The Knowlton House started off as a classic farmhouse in rural Canada. After an expansion and renovation, the modest country home has been transformed into a stunning minimalist dwelling. The original gabled structure has been updated with a painted white facade and a corrugated metal roof. A simple form extends upward to take advantage of the views while minimizing disruption to the hilltop site. Clad in cedar, its charred finish gives its clean lines a rustic, weathered appearance and nods to the agricultural vernacular.
Built as a collection of small volumes, the House in a Park takes inspiration from its natural site. The structures follow the contour of the park-like plot and are connected by a continuous roof. Clad in natural stone, the organic facade helps to further blend the buildings into the landscape. Each one is freely arranged around a central courtyard, sharing access to the outdoor space as well as views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Zurich. A muted palette creates a dreamy minimalist interior, a contrast to the rural scenery. Oil-rubbed wood and metal windows wash living spaces with natural light while framing in the dramatic vistas.
Suspended off a rocky bluff, the Nova Scotia Cliff House is a rustic seaside retreat. The simple cedar-clad box extends out over the bedrock and is perched off the ground by a galvanized steel pedestal. Comprised of just 960-square-feet, its interior maximizes living space with an open floor plan and double-height ceilings while exposed timber framing and steel beams create modern cabin vibes. This minimalist approach allows the focus to remain on the coastal landscape. Wrapped in south-facing windows, the glazing gives the sensation of floating above the seashore.
Named for its ethereal presence, the Ghost House is a striking contemporary dwelling in England’s Warwickshire. The home inspired by the work of architect Tado Ando and features a concrete construction that was cast in-situ. Its simplistic form frames in floor-to-ceiling steel windows on three sides. At night, the glazing gives off a celestial glow that creates a hauntingly beautiful effect as it mirrors off the reflecting pool. The monolithic facade is left exposed to the interior continuing the sleek, minimalist design while a floating steel staircase adds a sculptural element to enhance the aesthetic.
In the Netherlands, the term “hoeve” stands for a group of farmhouses arranged around a courtyard. Villa Vught gives the traditional farmstead typology a contemporary translation. The home is made up of a cluster of dark bronze volumes situated in the countryside. Its two lower structures are modeled after the classic gabled barn silhouette and feature aluminum cladding and corrugated iron roofs. The main living areas are housed in one while a studio for classes and workshops occupies the other. A sunken corridor connects the residential unit to the taller form, containing bedrooms and a roof terrace overlooking the agrarian scenery. Lined in European silver fir, the interiors offer a warm, minimalist retreat filled with natural light and views of the Dutch landscape.
Art is often inspired by nature but the two together are what influenced the Stirrup House. The steel-and-wood-clad dwelling is comprised of two volumes placed in a T-shape. Upon entry, the home’s focus makes itself known with the painting “Rain Forest” displayed in the double-height foyer. Exposed beams and white walls create a gallery aesthetic to hang the owner’s contemporary art collection while floor-to-ceiling glazing frames in views of the surrounding landscape. The emphasis on art and nature continues on the exterior where sculptural and two-dimensional artworks live harmoniously among Idaho’s Bald and Dollar Mountains.
Embedded into a mountainside in the Calamuchita Valley of Argentina, Casa FM is a holiday home with sweeping views. The concrete dwelling is comprised of a low-lying, rectangular form perched on the sloped terrain. A green roof helps to further integrate the structure into the verdant landscape. Internally, exposed cement creates a modern, minimalist atmosphere, while a series of skylights and wood tones soften the dense palette. Its linear layout leads to the main living area. Capped by a wall of sliding glass doors, the room features expansive mountain vistas. The glazing opens to a cantilevered terrace that overlooks the adjacent lake.
Situated in Australia’s Barwon Heads, the Seachange House bridges the gap between the area’s traditional beach houses and contemporary architecture. The home is comprised of a series of stacked boxes. Their staggered placement creates an unconventional silhouette and allows for views in every direction. Each one is clad in timber slats made from sustainable Western Red Cedar. The timber screens create a sense of privacy while filtering in natural sunlight and controlling ventilation. Internally, white walls and natural wooden hues create a light, airy atmosphere. The spacious ground floor opens to a courtyard, offering outdoor living spaces to take advantage of the coastal setting.
Located in northern Israel, the Ecological House is a low-lying concrete dwelling surrounded by agricultural land. The property adds to the scenery with an orchard and a fruit garden. It complements its environment with a palette of natural materials as well as a variety of green elements that include teak screens and shading pergolas. The wooden features not only lower energy consumption but also break up the monolithic facade. Its interior is divided between two perpendicular wings — a communal side and a private side. Lined in walls of glazing, most rooms are afforded expansive views of the pastoral landscape. Its L-shape wraps around a central courtyard where sliding glass doors expand the living spaces out to a pool-side terrace.
Enveloped in New Zealand’s southern alps, the Alpine Terrace House soaks in the mountain views. The dwelling is comprised of four black rectangles arranged around a central courtyard. Situated on a concrete plinth, the low-lying volumes appear to float above the sloped terrain. The shadowy affair continues on the inside where dark tile floors and charcoal walls create a striking, minimalist aesthetic. Its dim palette pushes the focus toward the rugged scenery that’s being framed in by floor-to-ceiling windows around the perimeter. When the weather is favorable, the glazing opens to expand the living spaces out to the impressive landscape.