Top 5 Homes of the Week That Are Strongly Connected to Bodies of Water

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By Paige Alexus
For some people, living by a body of water is an important priority—and when it comes time to building or renovating their dream home, that can end up being one of the biggest driving factors.

Each of our favorite homes this week holds a deep connection to some type of water. Whether it's an ocean, lake, or even a mysterious reflecting pool, it's a vital element of the home's presence and is inseparable from its architecture.

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

1. Bailer Hill

Architecture: Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects, Builder: Robert Mancuso Design & Construction

Location: Friday Harbor, Washington

From the architect: "Anchored to a rocky slope and looking out over expansive water views, this house is the expression of the clients' desire to connect to both the immediate landscape and the view beyond. Cascading organically down the hill, the house remains firmly rooted to the earth even as it rises high above the ground. It is a complex form with a simple goal: capturing the beauty of this spectacular site." 

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2. The Barge Yacht

Architecture: Taylored Architecture, Builder: St. Lawrence Barge Yachts

Location: Clayton, New York

From the architect: "This floating home was custom built in the 1,000 Islands of Upstate New York. The focus was on sustainability and using local materials, as well as living as close to the water as possible."

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3. Westridge

Architecture: Tobin Dougherty Architects, Interior Design: Sullivan Design Studio

Location: Portola Valley, California

From the architect: "With the structure's open space, outdoor rooms and interior spaces flow systematically together, echoing natural forms and landscape directions throughout its free-flowing, interlocking spaces. The complex geometry of the Wang residence preserves the preexisting landscape structure, specimen trees, and plants on-site. Its form embodies a complex three-dimensional series of interwoven programs while sitting gently on the site. This amazing architectural form blurs the distinction between indoor and outdoor spaces by creating sustainably efficient indoor spaces that work in sync with the beautiful surrounding landscape." 

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4. North Fork Bay House

Architecture: Resolution: 4 Architecture

Location: Laurel, New York

From the architect: "With direct access to Great Peconic Bay, this prefab beach house is designed to be a weekend retreat for a young Brooklyn family of four, and a seasonal residence for the client’s Florida-based parents. The prefabricated modules are set atop the site-built steel frame, allowing for views of the bay as one arrives via the long, tree-lined gravel drive. While the house is not technically within a FEMA-designated flood zone, the strategy of lifting the house is a direct response to the client's concerns about potential flooding in the future. Simultaneously, this strategy provides outstanding views of the bay from the main level, while creating shaded and sheltered outdoor space below the house for parking, lounging, and woodworking—including the grandfather's latest project: building a small sailboat."

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5. Red House

Architecture: Joao Ferrao and Joao Costa Ribeiro of Extrastudio, Landscape Architecture: Oficina dos Jardins

Location: Setúbal, Portugal 

From the architect: "This house is located in a small village in Azeitao, south of Lisbon. Protected by hills from the Atlantic Ocean, the area has a mild Mediterranean microclimate, creating the ideal conditions for growing grapes. To accentuate the house’s Mediterranean character, a reflecting pool was inserted in the garden. Raised above the ground, recalling an old irrigation tank, the black pool mirrors the sky. Since it is not possible to distinguish limits or edges, swimming here is a primordial act; the body in water floats in an absolute void."

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