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June 25, 2015
These homes are merely a place to lay one's head, as the residents choose to spend most of their time outside engaging with the surroundings.
Modernist charred cedar cabin in Alaska

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.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in This Modern Cabin Is the Ideal HQ For a Family in Alaska
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Modern Swedish family dream getaway with glass windows on the facade

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. 

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Originally appeared in A Scandinavian Summer Home Built for Surf, Sports, and Sun
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Compson Bach Beach House Wooden Walkway

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. 

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Originally appeared in Off-the-Grid Island House in New Zealand Connects with the Outdoors
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Modern prefab lakeside home in Bloomingdale, New Jersey

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.

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Courtesy of 
photograph by Mark Mahaney,all rights reserved
Originally appeared in The New Zealand Native Who Can't Get Enough of the Garden State
4 / 8
Outdoor wooden house structure and porch

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.

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Originally appeared in Four Friends Joined Forces to Realize This Idyllic Forest Retreat Outside Toronto
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All of the Worples' guests arrive by boat to the lower level of the Floating House.

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."

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Originally appeared in Floating House, Lake Huron
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Modern beach house exterior in New Zealand

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.

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Courtesy of 
matthew williams
Originally appeared in Bach to the Beach
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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. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Barely There
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Modernist charred cedar cabin in Alaska

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.

Photo by Kamil Bialous.

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