open-air deck with a large dining table, further embed the home into its surroundings and promote indoor-outdoor living. Intended to be a summer home used from May through October, the design uses several sustainable features to make it self-sustaining for those months. A solar array was installed above the adjacent vegetable garden shed in order to provide energy to the home, while solar collectors on the roof are used to heat hot water and provide hydronic heating. Additionally, a lush green roof was installed with a rain harvesting system that collects rainwater to be used for irrigation. According to the architects, these systems have been designed to “zero-out” electricity use over the course of a full year. + Heliotrope Architects Photography via Sean Airhart via Heliotrope Architects

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Low-impact summer retreat boasts solar panels and a green roof

A long weekend in nature at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

February 17, 2020 by  
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Twenty-five people walk through the hemlock forest on snowshoes. We’re close together, but move quietly in a line, going fast enough that we’re sweating on a 32-degree January morning. Eventually, we come to a brook, and Katie Hagel, an outdoor leader for the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, tells us to find our own quiet contemplation spot. We disperse, leaning against trees, sitting on logs or sprawling in patches of snow, snowshoes splayed at ungainly angles. We breathe the cold air and listen to water moving beneath the brook’s layer of ice. After a few minutes, Hagel gently hoots like an owl to let us know it’s time to reassemble. Our mindful time in nature is part of a snowshoeing and yoga program at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Kripalu sits on ancestral Stockbridge Munsee Mohican land overlooking Lake Mahkeenac, with views stretching across the southern Berkshires. Black bears, eastern coyotes, fishers, deer, porcupines, bobcats and bald eagles all call this land home. Related: Truly get away from it all at this gorgeous eco-resort and yoga retreat In 1893, banker Anson Phelps Stokes built Shadowbrook, his 100-room mansion, on this land. Later, it was home to a Jesuit monastery. But in 1983, the property’s purpose turned to yoga . Devotees of Swami Kripalu, an Indian yoga master who spent the last years of his life in the U.S., bought the property as an ashram. Since then, it’s evolved into one of the country’s largest yoga centers, with more than 40,000 guests per year and nearly 500 workers on staff. People come for professional training in yoga and Ayurveda as well as for short programs, like my snowshoeing and yoga weekend, and personal retreats. A weekend at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health When I arrived at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health at 10 p.m. on a Friday, I wasn’t expecting to have to wait in line to check into my room. But such is people’s desire for retreat from big city life. Many of the folks I met were from New York City , although some came as far as Texas or Arizona and others lived within 50 miles of the property. Many were repeat visitors seeking a tranquil getaway. Despite there being so many people onsite, Kripalu does a good job of letting people be sociable or quiet, as needed. The meals are all served buffet-style in the enormous dining room. Breakfast is a silent meal, but lunch and dinner can get raucous. Fortunately, a separate, small, silent dining room provides refuge for those seeking quiet. While Kripalu’s rooms are comfortable, this is not a luxury resort. My top-of-the-line private room included two single beds, good reading lights and a lovely bathtub. It was overwhelmingly plain; only two pillows decorated with hot pink flowers perked up the interior. No art on the wall underlined the contemplation-over-decoration philosophy. My room was in the Annex , an award-winning green building designed by Peter Rose + Partners. The Annex features hydronic radiant heating and cooling, a green roof and an overall smaller footprint due to clever design. Kripalu helps people take a break from technology by banning electronics in most areas. There’s an area for silent use and a Wi-Fi Lounge for those talking on the phone or otherwise making noise. You can also use electronics in your room — but only if you have a private room. Many people of all ages take advantage of the more affordable option of sharing a dorm. Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health connects nature and wellness Kripalu makes the most of its location by offering programs that combine yoga with hiking, kayaking , snowshoeing and wilderness survival. A yoga summer camp for adults includes paddling, hiking, nature observation and art. Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership In 2018, Kripalu founded the School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership to train guides to incorporate mindfulness techniques into outdoor activities. People who want to become mindful outdoor leaders can take two nine-day training modules combining yoga, Ayurveda, forest bathing , outdoor skills and the study of nature’s benefits for health. Level one focuses on basics, including leading a storytelling and sharing circle called Council. Level two delves deeper into survival skills, building fires and studying geology, flora, fauna and navigation with Mass Audubon. Participants also forage for wild teas. Related: Doctor’s orders — 2 hours in nature boosts mental health, study says As my snowshoeing leader Hagel explained, “Students in the Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership spend the entirety of the training immersed in nature, deepening their connection with land, place and the more-than-human world. My hope is that graduates of this program will return home with a personal practice of deep nature connection and the skills necessary to safely guide others to get outside, receive the many healing benefits of nature and support the health of the planet through mindful engagement with the living earth.” If people feel more connected to nature, she said, they are likelier to act as caretakers of the Earth. Guides learn to share the natural world with guests while inviting group reflection and participation through open-ended questions. “An effective mindful outdoor guide is someone who has a practice of paying close attention to their surroundings and is able to share their own curiosity and passion for life with others,” said Micah Mortali , founder of Kripalu’s outdoor leadership program and author of Rewilding: Meditations, Practices and Skills for Awakening in Nature.  “This means that while remaining present, they are able to manage time, safety and group process while out in the field.” During my visit, we had a snowstorm and below-freezing temperatures. So we bundled up when leaving the building but practiced yoga inside. In warmer months, leaders like to take yoga outside. “Yoga was traditionally an outdoor activity,” Mortali said. “It is only in recent decades that yoga has become an indoor pursuit. Like most aspects of modern society, yoga has migrated indoors as modern people have become divorced from the life forces moving on their local lands.” He pointed out that yoga shapes depict animal forms, trees and mountains, things we see in nature. “The Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership seeks to find the source of yoga, the place where the original inspiration came from, and we have found that to be out there.” + Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health Photography by Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat

