This Swedish guesthouse was built with modern sensibilities and centuries-old techniques; the pine forest around the complex provided the architects with their color scheme.
On Puget Sound, activist and filmmaker Anna Hoover collaborated with Les Eerkes, a principal at Olson Kundig Architects, on a 693-square-foot studio in the woods. Using freecycled materials and a six-footed foundation to rein in construction costs, Hoover and Eerkes created a distinctive structure that treads lightly on the land.
With a construction budget of less than $200 per square foot, architect Les Eerkes (with the mentorship of Tom Kunding) looked for ways to build the structure efficiently. He specified glulam—glued laminated timber—for the structure and spanned the skeleton with structurally insulated floor and roof panels. The structure is stationed atop a six-column foundation. "The 'six-footed' solution was balanced against a spread footing and stem wall approach," Eerkes says. "Cost analysis led us in the direction of the column footing approach because it minimized excavation and form work costs."
Seeking simplicity and open space, this Boulder-area couple settled on a wooded hilltop with views of the mountains and the city. Set amongst the trees, with its simple form and earthy adherence to wood, the home fits in well.
This 191-square-foot cabin near Vancouver and its glass facades "forces you to engage with the bigger landscape," architect Tom Kundig says, but it seals up tight when its owner is away. The unfinished steel cladding slides over the windows, turning it into a protected bunker.
Built on a challenging hillside site and tucked behind a thicket of trees, the Bridgman, Michigan, house designed by Scott Rappe provides a modern weekend retreat for a Chicago couple.
The bank of windows on the rear facade faces a lush hillside. "The prototypical country house wants to look over and out on the land," says Rappe. "This house looks at the slope upward. It makes for a different sense of space." Rappe was very careful to ensure that the house would not be visible from the existing properties and that neighboring houses would not be visible from within his design. "We wanted to do a home that was attractive to our clients but not too obtrusive to neighbors," he adds. "We wanted to be good modernists."
Avid outdoors enthusiasts, a couple was looking to build a modest year-round retreat in Washington’s Cascade Mountains in order to make the most of the region’s vast network of hiking and cross-country skiing trails. But extreme weather conditions posed a challenge. Located in the Methow Valley near Winthrop, Washington, the area can reach thirty degrees below zero and experience three to four feet of snow in winter, and up to 110 degrees and dry conditions in summer. Balance Associates worked to create an 850-square-foot cabin with commanding views that's well-adapted to the region.
While it was tempting to embed the cabin into the hillside, Balance Associates sought a smarter solution. By elevating the project on two concrete walls, the clients could avoid a costly foundation, improve their view of the landscape, and stay above the thick winter snowfall.
This A-frame home in Bear Valley, California, is both rustic and modern, especially with its orange shutters.