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Old Meets New In This Stunning Ancient Stone Home Remodel

Some of the most emotionally visceral architectural achievements are a result of a properly handled adaptive re-use. Blending the old with the new is a delicate exercise in restraint and creativity. So when one comes around that achieves such a sought-after level of success, we feel the obligation to share it with you.

Wespi de Meuron Romeo Architects renovated this ancient stone building, which has long-since resided in a historic and picturesque Swiss village. The rustic, monolithic shell provided an apt base of inspiration for the architect to draw upon when designing the interiors and carving openings into its facades. Although there is much that is new, contemporary and modern to be found inside, you are never far removed from the history that exists in what remains of the stone ruins.

This project shows us the importance of our history, and to take the time to appreciate where we’ve come from as we move to where we are going.

photo credit: Hannes Henz

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.



Jaw-Dropping Views Await In This Stunning Copper-Clad Beach House

A breathtaking and vertigo-inducing 250 foot drop to the Pacific Ocean provides a daunting, yet beautiful backdrop for this modern beach house. The Buck Creek House, designed by California-based firm Fougeron Architecture, marries the sea with the surf through strategic openings that frame only the most jaw-dropping views.

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The unique aesthetic of the home’s exterior make a fleeting attempt to steal your attention from the crystal blue water, but do so in vein. The back end of the home is largely opaque for purposes of privacy, and clad in shimmering copper panels that change throughout the day depending on the light. However, there is no containing the sea-side facade, which opens completely to pier over the looming shear cliff.

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The interiors are clean, sleek, and do just what only what’s necessary to supplement the ocean views. High vaulted ceilings expand the spaces vertically, allowing light and air to flow through the home with elegant determination. This spectacular beach house has three bedrooms, a cantilevered master suite and a living room that opens to an adjacent exterior courtyard.

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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An Unreal Renovation Has This Home In The Record Books

It’s not quite as dramatic as a Medieval drawbridge, but it just might be as massive. This ultra-modern home in Antwerp, Belgium is host to the world’s largest set of fully glazed pivot doors. Local architecture firm Sculpt IT worked with window manufacturers and engineers to realize the one-of-a-kind feature, which are impressive not only in size, but in contemporary design as well.

The doors are part of a fully glazed facade that opens the entire side of the home to an exterior courtyard. When the pivot doors are swung open, the kitchen area naturally spills out across the seamless transition of the monolithic concrete slab.

The installation of the doors was part of a holistic renovation of an existing home. The entire house was gutted and re-fitted with modern finishes, properly organized spaces, and one hell of a center piece.

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Container Madness!! Massive House Built With 31 Shipping Containers

Few words come to mind that would appropriately describe a home that was built with an astounding 31 recycled shipping containers, but I’ll do my best. Australian architects ZeiglerBuild shocked the architecture community when they conceived this grandiose experiment, evoking the curiosity of a child who was just given Legos for the first time. The home is spread out over three interlocking stories and features a salt water pool and some impressive exterior graffiti art.

The exterior of the home was treated as if they containers had been left in the open to the devices of urban hoodlummery and vandalism. It’s a unique approach that in an odd paradoxical way calms the massive scale of the building. A structure of this size has every opportunity to appear as a wart on the landscape no matter where it is situated, but the celebration of the container’s facade gives the building an innate sense of place. The playful juxtaposition of new and old is evident everywhere, cohesively binding the interior to the exterior.

This ‘Stealth’ Getaway Isn’t Your Grampa’s Log Cabin

Through the use of aerodynamic lines and application of native materials, the Stealth Cabin by Superkül inc flies under the radar of imposing visual impact in an attempt to recede into the natural environment it inhabits.

The sleek 4-season cabin is a contemporary take on the storied log cabin vernacular, and is meant to champion the generous wealth of resources the forest provides for shelter, warmth and protection. While not as small or as modest in stature as many other secluded vacation spots, the Stealth Cabin never feels overwhelming in its form and makes a point to embrace the aspects of the site that make it unique.

The 1500 square foot structure takes every opportunity to expose itself to the spectacular forest scenery. Large windows and massive sliding doors let the trees pour into the conditioned spaces creating a symbiotic indoor/outdoor experience.

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

This Modern Pyramid House Pays Homage To Classic Architecture

Maybe the Egyptians had it right all along.

This contemporary manifestation of the iconic pyramid form makes an emphatic statement about the simplicity of an inherently structural architectural expression. Before architects and builders developed building technology to more efficiently battle gravity’s limitations, we relied on literal formal response to those rules. Simply put, the higher you built, the smaller the footprint. The result was the pyramid: a pure geometric form that allowed ancient builders to reach heights never seen before.


This conceptual design from Mexican architect Juan Carlos Ramos pays homage to this classic vernacular while mixing in features that can only be constructed using modern techniques and materials. It’s an interesting dichotomy of old vs. new, telling a story of how far we’ve come as builders. For example, one of the facades is completely transparent, housing a massive triangular glazed opening.

04 Horizontal and vertical slices are cut into the pyramid, opening up areas for decks, views, and even a car port.

03 The main living space welcomes an open view to the outside, speaking to the structural and architectural feats we are able to achieve.

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