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A long weekend in nature at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

Sail your cares away in this incredible floating villa near Sydney

October 8, 2019 by  
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Nothing says romance like floating down a calm waterway while taking in the sound of bird calls from the shores. If you’re in the mood for a romantic getaway near Sydney , this incredible floating villa is the perfect choice. The tiny retreat features enough space for two lovebirds, who can spend their days watching the world go by from a glorious open-air deck. Ready to set sail along the pristine coastline of Palm Beach, New South Wales, this beautiful, two-story floating villa makes for a dream glamping retreat. The structure is compact but comes with a stunning, modern design that makes the space seem much bigger. Related: Sail away from it all in this gorgeous floating tiny home The interior of the floating home features a large living area on the first floor that opens up to the structure’s most impressive space, the outdoor deck. From here, guests can enjoy stunning views of the cliffs and wild landscapes found along the coast of Palm Beach. The deck comes with plenty of seating space and a barbecue, where you can cook shrimp on the, well, you know. Throughout the interior, guests will feel right at home thanks to contemporary furnishings and amenities. The living space welcomes in plenty of natural light through various windows and the folding glass doors that open up to the deck . The living area even comes with a nice fireplace for those chilly nights. A compact bathroom nearby includes a full-sized shower and toiletries. Additionally, the home comes with a kitchenette, which comes with all of the basics to whip up a tasty meal: an oven, a stove, a microwave and a fridge. The master bedroom is located on the sleeping loft, accessible via a narrow staircase. The pitched roof adds extra vertical space for the bedroom, which comes with a plush, king-sized bed and quality linens. Guests to the tiny villa will enjoy a healthy breakfast each morning as well as a 24-hour concierge service. For active travelers, the accommodation also comes with the use of the stand-up paddleboards and fishing gear. + Glamping Hub Images via Glamping Hub

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Sail your cares away in this incredible floating villa near Sydney

