This rural Washington vacation home references its rugged surroundings. The steel cladding has developed a patina similar to the ochre-red color of bedrock found in the area. Says architect and resident Jesse Garlick, “People think, ‘It would be great to be away from it all.’ But you’ve got to understand the place and do the work to make that happen. It’s beautiful, but you have to be able to troubleshoot.”
A single-lane road winds its way up a densely wooded hillside to artist Richard Brothers’s home on Orcas Island, Washington. A panorama of sylvan hills and ocean views surrounds the peaceful house.
This 55-acre farm in rural Iowa contains a modern farmhouse, designed by Seattle-based architect John DeForest but built entirely by local craftsmen, so that it would be an extension of the community as well as the land.
“My idea was to live off the grid and to live simply,” practicing Buddhist Jason Gordon says of his off-the-grid retreat in the Ozark Mountains. Green elements include a photovoltaic array, a rainwater catchment system, and a pier footing foundation that elevates the house over the land, minimizing site disturbance.
This rustic dwelling in the Chichibu mountain range, two and a half hours northwest of Tokyo, is constructed from locally harvested larch wood and removable fiberplastic walls. Two yellow dome tents are used as year-round bedrooms.
This 693-square-foot studio in the woods of Puget Sound, designed by Olson Kundig Architects, is a tall-ceilinged retreat for an activist and filmmaker that treads lightly on the land.
This sleek prefab home by Marmol Radziner brings 4,500 square feet of sturdy steel modules into the desert near Palm Springs.