Houses We Love
It's no surprise that we are big fans of architecture and design – one reason we started this website was to show vacation rentals and small hotels that embody these qualities. However, there are also many cool, architectural houses that aren't in our collection, and we still love them. Why shouldn't you see those, too? This dispatch is all about showcasing the coolest pictures of homes from around the web. We'll continually be updating it with new images of the houses we love, so check back!
Notice something strange in the above photo? This isn't a "house" but an art installation by Cristina Lucas in Spain. Her inspiration was, of course, Alice in Wonderland, but her artistic intent is a little more interesting.
According to the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville, Lucas reports: "This work was created for the show entitled El patio de mi casa. Arte contemporáneo en 16 patios de Córdoba (October-November 2009), for which each participating artist designed an intervention in one of Córdoba's famous interior courtyards. Cristina Lucas' piece, one of the most highly praised in the exhibition, presented the typical Córdoba courtyard as a "gilded cage" for women, thereby criticizing this negative aspect of a tradition that dates back to Islamic times."
Above you see the Stone House (2010) by John Pawson. Though the somber design is rather church-like, the harsh concrete and modern lines are softened by their integration with the natural environment.
Pawson is also resposible for Mallorca Villa, a beautiful vacation rental recommended by Angelika Taschen of Taschen Books. The villa has also been lauded for its strong lines and harmonious integration with the envrionment. See the resemblence? You can book it here.
We love the bright colors of this contemporary home. It looks very similar to the classic Eames case study house here in Southern California.
The interior is also beautifully arranged, using color and shapes to create the picture perfect window "frame" at the end of the dining room.
Moving away from strong lines, what about rounded edges? This Shell House, a Japanese holiday home by ARTechnic. It was designed in a tubular shape to make the most of the natural surroundings. The courtyard is organized around a giant fir tree.
The concrete structure you see above and below is the first house in the Solo Houses project, which gives architecture firms the ability to encapsulate their design philosophies in a 200 square meter vacation home. Chile-based firm Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects is responsible for this one.
From DesignBoom: "The concrete for rises above the landscape providing unobstructed views of the Matarranya region of Spain. A substantial base supports the inhabitable element from below, instilling within dwellers the feeling of hovering above the trees…thick exterior walls contain elements needed for service functions while simultaneously prodding a heightened sense of privacy and enclosure."
Sounds good to us. And it's also eco-friendly. Also from Design Boom: "A photovoltaic solar system for electricity, closed loop underfloor radiant heating, onsite waste decanting and water storage together create a self-supporting and energy efficient residence."
Above you see the Serene Meditation and Tea Hut located in…Illinois! Yes, this Japanese-inspired modern hut was designed by architect Jeffrey Poss to integrate with the surrounding woodland landscape.
It has a low level window that over looks the quiet lake the hut is situation on.
If there's such a thing as a dream porch, this would be it? Originally found on Bandit Blog.
We find amazing houses all over the world, but sometimes we're not exactly sure what they are. So for this latest dispatch update, we'd like your help: can you identify the above and below houses? We love the one above for the way it mimics the look of a tidal pool in how it seems to grow out of the rocks and features a small round jacuzzi at the top. Sunsets must be amazing!
This house certainly has a unique look. It's almost like a set of building blocks fit together to form a house. We assume that each "box" is its own room or distinct house and the staircase on the side leads up to the terrace. We'd love to see some interior shots!
Speaking of interiors….here's a room (and a room and a room) that could feasibly be called "interior" but the open ceiling, sun loungers, and small pool most definitely gives the impression of exteriors. We love the clean lines and impeccable styling of this photograph, as well. Any info is greatly appreciated!
The Djerassi Residents Artists program is a very cool organization that offers 90 artists per year a free place to lodge while working on their creative projects. The program's founders, Stanford University Professor Emeritus Dr. Carl Djerassi and his wife Diane Middlebrook, patterned the program after the arts patronage of Florence's Medici family; a patronage which, incidentally, helped propel the Renaissance into existence.
Located in the Santa Cruz mountains, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program has provided a peaceful, beautiful place for over 2,000 artists to hone their craft over the past 32 years. The latest addition to the residency is the Diane Middlebrook Memorial Writer's Ranch, seen above.