This bold, tiny retreat in Ontario measures just 100 square feet

September 27, 2019 by  
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When you want to keep a building footprint small, sometimes the only way to go is up. The Red Tower tiny retreat is a 10 foot by 10 foot tower that feels much larger than its tight square footage thanks to a vertical design and its vast surroundings of remote wilderness in Ontario. With a spacious outdoor deck to enjoy, the glamping retreat is the perfect location for anyone looking to enjoy all that nature has to offer. The bright red tiny house is located in the town of Castleton, less than an hour from Belleville, Ontario. Surrounded by lush forest, the tower sits on a small hill with a large outdoor deck, which serves as the main living area for the retreat. Related: Energy-efficient ‘tiny tower’ home is organized like a full-scale skyscraper Inside the tower, the living space is compact but spacious enough for two guests. The interior is lined with wooden flooring and walls, giving the space a warm, cabin feel . On the first floor, guests can take advantage of a comfortable lounge space as well as a kitchenette, which comes equipped with a toaster oven, a hotplate and a microwave. The bedroom is found on the second-level sleeping loft . Guests will find a double bed with linens provided. For personal care, there is an outhouse with an outdoor sink and open-air shower facility just a short walk away from the tiny home. The rustic retreat is suited for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life. The dual lounge chairs on the extended front deck are just the place to cuddle up with a good book. There is also a small dinette set for dining al fresco and a fun hightop bar area for after-dinner toddies. The Castleton area is known for its picturesque landscapes of rolling hills and forests, which offer a lot in terms of active travel. In the area around the tiny tower, there are plenty of trails for hiking and biking. The location is just a 25 minute drive to Lake Ontario, where guests to the tiny home retreat can explore the marsh, soak up some sun at the beach and enjoy long walks in the natural meadows. + Red Tower Via Glamping Hub Images via Glamping Hub

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This bold, tiny retreat in Ontario measures just 100 square feet

Green-roofed Hanging Villa is embedded into a lush jungle landscape

February 4, 2019 by  
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Architect Tonny Wirawan Suriajaja of Jakarta-based design firm TWS & Partners has created a spacious family retreat that takes advantage of its verdant and paradise-like valley setting in more ways than one. Tucked into the side of a lush mountain far away from snarling traffic in Bandung, the capital of Indonesia’s West Java province, Hanging Villa is an urban respite that boasts spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and harnesses solar gain and cross breezes for natural heating and cooling. To integrate the building into the landscape, mainly natural materials and an earthy color palette were used to enhance the surrounding view. Commissioned by a client who values large family gatherings as well as personal space, Hanging Villa includes a mix of large communal areas and separate private spaces. The multi-level building consists of a series of stacked volumes rotated on their corner axes to optimize views in multiple directions. The outdoor spaces — such as the accessible green roof , roof deck and outdoor pool — have also been created to accommodate larger groups and various events. To seamlessly connect the interiors with the exterior spaces, the architects used timber and other natural materials to dress the interiors and also installed full-height glazing throughout. The building has also been strategically oriented to optimize views and access to natural light and natural cross ventilation. Meanwhile, insulating glass and other materials help prevent heat loss without creating indoor humidity. Related: This contemporary light-filled home feels like an extension of Bali’s tropics “The design creates a healthy indoor environment quality by adequate ventilation , which leads to the increase of comfort and health benefits for the occupants,” the firm explained. “The shallow pool function as an element that produces a cool refreshing breeze as the wind flows into the building while benefiting the occupant by reducing the operating cost of using air-conditioner.” + TWS & Partners Via ArchDaily Photography by Fernando Gomulya via TWS & Partners

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Green-roofed Hanging Villa is embedded into a lush jungle landscape

Disconnect in this serene tiny home tucked into a coastal sheep farm in New Zealand

February 1, 2019 by  
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Tiny homes around the world offer guests stunning views and relaxing atmospheres, but this studio-style tiny retreat in New Zealand is right up the alley for anyone looking to reconnect with nature. Located in Akara, South Island, the compact, pitched-roof cabin has a floor-to-ceiling glass wall to provide stunning views of the rolling green landscape that leads out to the sea. If that’s not enough, the open-air front patio features a large cedar hot tub for watching the sun go down after a nice day of surfing in the bay. Located just 30 minutes from Akara, South Island, this charming tiny cottage is tucked into a coastal sheep farm just steps away from beautiful Little Akaloa Bay. To get to the property, guests must make their way on a five-minute stroll through scenic native bush. Nestled into the tall trees and rolling green landscape, the tiny home is a welcoming beacon. Related: This geometric cabin in Slovenia is a perfect romantic getaway for nature-lovers The tiny studio sleeps just two people, with a double-sized bed that folds up when not in use. There is a small kitchenette and bathroom. The home is kept warm and toasty during the chilly months thanks to a wood-burning stove. The massive, floor-to-ceiling glass wall looks out from the interior, providing stunning, unobstructed views all day long. Of course, at the heart of the retreat is the outdoor space, which includes an open-air deck. There’s a barbecue grill and small dinette set for meals, as well as plenty of seating and a hammock for just taking in the views. However, the best place to relax in and around the tiny cabin is definitely the round cedar hot tub. The picturesque area is the perfect spot for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts or those simply wanting a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Guests will be able to enjoy the beautiful remote bays that surround the beautiful property by renting the surfboards, paddle boards and fishing equipment available. + Glamping Hub Tiny Home Rental Via Tiny House Talk Images via Glamping Hub  

