written by:
July 17, 2013
You may not be able to get away from your desk today, but you can take a short visual vacation courtesy of these eight scenes from the Dwell archives. Picture yourself in any one of these amazing homes that inspire a nice deep breath and a sense of relaxation.
Modern sustainable house by the beach

TUNQUEN TREASURE

A set of solar panels, a wind-powered well, and passive sustainable strategies make living miles from municipal utilities a non-issue for this Chilean beachgoer. The 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: Cristóbal Palma

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Tunquen Treasure
1 / 9
Beach house living room view of outside

BACH TO THE BEACH

With authenticity and simplicity as their rallying cry, a Kiwi architect and his wife have built a modern beach house that puts a fresh spin on the local vernacular. The bach’s beachfront site is nestled behind sand dunes with views toward Kapiti Island, a nature sanctuary.

Photo by: Matthew Williams

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
matthew williams
Originally appeared in Bach to the Beach
2 / 9
sublime finishing touch coastal home

WOOD-CLAD SEASIDE RETREAT IN INDIA

It’s hard to believe that this idyllic house sited in a coastal coconut grove in Nandgaon, India, is a mere hour’s drive from bustling Mumbai. The pool that runs between the two structures of the home contrasts the choppy white-capped ocean with tranquil charm, making it a favorite spot for the vacationing family of four, who spend weekends here at the retreat.

Originally appeared in A Look at Waterfront Homes
3 / 9
The lake, seen from the pool. The patio doors are held open by rocks that Gomez-Pimienta collected on various pilgrimages: Taliesin West in Arizona, Chateau Neuf du Pape in France, and others.

REFLECTIONS ON A LAKE

Unobtrusively distinct from its neighbors, a weekend house in Mexico assimilates the colors of the surrounding landscape on surfaces of glass, steel, and concrete. The lake can be seen from the pool. The patio doors are held open by rocks that Gomez-Pimienta collected on various pilgrimages: Taliesin West in Arizona, Chateau Neuf du Pape in France, and others.

Photo by: Paco Perez / Alluro

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Reflections on a Lake
4 / 9
It’s mid-morning on the lanai. Cathy reads a Dr. Seuss book to Zane while Craig chats with a client about a project he’s working on back in San Francisco.

GO WITH THE FLOW

Along the ever-expanding coastline of Hawaii’s Big Island, an architect and his family exchange fast-paced city life for a different kind of flow—the geological kind. It’s mid-morning on the lanai. Cathy reads a Dr. Seuss book to Zane while Craig chats with a client about a project he’s working on back in San Francisco.

Photo by: Linny Morris

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Go With the Flow
5 / 9
Dougal James-Robertson explains that with all the glass doors open, the couple is “fully in touch with whatever’s happening naturally.” Contrary to what the image here portrays, this is not always a good thing, as the weather can pack a wallop with intens

INCLINED TO RELAX

Hidden on a hill overlooking Australia’s Pittwater Bay, Rob Brown’s design for the James-Robertson house happily opens itself (and its occupants) to all that Mother Nature can dish out.

Photo by: Richard Powers

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Inclined to Relax
6 / 9

FLOATING HOUSE, LAKE HURON

On the edge of a tiny island accessible only by boat, this buoyant summer home lives the life aquatic. Cedar slats mark the facade of Floating House, Doug and Becca Worple's lake house in Ontario.

Photo by: Raimund Koch

Originally appeared in 10 Modern Gables
7 / 9

ON THE ROCK

Katja and Adam Thom’s cabin, on an exposed postglacial archipelago in Canada’s windswept Georgian Bay, is more than eight miles from the nearest road. The house is perched in the midst of an astonishing landscape. The rocky islands here were violently scraped clean by glaciers more than ten thousand years ago.

Photo by: Mark Giglio

Photo by 
Originally appeared in On the Rock
8 / 9
The Stroj's son watches the Ocean.

CLIFFTOP HOUSE WITH ANGLED ROOF IN MAUI

With an angled roof designed to resemble the surrounding cliffs, a house in Maui, Hawaii, is built to meld with the landscape. The clients cite Frank Lloyd Wright’s Mrs. Clinton Walker House in Carmel, California, as a very loose inspiration for the design of their house. From the deck off the kitchen and living area, Miha, nine years old, takes in an uninterrupted view of the Pacific Ocean.

photo by: Cristóbal Palma

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Clifftop House with Angled Roof in Maui
9 / 9
Modern sustainable house by the beach

TUNQUEN TREASURE

A set of solar panels, a wind-powered well, and passive sustainable strategies make living miles from municipal utilities a non-issue for this Chilean beachgoer. The 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: Cristóbal Palma