Designed by Cass Calder Smith of CSS Architects, the small cabins are 27×15 feet each and contain only a small selection amenities: toilet, shower, faucet, and reading lamp. The cabins are arranged under a canopy that will eventually contain solar panels. They are simple, bare bones structures in which a writer can hole up and concentrate on their latest project, with only a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean for distraction. In an interview the San Francisco Chronicle, Smith said of the residences: "We wanted individual spaces, but also the feeling of a collective group." We think he achieved his aim. You can apply for a spot in the program at Djerassi's website. We also recommend checking out the Poustinia Hermitages, a similar set of modern, spare cabins in Tipperary, Ireland that can be rented via this website.
We recently discovered Convoy, a very tumblog full of striking images curated by "Jr. Graphic Designer" Fredrik Posse. Posse has a great eye for minimal, almost rustic looking images combined with a keen sense of modernism and restraint. We love the snowy feel of the top image combined with the bright orange flames in the wood-burning fireplace. It looks cozy and serene.
The second image is a great combination of industrial workshop and schoolhouse simplicity. We'll definitely be continuing to follow Convoy and see what else Posse comes up with. Check out Convoy for beautiful pictures of clean design and simple fashion, filtered through Posse's impeccable eye for detail. Very inspirational!
Upstate New York has been attracting vacationers forever, acquiring a reputation in the early 20th century for a series of grand hunting lodges made of pine, adorned with stuffed deer heads, and centered around a roaring fireplace where Teddy Roosevelt and his friends could mull over the day's adventures over a hot toddy or two. Nowadays, travelers still make their way to the Adirondacks and beyond in search of peace, quiet, and a sense of nature. But the architecture sure has changed. Above you see a house entitled Twins, designed by architect William O'Brien Jr. Elegant, sleek, and mathematical in form, Twins is certainly a far cry from those grand lodges.
But here's something you may not have guessed: Twins does not exist. It is still a concept. These photos are the work of graphic artist Peter Guthrie, who uses modern "visualisation" technology to mimic the properties of photography. Were you fooled? We were! Kudos to both O'Brien Jr. and Guthrie for an elegant and interesting design, even if it has yet to be constructed.
What was your first thought when you laid eyes on that first picture of hot pink clothing hangers in an electric brocade closet? Psychedelic album cover? Blown-out Hipstamatic photo? No! It's a photo from Indulgence Divine, a very cool modern vacation rental in Malta. We love the gorgeous colors and sleek design in this boutique accommodation.
We also love that it's a self-catering townhouse with all the luxuries of a very chic small hotel. Check out that cool curving staircase and the transition from a red and brown color scheme below to a cool white and black above. Now we're dreaming of Malta.
It's been a while since we last updated; now winter is melting into spring and we're on the hunt for cool summer vacation rentals. Above is a beautiful villa in Stromboli on the isle of Sicily. We can image kicking back on the patio, feeling cool mediterranean breezes, and looking out over that endless blue vista until the sun goes down. We also love the mix of traditional and modern design exemplifed here. It's really amazing how many beautiful spots there are in this great big world of ours. And yet we only have one lifetime with which to see them. Don't waste time and check back in with us soon to find even more amazing vacation rentals for your next vacation.
We were saddened to hear of the passing of Andrew Geller, the "architect of happiness", whose creative beach house designs we wrote about extensively here. While searching the web for stunning Geller images, we found the one above. It's the renovated Frank House (designed by Andrew Geller and built in 1958), now called the Monaghan Beach House. The restoration was done by New York city based architecture firm Larson and Paul. It looks pretty good but…
Check out this recently re-discovered picture of the Frank House from Life Magazine. it was taken in 1961. Isn't it funny how much lighter, happier, and more "beach-like" the 1961 picture is as compared to the modern one?
Sophisticated treehouse design? You better believe it. German design firm Baumraum designs and constructs eco-friendly, endlessly chic treehouses all over the world. As illuminated in this recent Been Seen article, Bauman has "branched out" into the hospitality business, designing treehouses for a eco-resort near Oldenburg, Germany. Each treehouse is more of a suite, boasting a separate bedroom for two people, living room (with space for 2 additional beds), a fully appointed kitchen and a bathroom, and terrace. Check out more photos and details at Been Seen.
Commenter Justin pointed out that the first picture you see above is "from Old Chum’s scans of Peter Nelson’s book “The Art and Craft of Living Out on a Limb” and the photo was (most likely) shot by Paul Rocheleau." Thanks for the tip, Justin! Check out more photos of cool treehouses here.
