Top 5 Homes of the Week That Connect With Mother Nature
1. Lot 6
Architect: Prentiss + Balance + Wickline Architects, Location: Winthrop, Washington
From the architect: "The Chechaquo Lot 6 Cabin sits in a small meadow ringed by ponderosa pines. Backed up to the toe of a dramatic, rocky butte, it captures views up the boulder-strewn slope, as well as through the surrounding forest to mountains in the distance. Kitchen, living, and dining spaces open onto a spacious, covered "outdoor room" with a unique indoor/outdoor fireplace. The concrete stem walls of the house's foundation have been pulled back, and wide steps that double as seating descend from the deck—which is low enough to require no guardrails. The effect is to make the long and lean cabin seem to hover gracefully above the meadow grasses."
Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Location: Point Roberts, Washington
From the architect: "Designed as a home and studio for a photographer and his young family, Lightbox is located on a peninsula that extends south from British Columbia across the border to Point Roberts. The densely-forested site lies beside a 180-acre park that overlooks the Strait of Georgia, the San Juan Islands, and the Puget Sound. The home was made decidedly modest, in size and means, with a building skin utilizing simple materials in a straightforward yet innovative configuration. The result is a structure crafted from affordable and common materials such as exposed wood two-bys that form the structural frame and directly support a prefabricated aluminum window system of standard glazing units uniformly sized to reduce the complexity and overall cost."
3. 430 Cabin
Architect: Irene Sævik, Location: Oslo, Norway
An hour away from Oslo is where one can find architect Irene Sævik’s summer retreat. The house celebrates principles of simple design and respect for nature. Norwegian artist Irma Salo Jæger built the home in the 1960s, until Irene decided to purchase it. Sævik then decided to expand it and stated, "It had an appealing expression that inspired me to develop it further—to transform the site and make a stronger connection between house and landscape." Within the addition—that consist of a bunch of individual spaces—Irene built a bedroom, bathroom, office, and sauna. She expanded the original 430-square-foot home to just under 970 square feet. "I tried to make a place where one could stay alone, as well as a good place to be with friends," she said.
Architect: Feldman Architecture, Location: Carmel Valley, California
From the architect: "Sitting lightly on the land, the house is divided into three pavilions that are topped by expressive butterfly roofs. Each pavilion has a separate function: the central pavilion houses the main living, dining, and cooking spaces, while two other pavilions provide for sleeping, bathing, and relaxing. The structures are modest in size, yet each expands into an outdoor room that opens up to dramatic views of the canyon below and hills above. Water, an increasingly limited resource, is celebrated throughout the design. Each roof funnels water to a rain chain fountain and into landscape collection pools, which then gather in cisterns where it is stored and used to irrigate the landscape."
Architect: Olson Kundig, Location: Eastern Oregon
From the architect: "Surrounded by wheat fields on a high-altitude plateau stands a small glass house and a solid, traditional barn. The owners, inspired by Philip Johnson’s Glass House, wanted a refuge that opens up to the prairie and mountains. The structures are conveniently close to each other and enjoy a sense of isolation at the end of a long country road. The roof of the wood-frame barn, which houses farm equipment below and guest rooms above, was inspired by the local vernacular and is echoed in the shed roof of the glass house."