written by:
August 31, 2015
Accessible only by helicopter, ferry, boat, or backcountry roads, these secluded getaways are inspiration for when you really (no...really) need to get away from it all.

On a New York island accessible only by 45-minute ferry from Connecticut, building a prefab retreat required brokering a deal with a ferry operator. Getting concrete mixers on and off the island by boat was virtually out of the question, so the architects specified a prefabricated foundation and arranged to put the slabs on the ferry with the help of the general contractor. The ferry operator confirmed that the boats could accommodate the 16-foot-wide modules that comply with federal shipping regulations, as long as the modules were arranged two abreast and delivered before Memorial Day weekend.

1 / 5
Modern prefab New Zealand beach house interior and deck space

Located approximately 800 feet from the nearest road, this modest New Zeland bach—or beach house—sits atop a thicketed cliff that falls sharply into Hekerua Bay. “The site has no access other than a hair-raisingly steep paper road,” says architect Cecile Bonnifait, using a Kiwi term for a makeshift car route. This meant nearly all materials would have to be brought in one at a time, by hand—or helicopter. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Almost Every Part of this Prefab Beach House Was Brought to its Secluded Site by Hand
2 / 5
Sustainable cabin with hooded deck exterior near Vancouver

Off the coast of British Columbia—on a site accessible only by boat—a family of Vancouver urbanites commissioned a sustainable cabin for weekend getaways that feels a world away. The architects designed every gesture of the home as a complement to the landscape, including the slot windows that frame views of the surrounding foliage and the walkway that follows the bedrock of the cliff.

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
Hasselblad H3D
Originally appeared in When Living on the Edge is Super Comfortable
3 / 5
modern cedar-clad prefab house by method homes

To build a home on a remote plot of land in Washington State accessible by ferry from Seattle, former Angelenos Amy Staupe and Christopher Roy commissioned Method Homes to construct a highly personalized prefab structure. "For us, the primary driver for us to move from Los Angeles and abandon our urban existence was our love of the property," Staupe says. 

Originally appeared in Modern Prefab Living
4 / 5
Compson Bach Beach House Wooden Walkway

Located on a remote island 62 miles from the coast of Auckland and off the electricity grid, this low-key bach is designed around the rituals of communal food preparation, dining and sleeping, and to be occupied for short periods of time. “You don’t want to be opening and closing curtains all the time,” says architect Lance Herbst. “We wanted it to be the kind of house you can walk around in after your swim and have a high level of privacy.”

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Off-the-Grid Island House in New Zealand Connects with the Outdoors
5 / 5
ferry feat new york garden patio

On a New York island accessible only by 45-minute ferry from Connecticut, building a prefab retreat required brokering a deal with a ferry operator. Getting concrete mixers on and off the island by boat was virtually out of the question, so the architects specified a prefabricated foundation and arranged to put the slabs on the ferry with the help of the general contractor. The ferry operator confirmed that the boats could accommodate the 16-foot-wide modules that comply with federal shipping regulations, as long as the modules were arranged two abreast and delivered before Memorial Day weekend.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016