These four pairs of modern dwellings and their past counterparts explore the evolution of architectural styles through the ages.
When settlers first made their homes on the prairies of North America, the sod house was the prevalent form of architecture because wood wasn’t readily available. Settlers cut patches of sod into long rectangles and layered them together to form small huts. Photo via schmidt-thesman.blogspot.com
Today, builders in Europe and the U.S. alike are revisiting the idea of the sod house by putting green roofs on modern homes. Early settlers appreciated the insulation that sod provides, and it remains an ecologically friendly way to control temperature; the green-roofed house pictured here, from the Dwell story, “Highly Sod After,” saves its owners “about 25 percent per year in climate-energy costs.”
Traditional Inuit culture involved cutting blocks of snow to build igloos, which held in body heat to combat the frigid climate of the Arctic Tundra. Photo via windows2universe.org
The igloo village at Hotel Kakslauttanen in Finland is a modern-day twist on these traditional snow structures. Between December and April, visitors can stay in an igloo of their own; the thermal glass roofs of the igloos pictured allow for late-night viewing of the Northern lights from the comfort of a warm bed. Photo via http://www.kakslauttanen.fi
In the early 20th century, trading barges like this one were in common use in the Netherlands. Traditionally, when their owners retired, these watercraft would be moored and used as family homes. Photo via lifeafloat.com
Recently, the Netherlands has witnessed a resurgence in houseboat popularity. In March 2010, Dwell published the story of a family of four living on a moored houseboat on an Amsterdam canal, and they can attest to the luxury of the lifestyle.
Taos Pueblo in Taos, New Mexico, has been the home of a Native American community for over 700 years. Built from adobe —a durable mixture of earth, water, and straw — the houses pictured here are still home to about 150 Pueblo Indians today. Photo via National Geographic
As featured in the July/August 2013 issue of Dwell Magazine, Roger and Mary Downey’s Corrales, New Mexico, home pays homage to the historical use of adobe in the Southwest.