Stunning Waterfront Structures

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The best architecture takes full advantage of a setting without upstaging it. Here are seven buildings that make the most of their waterfront perch.

Modern home with Exterior, Boathouse Building Type, Wood Siding Material, and House Building Type. A bothouse in Georgian Bay, Ontario, by Weiss Architecture & Urbanism Ltd. is clad in black-stained resawn cedar. Photo  of Stunning Waterfront StructuresView Photos

A bothouse in Georgian Bay, Ontario, by Weiss Architecture & Urbanism Ltd. is clad in black-stained resawn cedar.

Modern home with Exterior, Wood Siding Material, Cabin Building Type, and Flat RoofLine. Those seeking isolation and inspiration to tackle their work need look no further. A minimalist cube set against a picturesque background form a studio free of distraction, except maybe that view! Newfoundland, Canada. By Saunders Architecture from the book Rock the Shack, Copyright Gestalten 2013. Photo  of Stunning Waterfront StructuresView Photos

In Newfoundland, Canada, a minimalist cube set against a picturesque background form a studio free of distraction. By Saunders Architecture from the book Rock the Shack, Copyright Gestalten 2013.

Modern home with Outdoor, Large Patio, Porch, Deck, and Concrete Patio, Porch, Deck. Architect Craig Steely designed this house for himself, his wife Cathy Liu, a painter, and their son, Zane, that looks out to the Pacific Ocean from a lava flow on the big island of Hawaii. Photo  of Stunning Waterfront StructuresView Photos

Architect Craig Steely designed this house for himself, his wife Cathy Liu, a painter, and their son, Zane, that looks out to the Pacific Ocean from a lava flow on the big island of Hawaii.

Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Boathouse Building Type, and Wood Siding Material. “The house’s narrow footprint works for us in terms of maximum exposure to the lake,” says Gibbs (shown here with son Blake and dog Max on the shore of Lake Iosco). Glass walls and doors by Andersen also mean that Gibbs can keep a close eye on Blake when he’s playing in the yard. A plinth of reused bedrock found on the property has become an unintended place for active play. Photo  of Stunning Waterfront StructuresView Photos

A New Zealand expat and her son use their prefabricated lakeside retreat in New Jersey as an outdoorsy counterpoint to city life.

Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Wood Siding Material, and Cabin Building Type. Nicknamed the Floating Farmhouse, this 200-year-old home inspired one former copywriter to delve into architecture as a living. Inside, renovator and owner Tom Givone mixes vintage and industrial decor. Photo by Mark Mahaney. Photo  of Stunning Waterfront StructuresView Photos

A semitransparent addition to a 200-year-old farmhouse in upstate New York has a roofline that matches the pitch of the original structure. A porch, tucked under the side eaves, is cantilevered over a stream that runs through the property.

Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Boathouse Building Type, and Wood Siding Material. Cedar slats help this Ontario lake house float soundly atop still waters. Photo by: Raimund Koch Photo  of Stunning Waterfront StructuresView Photos

A couple from Ohio built this vacation home on a tiny island in Georgian Bay, Ontario, replacing an old boathouse.

Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Wood Siding Material, and Metal Siding Material. The sunny side of the home is clad in cedar weatherboards and features sleeping quarters on the upper level with living spaces below. Photo  of Stunning Waterfront StructuresView Photos

On the shores of New Zealand’s Lake Wakatipu, architects Bronwen Kerr and Pete Ritchie designed a relaxed family home that reclines into its spectacular landscape.