The beauty of nature, and being in it, is the absence of the man-made. But some of the world’s most breath-taking architecture benefits from being in the middle of nowhere (and from not always totally subtly fitting in).
As we become increasingly urbanised, our human desire to escape and retreat – at least temporarily – grows, and architecture is creating new interactions with nature through the guided hand of the artificial. Whether it’s Swedish cabins or Japanese tree houses, the exceptional beauty of these buildings can help us see nature anew.
Phaidon’s new book Elemental Living looks at the architects embracing nature and the new possibilities for materiality. Here we round up the boldest houses built into nature.
Saunders Architecture, Fogo Island Studios, 2011, Fogo Island, Canada
Rick Joy Architects, Sun Valley House, 2013, Sun Valley, USA
MIMA, MIMA Light, 2011, Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Selldorf Architects, Pika House, 2006, Dunton Hot Springs, USA
John Pawson, Montauk House, Montauk, USA
Adalberto Libera and Curzio Malaparte, Casa Malaparte, 1942, Capri, Italy
Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater, 1939, Mill Run, USA
Olson Kundig, The Pierre, 2010, San Juan Islands, USA
Elemental Living by Phaidon is out now.