Top 5 Homes of the Week That Embrace Their Surroundings

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By Samantha Daly
Sliding glass doors, immense windows, and relaxing patios connect the residents of these modern homes with lush backyards and stunning views. Take a peek at our editor's picks from the Dwell community that meld the outdoors with interiors.

Featured homes were submitted by members of the Dwell community through our Add a Home feature. Add your home to Dwell.com/homes today.

1. Black Box House

Architect: Paulius Petkus of PAO Architects, Location: Vilnius, Lithuania

From the architect: "The house is located in a densely-built territory dominated by low-rise architecture. The clients wanted modern, minimalistic architecture and light shapes to stress the advantages of their land plot. All residential rooms have exits into a covered terrace. During the summer, the roof console helps to regulate the microclimate in residential rooms and protects the spaces from direct sunlight, because the courtyard is illuminated 24/7. For the finishing of the façade, we used materials chosen according to the principle of contrast, therefore, the finishing of black and natural wood highlights the minimal form, and provides an excellent contrast to the texture of a concrete fence."

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2. Cloud House

Architect: Akin Atelier, Location: Bondi Beach, New South Wales, Australia

From the project uploader: "The concept was to maximize the opportunity for light to interact with the surfaces of the house, like the facets of a cloud. The house is open toward the east of the site to benefit from the morning sun, while the internal courtyard allows sun throughout the day to flood the double-height living area."

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3. Haiku Maui

Architect: Guggenheim Architecture + Design Studio, Location: Haiku, Hawaii

From the architect: "Inspired by the Scandinavian barn vernacular, this Upcountry Maui cottage and barn [for Cloth and Goods' Melissa Newirth and Crossing the Threshold's David Johnson] provides a peaceful minimalist retreat and respite for family gatherings. The 1,000-square-foot-long main cottage is sited to capture both mountain and sea vistas, while the adjacent barn is designed to hold large family gatherings and act as a seasonal residence. Melissa, with impeccable minimalist, yet richly textured taste, requested a highly efficient and livable environment with access to a variety of outdoor living zones."

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4. Villa G

Architect: André Pihl, Location: Karlshamn, Sweden

From the architect: "The house’s form is derived to maximize the vast ocean view, while simultaneously embracing an intimacy with the nature on site. From each of the larger bedrooms, sliding doors give both visual and physical access to the extraordinary sea view and morning sunrise. During summertime, large glass partitions open to the sea breeze and blur the boundary between inside and outside. The materiality of the house was a clear request by the client, characterized by horizontal, wooden panels treated with black paint. From the forest side of the house, the facade is minimal in scale, with narrow vertical windows and a terrace for access during morning sunlight. The larger glass partitions of the facade are oriented toward the sea and the protruding roof lantern.The interior of the house is refined and reduced in materiality."

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5. Glen Park House

Architect: McElroy Architecture, Location: San Francisco, California

From the architect: "The existing house appeared very tall from the street, yet was cramped and lacked good flow inside. There was no connection to the rear yard, only two bedrooms on the top floor, and a very low ceiling at the first floor. The family of four (and a dog) needed more usable space and a large kitchen for an avid cook in the family. We telescoped the house apart to gain more height on all levels, and created a double-height entry volume at the street front. A kitchen by Henrybuilt dominates the open plan, and an extension at the back with large sliding doors opens to the garden beyond."

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