A modern vacation retreat is embedded into the rolling hills of southern Portugal

January 24, 2019 by  
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Tucked into the rolling meadows of Southern Portugal’s Alentejo region, a beautiful 2,691-square-foot vacation home holds court in an idyllic area that is perfect for disconnecting from the hustle and bustle of city life. The Cercal House, designed by Lisbon-based studio Atelier Data , boasts a Mediterranean style that is embedded into the landscape in order to blend in seamlessly with the natural environment. One of the most complicated challenges for the architects was the site’s problematic topography. Located on land separated by a river, the dry terrain is sloped on each side. Taking this challenge to heart, the designers decided to use the slanted landscape to their advantage by implanting the structure into the landscape’s natural shape while reducing its impact on the land. Related: Atelier Data transforms an old horse stable into a simple but stunning home in Portugal Embedding the home into the landscape provided an  energy-efficient advantage to the home while also adding a solar orientation that would reduce the home’s energy use. Additionally, the site can capture the best views of the home’s expansive pastoral setting. Wanting to meld the design into this setting, the architects created a structure that mimicked a traditional gable-house silhouette, but they added a modern touch in the form of four square cut-outs on one side of the roof. These openings not only allow for a subtle connection to the landscape but also provide an abundance of natural light and air ventilation to flow throughout the home’s interior. Jutting out from the interior living space is a large, open-air patio with polished concrete floors, and this space frames the picture-perfect views. In fact, four open-air patios are located at each corner of the home, which has three bedrooms that are arranged in a square layout. Further connecting the home with its surroundings is a beautiful infinity pool built at land level. + Atelier Data Via Dwell Photography by Richard John Seymour via Atelier Data

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A modern vacation retreat is embedded into the rolling hills of southern Portugal

Stunning Costa Rican beach home uses passive features to stay cool

October 25, 2018 by  
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Located mere steps away from idyllic white sand beaches on one side and a coconut grove on the other, this beach house designed by Studio Saxe is giving us major home envy. Situated on Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline, the spacious 3,250-square-foot Villa Akoya’s beautiful aesthetic hides several passive strategies designed to reduce the home’s energy use and impact on the environment. The breathtaking location serves as the principal inspiration for the design. Built using traditional cinder block construction, the one-story home was was raised off the ground to create a continuous sight line with the ocean views. This feature also helped reduce the footprint on the landscape . Related: Triangular beachfront home is a dreamy retreat buried in the earth The beach house’s dimensions are divided into four separate horizontal roof planes that slant slightly upward, covering each of the three bedrooms plus the main living area. This strategy creates distinct volumes within the structure. Additionally, the flat wooden roofs extend out over the exterior walls to create large overhang extensions that shade the interior while creating several indoor-outdoor living spaces around the exterior. The interior layout includes several spaces that are open to the exterior, creating a seamless connection between the indoors and outdoors. All of the bedrooms have their own outdoor spaces, and an all-glass wall in the living room slides completely open, leading to a wooden deck and a swimming pool . Concealed within the design are several passive features to create an energy-efficient beach house. The “elevated” roof lines create a natural system of air ventilation, cooling the home in the hot summer months. The abundance of windows and glass doors brighten the interior during the day, further reducing the need for electricity. The home also operates on solar-generated hot water and has a gray water system. + Studio Saxe Via Archdaily Photography by Andres Garcia Lachner via Studio Saxe

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Stunning Costa Rican beach home uses passive features to stay cool