It's December 1st! Here's a "house" that should make you forget how cold you are: the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre Pavilion, located on the outskirts of Dovrefjell National Park. Designed by Oslo-based architects Snohetta, the Pavillion offers a place for visitors to observe the last wild reindeer herds in Europe on the mythical Dovrefjell mountain range. The curved interior constructed by shipbuilders out of reclaimed pine while the exterior is made of raw steel for durability in a harsh climate. The suspended fireplace is for warmth. (Via Dezeen)
Are the two houses above not the cutest things ever? They're the work of Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori, who brings an eccentric sense of creativity to his designs. The first home is called "Beetle's house" and was/is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London as part of an exhibit called "1:1 – architects build small spaces". Beetle's house is based on a traditional Japanese tea house and visitors who entered the structure were treated to an English version of the Japanese tea ceremony. Beetle's house is only accessible via ladder through a hatch in the floor. (Via Design Boom.)
The second structure is Fujimori's "Too High Tea House," a freestanding structure that uses the absolute minimum of materials (3 logs) necessary to support itself. It's elegant, playful, and poetic.
The two images above prove that English design need not be fussy and old-school. The owners of this London Penthouse have furnished their property with a fresh white, wood, and light blue accents. The clean lines and white walls brighten up the space and keep the property looking spacious and clean even on the gloomiest of London evenings.
The house above is Villa Mecklin, designed by Huttunen + Lipasti + Pakkanen Architects. It is located on a rocky Finnish island. According to ArchDaily (the source of these photos, taken by Marko Huttunen), most of the architectural problems were hammered out on site, negating the need for work drawings. Construction went at a slow pace, but the result is a home that is fully integrated into its environment.
The focus of the design is the long terrace, which offers the perfect "outdoor living room" space and a totally unobstructed view of the water. We love Villa Mecklin for the audacity of its design and the beauty of its construction.
We found the image above on Tumblr. We don't know much about it's provenance, but there's something romantic about a pink trailer on the road, heading over the horizon to lands faraway. If you've browsed this website, you probably know that we have a "thing" for trailers. To wit: El Cosmico, Big Sur Getaway, and Silverstreak Travel Trailer in Yosemite. They're not pink, but they're available for rent!
The colorful interior above is the work of Muriel Brandini. We came across the photo on Mark Montano's Blog, but it was originally published in British magazine The World of Interiors several years ago. Image searches for the additional photos of the house were unsuccessful, but we'd like to note the playful use of color on the staircase that Montano points out are reminiscent (in the best way) of Fisher Price stacking blocks. The bench is made of recycled artwork and we love the contrast of the modern red lamp with the old-fashioned floral wallpaper.
We love A-Frames, don't you? We love them so much, we built one in Yosemite and made it available for rent. Much like the Allandale A-Frame pictured above, which we found on the Anthology Magazine blog, our A-Frame is a modern spin on the classic design, set in a beautiful natural environment. Read more about the Allandale A-Frame here and check out our wonderful A-Frame at Far Meadow here.
The two photographs above are of the Collector's Loft in New York. The design of the loft was meant to seamlessly integrate both a living space and a gallery space. The photos, taken by Iwan Baan, illustrate how the exhibition of artworks transitions into a residential area through the use of light and articulated ceilings.
The Pittman-Dowell residence in Malibu, California, designed by architect Michael Maltzan, plays with hierarchal notions of space and privacy. This striking photograph was taken by Iwan Baan, an architecture photographer who has been profiled in the New York Times. We are big fans of Baan's work and will be featuring more of his images in as we update this dispatch. Watch this space!
The rich blue color is named "Majorelle Blue" after artist Jacque Majorelle, who lived and worked on the property now known as Majorelle Garden. This house, formerly the artist's studio, shelters a museum of Islamic art. Learn more here.
Aufberg 1113 is a part of the Boutique Homes collection, but it's not getting nearly enough love, so we thought we'd post a picture to remind you of the cool modern design of the cottages. They're set into the mountainside to give guests a "bird's nest" feel of being submerged in nature. The cottages are constructed out of natural stone, wood, glass, and exposed concrete.
The Garcia House by John Lautner, as pictured on the cover of the May 1st, 2011 edition of Los Angeles Times Magazine. The house is located on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles and has recently been renovated with new interiors designed by Darren Brown.
We love the clean lines of Casa Kimball, but this aerial photo really shows how the design is integrated with the natural cliffside. Though it looks tiny here, the pool is actually 156' long.
The aerieLOFT is the work of Candian architect Martin Liefhebber of Breathe Architects. He was inspired by the simple elegance of the wooden canoe and the clean lines of ship design to come up with this pre-fab, eco-friendly cabin. The design received a Word WORKS! award in 2009.