Home Architecture

This Is What Happens When Architects Design Shelters For Cats

As if cats doing adorable things in weird contexts need any explanation. Feast your eyes on these creative design experiments that focus on the space occupied by everybody’s favorite felines.

cat arch1 Yarn? YARN!cat arch2 Stop. Just arch3 Everyone can see you hiding there, arch4 A saucer of scotch with my mahogany, please. 
cat arch5 I should not have had so much catnip. cat arch6 Make house for cat. Cat sits underneath house.

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Should’ve dibsed top bunk.

The structures were built and put on display as part of an awareness project called “Giving Shelter” put on by Architects for Animals. The shelters were designed by various architects in the Las Angeles area and presented at a local Herman Miller showroom in Culver City, CA.

600sf Urban Micro Home Is Picture Perfect

Wind River Tiny Homes normally builds smaller tiny houses, but this time they made an exception – and what an exception it turned out to be! The design is extraordinary, perfect for a mountain vacation escape or a private urban hideout. The home is located in Chattanooga TN, and comes in at just about 600sf in size, though the layout makes it feel considerably larger.

This Cabin Is Missing Something All Buildings Have, And It Rocks Because Of It

Who needs doors, right? That’s exactly what Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects said when he designed this pair of isolated structures off the coast of New Zealand. The cabins are completely open air and can be entered via a large square opening that steps you down into the main living area. The interiors are simple and clean, utilizing the warmth of native wood to tie the spaces to the adjacent landscape.

There is modesty and serenity in the way the buildings are anchored to the hillside. A quick glance would make them seem as if they were dark boulders jutting up and out of the grassy plains that carpet the surrounding countryside. They become a part of the iconic terrain rather than fight to visually overpower it. This harmony is echoed by the openness that results from having no doors. Protection might be limited, but the visceral experience is not.

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This Postman Collected Pebbles During The Day. At Night He Built Something Incredible.

In 1879 a postman by the name of Ferdinand Cheval stepped on a small pebble, and after picking it up and examining it, he got an idea. He would spend the next 30+ years collecting pebbles of various shapes and sizes on his 18-mile-long route. After work he would mix together lime and concrete to build the Palais Idéal.

“I said to myself: since Nature is willing to do the sculpture, I will do the masonry and the architecture”

Located in Hauterives, the palace is a popular tourist destination and also serves as inspiration for artists. An example of “naïve art architecture”, . He spent 22 years building the outer walls, using stones he gathered in his pockets. Eventually he carried a basket and finally a wheelbarrow to collect the necessary stones to complete the project.

Ferdinand is an inspiration not just to artists, but anyone who rides a wave of inspiration to the finish. His efforts prove that with time, passion, and effort, you can achieve almost anything.


The Multipurpose Cube Inside This Home Is Pure Genius

On the outside this home appears to be your everyday little cottage, but inside things have changed quite a bit since it was originally built. A young family of four occupies the space, which saw a dramatic remodel. They removed the back half of the home, replacing it with an open living/dining room area and then added a totally unique cube/pod system in the center.

The pod may seem a bit odd at first, almost a waste of space, until you understand what it’s used for. Inside its walls you’ll find a bathroom, powder room, and pantry. It also serves as a wall to separate the playroom from the main living and dining area.

Photos by: Lauren Bamford

Students Design Retro-Rustic Offgrid Nomad Camper For Easy Towing

The housing crisis may be over, but plenty of people all over still face the challenge of trying to find a place to call home. This retro-rustic styled dwelling is one of the prototypes from +FARM‘s summer design studio, where students immerse themselves in design and construction practices, attempting to bring new solutions to fruition.

The 2015 Nomad Studio shown here is modest, but beautiful, with a tiny 8′ x 5′ interior that sleeps two and quickly transforms into a lounge space. It has deployable solar panels that create 1kw, powering the coffee maker and film projector, and there’s even a stowable composting toilet hidden away.

Photos courtesy Andrew Nisbet

Two People Can Assemble This Sweet Solar Powered Prepacked Cabin

The “Ecokit” is a solar powered prefab cabin designed to arrive entirely packaged, and ready to build. It takes just two people a few weeks to assemble – although realistically, a few extra hands might speed up the process and save some back ache. The streamlined design is eco friendly thanks to the solar power and thermal-insulated panels and eco-friendly materials.


The price should come in around $100k, although this is only available in Australia. Ecokit is currently building out two prototype cabins and fundraising on Indiegogo to complete construction documentation and certifications needed to bring the kit to market. Curiously enough, donations in the $200 to $250 range can buy you a pet version of the Ecokit, available only as a perk through the campaign.

And For My Next Trick, I’ll Make This House Disappear!

You may remember seeing magicians like David Copperfield staging wild magic tricks that included making huge buildings and objects disappear. As it turns out, certain architects also use optical illusions to perform similar feats.

In a feat of architectural wizardry, Reform Architekt has designed a home that appears to be floating, unsupported, over the forest floor. At a glance, one would think that the house consists of a minimal white box perched in the trees themselves. Take a trip around the perimeter, however, and discover that the structure has a large base that utilizes highly polished mirrors to mask itself in the surrounding vegetation. It’s a playful optical illusion that speaks in a very literal way to architecture’s place in nature, as if to say that we should build, but we should build in a way to appear as if we haven’t built at all.

This Tiny Country Guest House Is An Absolute Dream

There’s a lot to love in this tiny cabin, from the abundance of reclaimed and salvaged wood to the repurposed wagon wheel chandelier and the splash of color in the country kitchen. At just 336 square feet it packs a lot of cozy, rustic charm into a tiny space thanks to a terrific remodel by Heritage Restoration.


The cottage serves as a guest house, and is located outside Waco, Texas. Upon entering, one of the first things you’ll notice are the high ceilings and the large exposed beams and broad planks salvaged from a barn.


An array of “naked” tree trunks support the ceiling above the loft.

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What do you think? Is there anything you’d change about this country cottage? Let us know in the comments.

Rustic Opulence Defines This Camp Martis Residence On Lake Tahoe

You’ve heard of modern-rustic, and now you’ll see what happens when sheer decadence collides with a rustic design. This spectacular modern home was designed by Swaback Partners and is situated on a large lot in the private community of Camp Martis, located on the shores of Lake Tahoe.




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“A home for the high Sierra’s that does not fall in line with the traditional regional architecture that mostly is a dark and heavy composition. Instead, the concept was to celebrate the light and airy feeling of snow and the effects that it can bring to the interiors.”

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Photos by Vance Fox