Net-zero Sawmill House is 100% self sufficient in California’s high desert

June 28, 2018 by  
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Building a comfortable self-sufficient dwelling is no easy task, especially when in a harsh climate. But when Seattle-based firm Olson Kundig was tapped to design an off-grid home in the high desert in California, the architects rose to the challenge and delivered an elegant, net-zero dwelling known as the Sawmill House. Located in Tehachapi, California, the Sawmill House serves as a family retreat that weathers the harsh climate with durable materials and sustainable strategies. Completed in 2014, the Sawmill House is named after the valley in which it resides—a scrubby and remote landscape that had been used for mining, ranching and logging. In a departure from the site’s past, the homeowners wanted a family retreat with minimal environmental disturbance that would “give back to the land, rather than take from it.” With that guiding principle in mind, Olson Kundig crafted a self-sustaining, net-zero  vacation home that maximized connections between the indoors and outdoors. Spread out across 4,200 square feet, the Sawmill House is built mainly of concrete blocks, steel and glass, materials chosen for their durability against the harsh and fire-prone landscape. The living space with a central hearth marks the heart of the off-grid home and features a stunning 12-by-26-foot window wall that completely retracts with a few turns of the wheel, opening up the interior to the outdoor patio . The three bedrooms are housed in the three wings that branch off from the central living space. The longer wing, which houses the master bedroom, also includes the kitchen and dining area. Related: Floating Olson Kundig home makes way for Washington wildlife “Tough as nails, Sawmill is made from durable materials that can withstand the harsh climate, where fires are a major hazard in summer and winters are extremely cold,” says Olson Kundig Architects. “The design approach was driven by a scavenger mentality, seeking always to do more with less, including using salvaged and recycled materials whenever possible.” The home is powered with a photovoltaic solar array and comes with backup propane and generator; water is supplied by an on-site well. + Olson Kundig Images by Gabe Border and Kevin Scott / Olson Kundig

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Net-zero Sawmill House is 100% self sufficient in California’s high desert

A Michigan farmhouse is reborn as a beautiful modern vacation retreat

June 20, 2018 by  
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A city-dwelling family in need of rural respite reached out to Von Weise Associates to make their country escape a reality. In response, the Chicago-based architecture firm delivered a stunning modern getaway that fully embraces the rural vernacular with a sensitive renovation of an existing farmhouse and barn. Located in the southeast Michigan township of Sawyer near Lake Michigan, the Retreat House consists of a new single-family house and adjacent studio for the artistic couple. In designing the home’s layout, Von Weise Associates took cues from the layouts of traditional farms , where the different functions were typically located in different buildings. In much the same way, the retreat conceptually places the different living spaces — including the sleeping, cooking and work areas — into separate volumes. Anchoring the home is the kitchen , dining area and living space housed within the refurbished old barn with a striking gambrel roof and soaring arched ceilings. The light-filled great room opens up to an adjacent screened porch. The original farmhouse was gut- renovated into an artist’s painting studio and sleeping loft. Large windows and skylights flood the interiors with natural light, while the reflective whitewashed walls emphasize a bright and airy feel throughout. Modern and unfussy furnishings, natural timber and a rusty-red painted exterior help tie the building to its rustic past. Related: Solar-powered forever home is a modern take on the rustic farmhouse “All portions of the house have a close relationship to the ground, making the landscape a vital part of the program,” Von Weise Architects said. “The orientation of the house creates multiple outdoor living spaces, plus a gardening area. The landscape and the orientation of the structures set up layers of space that moves from the public way to privacy of the house. The most private space beyond the house embraces the expansive wooded site on three sides.” + Von Weise Associates Images by Steve Hall

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A Michigan farmhouse is reborn as a beautiful modern vacation retreat

Escape the everyday in this Geodesic Dome House in Palm Springs

May 19, 2018 by  
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Inspired by 20th-century architect R. Buckminster Fuller , architect Pavlina Williams transformed a decrepit dome house in Palm Springs into a dreamy retreat that channels bohemian and mid-century modern vibes. Now available as a vacation rental on Boutique Homes , the Geodesic Dome House offers stunning desert views on a private five-acre lot. Keep reading for a peek inside. Pavlina  and her husband Carter worked on their passion project on weekends and completed the renovation in a year. The key to the redesign was opening up the interior to natural light; Pavlina ordered custom windows from Home Depot to create a band of glazing for panoramic views . For a more modern appearance, Pavlina and Carter ripped up the existing flooring to expose the structural slab, which they then polished. Related: Couple spent seven years handcrafting their dream geodesic home In contrast to its bohemian exterior, the interior is bright and airy with a mid-century modern aesthetic in homage to the movement’s impact on Palm Springs . When asked by Boutique Homes about her favorite part of the home, Pavlina replied, “The location and the views. It’s five acres — and you hardly see the neighbors. You’re in the middle of nowhere. I mean that in a good way. You have the windmills all around you, so it feels like this is the end of the road, like you are here on your own. I love the desert, I love the mountains. In my mind, it’s really all about what’s around it.” The three-bedroom, 2.5-bath home accommodates up to six guests with rates starting at $245 a night . + Geodesic Dome House Images via Boutique Homes

