Nestled in the mountains of Petite-Rivière-Saint-François in Québec, the Long Horizontals House is a sleek interpretation of the rugged mountainscapes that surrounds it. The home sits on a concrete foundation as though its an extension of the rocky plot. On the road side, wood planks clad the stacked boxes, shielding the interior from outsiders. The exterior palette runs into the interior where natural light washes concrete floors and timber ceilings. Blackened steel, contemporary fixtures, and clean lines provide a modern balance to the rustic backdrop showcased through floor-to-ceiling glazing. Encased in glass, the dining area extends out toward the river completely immersing guests in the dramatic scenery. To further showcase the location, the main living area opens to an outdoor deck enclosed by a glass railing, not to obstruct the sweeping views.
The summit of the Swiss mountain Titlis measures in at 3,000 meters above sea level. Its peak draws in over a million tourists every year and its former mountain outpost could no longer meet the demands. Architects Herzog & de Meuron plan to replace the dated 1967 summit station with the Titlis 3020 Mountain Outpost. The project calls for a new alpine station with a bar and restaurant as well as an updated antenna tower and underground tunnel. Its innovative design aims to transform Alpine architecture while showcasing Switzerland’s surreal landscapes.
The Crowhill Cabin isn’t trying to compete with its landscape. Its minimalist design aims to enhance the Canadian mountainside. Sitting on a raw concrete foundation, the home is comprised of two timber-clad boxes connected by an entryway. The dark hue of their charred hemlock planks compliments the surrounding forest while the interior’s muted palette displays the scenery from the floor-to-ceiling glazed panels. In one volume are the living spaces and the other houses the bedrooms, offering maximum privacy to its inhabitants. Both modules are oriented towards the treetops, allowing the entire interior to take advantage of the best views.
Embedded into the Mexican landscape, the 2I4E House almost looks like it was chiseled into the mountainside. Its geometric concrete shell emerges from the rocky terrain like it is a part of the existing environment on one side while the stacked boxes cantilever over the ground on the other. Their staggard placement creates a series of terraces and balconies around the exterior, immersing occupants in the verdant surroundings. The raw material was left exposed on the interior developing a minimalist palette that allows the area’s vibrant greenery to pop through the vast amounts of glazing.
With its black cladding and warm minimalist interior, the Kawartha Lake Cottage will give you some real cabin fever. It starts with a traditional A-frame form. A dramatic pitch and cut out send it toward the modern side. The open section creates a cantilevered terrace while its mirrored facade reflects the forest floor. Although the exterior is full of whimsical touches, the inside has its own quirky flair. Its pale plywood lining is punctuated by fourteen openings in both the walls and ceiling. A semi-floating staircase leads to the loft where a wall is covered in light-blue shingles. From there, occupants can peek down at the living space below or gaze at the treetop from the adjacent glazing.
Rather than carving through the terrain to accommodate the home, Casa Santo Antonio adapts to its sloped site with a layered design. The home is located in the Sierra de Mantiqueira region of Brazil. It responds to the steep plot by dividing into three stages. The upper level sits below an oversized roof and houses the main living areas. Its glazed facade opens to transform the space into an open-air pavilion. A walkway leads down the hill to the private bedrooms. A U-shaped design creates a central courtyard between the two structures. Both units are situated to take advantage of the property’s dual scenery, the forest on one side and the expansive mountainscape of the other.
Sitting on the property of the Tereza chalet in the Czech Republic, the Cerna Voda Mountain Lodge houses some very lucky guests. The simple gabled form is clad in a mixture of blackened aluminum and matching timber siding, a stark contrast to the snow-covered surroundings of the Krkonoše mountains. Although it’s dark and brooding on the outside, the interior is a warm retreat. Walls, floors, and ceilings are lined with golden wood planks providing a minimalist cabin atmosphere. Contemporary fixtures and geometric tiles emphasize the modern tone. Large panels of glazing afford views of the neighboring peaks while an exterior steel terrace overlooks the Malá Úpa river below.
Situated between the mountains and the sea, Casa G complements Iceland’s impressive landscape with its own dramatic design. The main structure is comprised of a rectangular form made of concrete and glass. A curved wooden wall appears to be propped up against the remainder of the house, giving it an asymmetrical shape. Its interior mimics the surrounding volcanic ash with slate-colored stone floors and cabinetry. A matching Icelandic bluestone staircase leads to the upper floor that looks out over the two-story living area below. Walls of glazing to the north and south maximize views of the rugged scenery to both levels.
Scan across the rocky coastline and you might miss the SJAIII House. The home is almost entirely embedded into the San Juan de Alim, Mexico landscape. Hanging vines and native vegetation cascade over the front elevation, making the exterior become a part of the scenery. Its interior is wrapped in rich woods, a warm contrast to the hillside’s exposed stone. Retractable walls turn the inside into an open-air pavilion with extensive views over the Pacific Ocean. The living spaces now spill out onto an outdoor terrace covered by the oversized roof. A stone walkway leads down to a swimming pool. Like the rest of the residence, the water feature is integrated into the natural environment using the existing rock formations as a basin.
Nestled in a Chilean forest, the Shangri-la Cabin takes direction from its century-old neighbors. The shelter is clad in pine and charred like the remnants of volcanic ash while the interior is lined with timber planks made from the property’s fallen trees. It sits on a concrete platform and rises vertically like the surrounding saplings seeking the light. The warmth of the wood interior provides refuge from the often harsh climate offering a sitting room, kitchenette, and sleeping loft arranged around a wood-burning stove and north-facing glazing highlights the towering canopies. This particular cabin is just the first in a series that will eventually occupy the wooded landscape.