Photo by Cristóbal Palma.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

Italian Apline home with double-height walls on one facade.
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
February 05, 2016
A built-in sofa with Design Tex upholstery marks the boundary between the two-level addition and the bungalow. Leading up to the master bedroom, a perforated metal staircase, lit from above, casts a Sigmar Polke–like shadow grid on the concrete floor.
From a minimalist Walter Gropius design to a curving sculptural stair, these six stairways run the gamut.
February 05, 2016
distant structure lakeside prefab norway facade stones green roof
Dwell has traveled all over the world, from Tasmania to Indonesia, to report on modern houses.
February 05, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment master bedroom atrium
Get ready for a weekend of rest with these sleepy, little cocoons.
February 05, 2016
lamp show 99 cent plus gallery 0
At Brooklyn's 99¢ Plus gallery, 30 artists and designers re-imagine the lamp in an illuminating light show.
February 04, 2016
Hidden storage stairwell with raw brass hardware
Having ample space to stow items is a daily struggle—peep these modern homes for some ideas on maximizing your square footage.
February 04, 2016
modern fairhaven beach house blackbutt eucalyptus living room Patricia Urquiola sofa
Whether it's along a coast in Australia or the French Alps, wood provides a natural touch in these interiors.
February 04, 2016
Glass and steel sculpture in Printemps store of Paris.
In the Paris' venerable Printemps department store, two Toronto-based firms were tasked with enlivening a new atrium and creating a unique experience for visitors. YabuPushelberg, partnering with UUfie, designed this stunning steel "sail" embedded with vibrant dichroic glass.
February 04, 2016
Monochromatic Master Bedroom in Copenhagen Townhouse
Whether it's to maximize limited light or create a soothing interior, these five projects go white in a big way.
February 04, 2016
EQ3 Assembly quilt by Kenneth LaVallee
The new Assembly collection from EQ3 celebrates up-and-coming figures in Canadian design. Discover this newly appointed class, which debuted at Toronto's Interior Design Show, here.
February 03, 2016
The Greenhouses of Half Moon Bay
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
February 03, 2016
Deck of Australian addition to Edwardian home.
A 1,500-square-foot home in Melbourne welcomes a modern black and white kitchen, dining, and living area.
February 03, 2016
open plan concrete home in japan
Embracing the organic, imperfect material, these raw concrete surfaces are a step up from exposed brick.
February 03, 2016
Renovated DC Row House loft space with Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair.
The classic designer's signature and comfortable forms continue to be popular in homes today.
February 03, 2016
Zinc-roofed cabin France.
An architect builds an energy-efficient home near one of France’s most popular pilgrimage sites.
February 03, 2016
1973 Palm Springs home
Made for casual design enthusiasts and Palm Springs connoisseurs alike, Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern offers a peek into 51 buildings—some not open to the public—in that Southern California mecca of modernism. Begun in 2008 by photographer Dan Chavkin, the book is set for release this February 9th and will be available on Amazon and at multiple venues of Modernism Week in Palm Springs, February 11 - 21. Here we preview some of its images.
February 03, 2016
Millennial concept home with an outdoor living area
A concept home aims to reflect the requests of the Millennial market.
February 03, 2016
The two twelve-by-sixteen-foot bedrooms, directly above a comparable pair on the first floor, feature a glass transom that follows the pitch of the roof. “The stair and railings were very simple,” Depardon observes. “We added a bit of design, with panels
Skylights needn't be simple overhead daylighting; sometimes they can truly define a room.
February 03, 2016
Modern small space Rhode Island cottage with landscaping and cedar cladding
Surrounded by nature, these cottages are tranquil retreats from the city.
February 03, 2016
The couple kept original touches, including the arch.
Historic archways belie these contemporary homes with physical reminders of each structure's storied past.
February 03, 2016
modern guesthouse in norway with angular facade and cutaway patio with spruce cladding and ikea chair
These houses make room for nature, not the other way around.
February 02, 2016
Modern kitchen with yellow sectioned walls and monochrome appliances
Whether it's a splash of color or bold strokes, this collection of interiors brightens up these homes.
February 02, 2016
Rust-washed concrete wall in Moscow apartment renovation.
This 590-square-foot apartment was stripped down to admit sunlight and dramatically reveal forgotten surfaces.
February 02, 2016
Nendo's collection of objects inspired by Star Wars
In a galaxy not so far away, Japanese studio Nendo has released a versatile collection of objects inspired by classic Star Wars characters.
February 02, 2016
Monti catered to his mother’s love of cooking by giving her ample storage areas along the 70-foot long walnut wall-slash-cabinet. The refrigerator, kitchen items and other goods easily disappear into the wall when not in use. The nonporous, stain-, scratc
Sometimes the earthy colors and vivid grain of a wood like walnut is all you need to make a space.
February 02, 2016
renovated modern home in Austin interior kitchen
From California to Connecticut, these midcentury interiors still shine through thanks to the careful attention of architects and residents alike.
February 02, 2016
Outdoor dining area at a Saigon home.
A city home honors the local culture with communal outdoor space and reclaimed materials.
February 02, 2016
Affordable Portland home upper floor wrapped in black corrugated steel
These homes revel in both nature and city life.
February 01, 2016
London bedroom with exposed beams.
These homes show their bones to great effect.
February 01, 2016
Bar in an Amsterdam loft.
Bend an elbow with us at these very local watering holes.
February 01, 2016