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Escape the everyday in this Geodesic Dome House in Palm Springs

Disconnect in these A-frame tiny cabins in the Catskills

May 18, 2018 by  
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The Catskills area will soon welcome the Eastwind Hotel , a 1920s bunk house that has been converted into a gorgeous boutique hotel and accompanying tiny cabins. The space is geared toward outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy the lush Windham Mountain area. For those really looking to get back to nature, the hotel offers a series of tiny A-frame huts that provide guests with a solitary off-grid experience. The 14-by-14-foot Lushna Cabins are tucked into the landscape overlooking Windham Mountain — just a two hour drive north from New York City. With a simple aesthetic, the cabins are designed to return guests to nature. The huts are insulated to withstand the seasons, and each structure has a single window that offers  natural light and incredible views of the surroundings. Related: Couple builds tiny A-frame cabin in three weeks for only $700 The wooden cabins are equipped with a simple queen-sized bed with top-of-the-line linens, a wooden chest and plenty of wildlife journals to take while exploring the area. Visitors can also make use of the provided camping kits, complete with grilling equipment to use in the fire pits. The hotel’s goal is to meet the needs of all types of guests. For those who’d like a little bit more luxury, there are boutique suites that offer the best in amenities. Visitors will also be able to choose from various events and activities including outdoor movie screenings in summer, game nights in winter, concerts, classes and outdoor excursions. Eastwind Hotel & Bar is slated to open for business this June. + Eastwind Hotel & Bar Via Dwell Images via Eastwind Hotel & Bar

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Disconnect in these A-frame tiny cabins in the Catskills

Wartime bomb shelter conceals a tiny and unexpected vacation home

April 10, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Wartime bomb shelter conceals a tiny and unexpected vacation home Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: B-ILD , bomb shelter , bunker , Bunker pavilion by b-ILD , Cabanon de Vancances , concrete bunker , converted bomb shelter , Fort Vuren , holiday home , Le Corbusier , MERANTI plywood , the netherlands , vacation home , wartime bunker

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Wartime bomb shelter conceals a tiny and unexpected vacation home

This gorgeous bamboo (f)route POD is perfect for your glamping getaway

April 10, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of This gorgeous bamboo (f)route POD is perfect for your glamping getaway Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: (f)route pod , bamboo architecture , bamboo tent , camping , giant grass , glamping , handmade bamboo , Meditation Space , sustainable design , tent design

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This gorgeous bamboo (f)route POD is perfect for your glamping getaway

A Mathematical Formula Allows This Beautiful Wooden Home to Preserve the Surrounding Forest

August 8, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of A Mathematical Formula Allows This Beautiful Wooden Home to Preserve the Surrounding Forest Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: centrala architects , Podkowa House Warsaw , Polish architects , vacation home design , Voronoi architecture , Voronoi diagram , Voronoi house , wooden house

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A Mathematical Formula Allows This Beautiful Wooden Home to Preserve the Surrounding Forest

Peter Rose + Partners Unveil a Gorgeous Energy-Efficient Island Residence in Massachusetts

June 16, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Peter Rose + Partners Unveil a Gorgeous Energy-Efficient Island Residence in Massachusetts Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: boston architects , Boston architecture , energy efficient home , Island Residence Massachusetts , Massachusetts architecture , natural ventilation , operable glass panels , Peter Rose & Partners , rainwater harvesting , vacation home , weathering wood , wooden cladding , wooden facades

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Peter Rose + Partners Unveil a Gorgeous Energy-Efficient Island Residence in Massachusetts

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