In the shadow of Mount McKinley, amid Alaska’s meadows and icy streams, a former teacher and an Iditarod winner built a modernist cabin as expansive as the Last Frontier. A series of charred modern boxes is organized around views of the Alaskan landscape. There are dogs aplenty about at the house and Buser, a four-time winner of the Iditarod dogsled race, routinely takes 80-mile rides with his hounds.
An adventurous family envisions a dream getaway on Sweden’s southwestern shore. Part surf shack, part modernist abode, the 2,500-square-foot beachfront house is no fussy show home. Rather, the rooms reverberate with the sounds of children enjoying summer break, and no one worries about wet footprints on the concrete floor or sand brought in from the beach.
Located on a remote island 62 miles from the coast of Auckland, New Zealand, and off the electricity grid, this "bach" is designed around the rituals of communal food preparation, dining and sleeping, and to be occupied for short periods of time. The structure consists of two rectangular, cedar-clad pavilions of different lengths, connected by a walkway that is permeable to the elements.
New Zealand transplant Debbie Gibbs and her young son retreat from their New York city life to their custom prefab home in Lake Iosco, New Jersey. Gibbs contacted Resolution: 4 Architecture to design a home where the line between indoors and out would blur. The result is a flowing, expansive breath of space.
On a lakeside plot outside Toronto, four friends forge a new kind of vacation house. The scheme consists of a massive shed—a post-and-beam structure of Douglas fir, 20 feet high at its apex—that shelters two separate, fully insulated structures. Almost every day, communal lunches and dinner parties unfold on the covered porch.
A rocky island that’s a 20-minute boat ride from the mainland, a climate where temperatures range from below zero to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and a site that endures powerful westerly winds in the wintertime were the conditions in which Becca and Doug Worple would rebuild a sleeping cottage and a floating boathouse. Though changes on the Great Lakes can be harsh on waterfront buildings, the Worples’ place is secure. "I love being right on the water,” Becca says. “I woke up one morning and there were a bunch of kayakers right out the window. It’s like you’re on a boat."
With authenticity and simplicity as their rallying cry, a Kiwi architect and his wife have built a modern beach house that puts a fresh spin on the local vernacular. While the homes’s many structures are firmly grounded, the glassy pavilion containing kitchen, dining, and living areas is elevated three feet off the ground on posts so it appears to hover among the dunes. “We wanted to lift it enough to get a bit of a view but be connected to the ground so everyone could run in and out,” the architect says.
Midway between tents and cabins, a series of reclaimed-wood-clad structures make a family compound on a 24-acre island on Shoal Lake in Canada. Architect-resident Herbert Enns built the compact structures as “stepping-stones to the natural world,” and with a small footprint.