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December 11, 2013
Clinging to their precarious sloping lots, these houses rise to challenging building sites.
Modern Treehouse home in Seattle, Washington

A supposedly impossible site was the perfect plot for architect Prentis Hale (pictured) and Tracy Edmonds, who were searching for some sort of break that would afford them the chance to build their own home. Stilting the house over the steep hill gives them direct access to nature while still being located just a ten-minute drive from downtown Seattle. Photo by Philip Newton.

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Originally appeared in A New Slant
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Great room in seattle

The first-floor great room is where all the action takes place. “It’s like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian homes: everyone in one main space,” Hale says. Photo by Philip Newton.

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Originally appeared in A New Slant
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An affordably built New Zealand house features a promenade—playfully dubbed "the wharf"—that extends over a nearby ravine.

Originally appeared in Affordable Hillside Home in New Zealand
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The second-story viewing platform was born from an onsite discovery. After framing the first level, Patch Work Architecture noticed a vista to the west and decided to add a window. Photo by Paul McCredie.

Originally appeared in Affordable Hillside Home in New Zealand
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The Arnolds’ bedroom and living area float over the hillside, the large windows allowing light to flood in from both sides. A bamboo-enclosed deck sits atop the house’s foundation.

In a leafy residential area a few miles from downtown Kansas City, Missouri, an enterprising architect saw opportunity where others saw trouble. He took a sloping, triangular lot and designed a new home for his growing family—an open, tree house–like structure on stilts that hovers at the quirky edge of a conventional neighborhood. Photo by Mike Sinclair.

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Originally appeared in A Lot to Love
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Julie, James, and Christian enjoy an unexpected bonus of living in a house on stilts—–a pair of swings suspended from the base of the structure. The family often goes for walks on the property, looking for wildlife and playing in the tepee they built in a

The residents enjoy an unexpected bonus of living in a house on stilts—–a pair of swings suspended from the base of the structure. The family often goes for walks on the property, looking for wildlife and playing in the tepee they built in a secluded space in the woods. Photo by Mike Sinclair.

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Originally appeared in A Lot to Love
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Modern sustainable house by the beach

Casa Cuatro sits above a 180-foot cliff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The locally quarried stone makes the house blend in with the landscape and acts as a thermal-mass wall, absorbing heat during the day and releasing it through the evening. Photo by Cristobal Palma.

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Originally appeared in Tunquen Treasure
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Sustainable house side view with thermal-mass wall and stilt construction

A side view shows off the thermal-mass wall (to the left) and the stilt construction. "The ridge floor is so fragile; we didn't want to touch it and disturb the landscape," architect Nick Foster says. As a bonus, the air circulating underneath helps naturally cool the house. Photo by Cristobal Palma.

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Originally appeared in Tunquen Treasure
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The Tinbeerwah house and studio keep a low profile among the site’s eucalyptus trees.

An unvisited ocean-facing plot of land, a couple of architect neighbors, and one giant leap of faith have netted a pair of erstwhile Londoners a dream home of their own in northeast Australia. Photo by Richard Powers.

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Originally appeared in Hillside Family Home in Australia
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The open-plan living room was inspired by the couple’s previous residence, a London loft. The paintings are by Dunlop. The louvered floor-to-ceiling windows, ceiling fan, and sliding deck doors usher in sea breezes and encourage good air circulation. Photo by Richard Powers.

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Modern Treehouse home in Seattle, Washington

A supposedly impossible site was the perfect plot for architect Prentis Hale (pictured) and Tracy Edmonds, who were searching for some sort of break that would afford them the chance to build their own home. Stilting the house over the steep hill gives them direct access to nature while still being located just a ten-minute drive from downtown Seattle. Photo by Philip Newton.

Photo by Philip Newton.

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