August 28, 2014
In an increasingly urbanized society, vertical building has become the MO, but if you have the space, consider building outwards instead. These low-slung structures are easy on the knees and on the eyes.
Miller House in Columbus, Indiana

In 1952, a trio of modernist masterminds collaborated on a low-slung home in Columbus, Indiana, for the late industrialist J. Irwin Miller. Eero Saarinen designed the building, Alexander Girard coordinated the interiors, and Dan Kiley handled the landscape architecture. Open to the public since May 2011, the space is now owned and cared for by the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen
1 / 10
Compact prefab clad in Cor-Ten steel and cedar

Karen Kiest's plot of land on Marrowstone Island, Washington, suffered from a dearth of buildable space. Rather than building up, she chose a horizontal prefab structure designed by Chris Pardo for Method Homes that feels spacious thanks to an open interior plan and a sprawling wooden deck.

Courtesy of 
Alpinfoto/Joshua R. Wells
Originally appeared in Compact, Light-Filled Prefab
2 / 10
Two Black Sheds incorporates all the conventional aspects of a weekend retreat in a rather unconventional way.

A lakeside retreat on Madeline Island, Wisconsin, consists of a bifurcated cabin centered on a plinth. Dubbed “Two Black Sheds” (for obvious reasons), the unique island getaway sits low amidst the surrounding four and half acres of forest.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Off the Beaten Path
3 / 10
“There’s a lot of horse talk here, and with this place there is plenty of opportunity for interaction. My horses can play Mister Ed and join right in,” says Kropach. Her inquisitive Andalusian steeds regularly socialize with guests via sliding windows alo

A steel-and-glass residence 100 miles south of Brisbane, Australia, nestles neatly into the hinterland near the surfing mecca of Byron Bay. Its stretched veranda form contains a bright, open interior.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Green Acres
4 / 10
desert house exterior

A horizontal prefab prototype designed by Marmol Radziner and Associates is a perfect match for the sprawling desert landscape of southern California, where you don’t have to be high up to get a breathtaking view of the distant mountains.

Originally appeared in 5 Prefab Desert Homes
5 / 10
modern design prefab sunset facade outdoor connect homes

The simple, open floor plan of a hillside prefab home in Sonoma, California, is well suited to its 87-year-old resident.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Accessible Modern Prefab in Northern California
6 / 10

On the east coast of Denmark, just ten miles south of Århus, a summer retreat occupies a pastoral plot of land with an overgrown garden and rolling hill. The exterior of the one-story house is clad in horizontal wood panels that give the building an elongated appearance.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Cinematic Retreat
7 / 10
Modern small sustainable weekend home with flat roof

A low-lying weekend retreat in Sonoma County consists of two simple, flat-roofed volumes that form a T-shape. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Sustainable Glass House in Sonoma
8 / 10
White brick exterior of Goddard and Mandolene’s home post-renovation.

Thanks to a bit of elbow grease and a lot of vision, the near-derelict 1957 home of architect Arthur Witthoefft was restored to its former glory. The 25-by-95-foot rectangle, composed of a black steel frame, white glazed brick, and floor-to-ceiling sliders, is a charming example of Miesian simplicity.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Mod Men
9 / 10
The Hupert-Kinmont house lies low in a century-old apple orchard, far from neighboring houses. The spaciousness of the rural surroundings is echoed inside.

In Sebastopol, California, a welcoming family home lies low in a century-old apple orchard, far from neighboring houses. The teenage son gets around via a power wheelchair, so the single-story structure was designed to be completely accessible, inside and out.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Fertile Grounds
10 / 10
Miller House in Columbus, Indiana

In 1952, a trio of modernist masterminds collaborated on a low-slung home in Columbus, Indiana, for the late industrialist J. Irwin Miller. Eero Saarinen designed the building, Alexander Girard coordinated the interiors, and Dan Kiley handled the landscape architecture. Open to the public since May 2011, the space is now owned and cared for by the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Photo by Leslie Williamson.

You May Also Like

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...