Modern & Contemporary

Home Architecture Modern & Contemporary

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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Just Another Wooden Box In Portland? See What They Did Inside!

Portland, Oregon is home to many oddities and outliers. It’s a city made famous by the quirkiness of its people and places. Recently new homeowners and designers Katherine Bovee and Matt Kirkpatrick have embraced that culture and then some when they built their tiny, modern and altogether wonderful dream home. A tiny 50×50 foot corner lot in Portland’s Inner Southeast neightborhood was all they needed to think up this starkly clad wooden box, giving them a modest yet functional 704 square feet of living space.

The exterior is intentionally subdued and clean, allowing what happens on the inside to punch you hard right in the face (figuratively, of course).
small-box-home-1 Take, for example, the bedroom. Yes, this is the bedroom! The daring couple has made creative use of a tall ceiling and an empty canvas to paint this little niche with style and flair. An exposed beam frames (visually and structurally) the bed loft that looks out to the neighborhood below. Naturally, this opens up the space below for storage, a closet, and even an exposed vanity. Did I mention it was functional?small-box-home-2 You would never guess that this is the kitchen of a tiny home. The space is luxurious and ample to say the least. Aside from all the light and space, the coolest feature is the exposed hood vent ducting that punctuates the industrial feel of the interior.small-box-home-3 Opposite the kitchen is this storage wall that holds everything from books and records to audio/video equipment. Katherine and Matt have modulated the openings with seemingly random opaque sections. It’s a visually interesting move that does well to hide otherwise unattractive elements like the heater vent. small-box-home-4


Image Credit: John Clark

The Amazing “Ridge House” Glows Like A Lighthouse

Cape Cod is home to this two-story vacation home that breathes contemporary architectural life into age-old formal expressions. Massachusetts based Hammer Architects designed a house – aptly named the “Ridge House,” – that uses a towering gabled roof form to echo the traditional craftsman look, while juxtaposing a see-through interior that screams modernity. The entire second floor, which contains the main living spaces, is transparent, making the exposed roof appear as if it’s floating above almost completely unsupported. This effect is especially noticeable at night, when the interior glows like a Chinese lantern.


Originally, the client wished for a single-story floor plan, but the architects convinced them to stack the spaces to increase the dramatic effect of the roof. I’d say it worked. Traditional materials such as wood shingles are applied in new and interesting ways, again paying homage to historic building commonalities. Bedroom and service spaces occupy the lower floor, allowing the living, kitchen and dining spaces to sit above and enjoy sprawling views of the lush countryside.


The home is, arguably, best seen at night, when the massive glazed openings glow like a distant lighthouse. Many of which pepper the coast of Cape Cod.




An exterior deck hangs off the main living floor, allowing the interior spaces to spill out over the adjacent hill and providing an even more spectacular view of the surrounding countryside.

North-Pamet-Ridge-House-by-Hammer-3 Everything on the interior is exposed. Here is a look at the open kitchen that looks directly at the dining and living areas. The floor plan is narrow, but efficient and plentiful.

North-Pamet-Ridge-House-by-Hammer-6 Another look at the second floor. The interior partition wall is a post-modern play on traditional architecture style.

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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

A Hidden Urban Oasis In The Heart Of Downtown Miami

Seclusion. Hidden. Privacy. These aren’t that would typically come to mind when describing a home in the middle of Downtown Miami, but that’s exactly what you get with this tropical refuge from Brillhard Architecture. Dense palm tree forests blanket the perimeter of the lot making the home feel as if it was conjured up from the floor of a remote rain forest.


The visual protection the palm trees provide allow the home to be composed of floor to ceiling, wall to wall glazing that modulates light and views with a series of shutters. The interiors are sleek and modern, providing a subdued compliment to the serene exterior space. It’s as close to an urban oasis that you could find, especially in a city known for its…loud…personality.

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10+ Wineries With Absolutely Stunning Architecture

Opus One

Scott Johnson of Johnson, Fain & Pereira designed this iconic winery and finished the build in 1991. It brings together traditional European architectural elements and New World aesthetics, a combination that mirrors their epic Cabernet.


Bodegas Ysios

This spectacular winery is located in Spain’s Rioja region, and was designed by Santiago Calatrava, completed in 2001. The undulating aluminum and cedar roof mimics the mountainous terrain surrounding it, and the name honors Isis and Osiris, two Egyptian gods with close ties to the world of wine.


Castello di Amorosa

Dario Sattui wanted to build one of the most impressive wineries in the area, and did so by importing an actual castle from Italy, piece by piece, and reassembling it in Napa Valley.


Lapostolle Clos Apalta

Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle, most known for producing Grand Marinier, began making wine in Chile and completed this estate in 2004. It was designed by Amercanda Architects and features six levels reminiscent of a bird’s nest.