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Disconnect in this serene tiny home tucked into a coastal sheep farm in New Zealand

Minimalist cabin in the Netherlands allows glampers to relax in style

November 16, 2018 by  
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From fancy safari tents to futuristic pods , there are various levels of glamping these days. But for those looking to get back to basics without sacrificing style, the De Grote Beer cabin located on a remote island in the Netherlands is right up your alley. Designed by Depot Rotterdam , the minimalist cabin is clad in black-washed wood with large glazed facades that allow guests to immerse themselves in the stunning nature that surrounds the site. Located on the breathtaking Terschelling Island, the two-bedroom, one-bath cabin  is a serene retreat that lets people disconnect while reconnecting with nature. The interior has a fully-functioning kitchen space and a welcoming dining and living area that opens up to an outdoor deck via large sliding glass doors. The interior design features a modern, minimalist color and materials palette, and the entire cabin runs on green electricity. Related: Gorgeous “glamping” eco-cabins help you reconnect with nature in luxury The two bedrooms are designed with simple wood walls, white ceilings and large windows that not only provide natural light but also stunning views. There is a master bedroom with a double bed and a second bedroom with bunk beds. The second bedroom also has a fabulous dome that allows guests to enjoy a bit of stargazing as they drift off to sleep. From the living space, guests can easily walk out onto the large, open-air deck. Wrapping around the front of the cabin with an exterior wood-burning fireplace, this deck is the heart of the retreat . A large sitting area with a table can be used for dining, playing games, reading or simply taking in the fresh air. The De Grote Beer cabin, which can be rented through Boutique Homes , starts at €87 per night. + De Grote Beer + Depot Rotterdam Via Dwell Photography by  Claudia Otten Photography via De Grote Beer

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Minimalist cabin in the Netherlands allows glampers to relax in style

This elegant vacation retreat rises from the pink earth in Mexico

August 29, 2018 by  
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Mexican design studio Taller Héctor Barroso crafted a cluster of pinkish holiday homes that appear to emerge straight out of the earth. Dubbed Entre Pinos in reference to the surrounding pine forest, this modern vacation retreat derives its natural appearance from local soil that covers the exterior and interior brick walls. The soil was  recycled from the onsite excavations for burying the foundations, and it blends the buildings into the landscape. Located in the idyllic town of Valle de Bravo, two hours west of Mexico City , Entre Pinos comprises five identical weekend houses arranged in a row to follow the site’s sloping topography. Covering an area of 1,700 square meters, the homes were built from local materials, including timber, brick and earth. Each weekend home consists of six smaller volumes arranged around a central patio. The volumes toward the north are more solid and introverted, while those to the south open up to embrace the garden, forest and sunshine, which penetrates deep inside the buildings. The communal areas, as well as one of the bedrooms, are arranged on the ground floor and connect to the outdoors through terraces and patios. Three bedrooms can be found on the top floor and frame views of the pines through large windows. The Entre Pinos project recently received a 2018 AZ Award in the category ‘Best in Architecture – Residential Single Family Residential Interiors.’ Related: This gabled home wraps around an existing pine tree in Mexico “The firm led by architect Hector Barroso seeks to generate architectural proposals that manage to merge with their environment, taking advantage of the natural resources of each place: the influence of light and shadows, the surrounding vegetation, the composition of the land and the geographic,” reads the project statement. “Thanks to this, the projects merge in harmony with the environment that surrounds them, creating spaces that emphasize the habitable quality of the architecture.” + Taller Héctor Barroso Images by Rory Gardiner

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This elegant vacation retreat rises from the pink earth in Mexico

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