Vik Winery

When Alex and Carrie Vik wanted to build a winery in Chile, they hosted a competition and this was the winning submission. It features a long, low slung building positioned in the middle of their 11,000 acre estate in Santiago. The shallow pool dotted by boulders not only looks cool, but also keeps the underground levels cool.


Darioush Winery

Located in Napa, this iconic winery pays honor to its owner’s Persian roots.


Dornier Winery

The only winery here that was actually designed by its founder, Christopher Dornier. It’s located in South Africa and was meant to blend seamlessly with its surroundings.


Irius Winery

A distinctly modern winery in Spain, the building was meant to resemble a butterfly.


Ledson Winery

This massive Sonoma winery became famous before the wine did, and attracted so much attention that they figured they should make some wine and open a tasting room.


Marques De Riscal

One of the most distinct wineries in the world, this beautiful structure is located in Elciego Spain and was completed in 2006 by Frank Gehry. The pink and titanium exterior looks like a ribbon as it wraps around the surface.


Mission Hill Winery

This Canadian winery is most noted for its 12-story bell tower which welcomes guests with its bell.

mission-hillPetra Winery

Near the old Tuscan village of Suvereto you’ll find this masterpiece, designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta. It was completed in 2003 and features a unique cylindrical core with plants on the roof.


Bodegas Portia

Set amidst a barren looking valley, this winery in Ribera del Duero is one of Spains most distinct wineries. It looks like something out of Star Wars and the modern building was designed by Foster + Partners and opened in 2010.



Diamond Shaped Dune House Appears Sunken Into The Earth

The Dune house looks half-buried in the earth, a striking sight on the island of Terschelling in the Netherlands. The unusual design comes courtesy of Marc Koehler Architects, and its diamond shape delivers a most unsual perspective of the surrounding plains and the distant North Sea.


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Inside the home you’ll find a layout that mimicks the name, creating a sense of wandering a dune as you traverse the various levels. Regardless of where you are, plenty of windows illuminate the shapes and angles inside with a dazzling light. A variety of sustainable elements went into the build, including prefab wood, solar panels, and a biomass fireplace.

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Photography: Marc Koehler Architects

An Old Ruin Is Reimagined Into A Modern Music Studio

New meets old in this adaptive re-use studio that retains an existing brick ruin, effectively celebrating the structure it now replaces. London based firm Haworth Tomplin’s Studio designed the lofted space that fits neatly into what’s left of the eroded masonry shell. The use of stark exterior matches the brick in color, but otherwise creates a harsh contrast to the ruin in a move that celebrates the site’s history.


Take a step through the front door and that contrast is further highlighted by the fact that everything on the interior is fresh and new. Nothing existing remains; a reminder that the once proud two story structure was no match for the grasp of father time.


The building resides on the grounds of Dovecote Studio campus, an internationally recognized music campus at Snape Maltings. The updated space is used as a practice space for multiple instruments, and even acts as sleeping quarters for a live-in student.



The gabled form pays homage to the original structure’s shape, but with a modern twist, or course. Section drawings show how little of the existing building was able to be salvaged. It’s enough, however, to make an impact that will last another century.


A Green Courtyard Grows Inside This Renovated Home

Architect Andrew Maynard saw endless potential when he looked at a ragged old apartment in Seddon, Australia. He saw light and air, ground and sky, inside and out. He saw an opportunity to create something truly unique: a home that literally blurs the lines between shelter and landscape.


The inside out home makes one emphatic, yet simple architectural expression in the form of an extruded space topped with a symmetrical gabled roof. The result is a modern play on traditional vernacular and presents a blank canvas that is then painted with open walls, neck pinching skylights and greenery that seeps in from the surrounding gardens.














It must feel nice to take a hot bath with the sun shining down and nature surrounding you.

Standalone-tub-offers-the-outdoor-bath-experienceThe architects have dubbed the project as “deliberately incomplete,” which is made clear by the ruin-like aesthetic of unfinished walls and roofs. Of course, certain areas of the home can still be closed off from the elements, but a large section of the living space is only semi-conditioned, leaving it up to mother nature to control the interior comfort.


A Subterranean Home For The Modern Hobbit

Many buildings attempt to establish a sense of place, a sort of integration with surroundings, but this home by Santiago Viale literally becomes the place; an extended appendage of Mother Nature herself. Worn stone walls and a series of green roofs help reinforce the connection to the site. They also act as natural insulators along with the surrounding earth.


The House in Q2 is a subterranean dream home that takes advantage of a sloping site to create interior space that is sustainably protected and emotionally visceral. The home emerges as a flat plane that appears sliced into the landscape and becoming a part of the natural aesthetic.

5510f99ee58eceb2700003c3_house-in-q2-santiago-viale_casa_q2_arq_santiago_viale_fotos_g_viramonte_096-530x353 The home opens up at the bottom of the hill as large sliding doors extend the interiors to the sprawling valley beyond. The kitchen and living areas join the master bedroom at the open end of the home and are given the most generous space, views, and cross-ventilation for passive cooling.

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