When it comes to architecture, judging a book by its cover can unlock a world of inspiration. These modern exteriors display a wide range of stylistic influences but they all have one thing in common: they embrace the constraints and challenges presented by their environments by creating a unified experience between landscape, materials, and form. These buildings don’t disrupt the landscape – they provide a new way to experience it. Blurring the lines between vernacular architecture and modernist design principals allows home exteriors to become something more than just a beautiful facade.
Enjoy these 26 Extraordinary Exteriors that will take you to another dimension.
A gorgeous cliffside home, embraced by a curved glass shell.
Roughage and timber resolve into orderly rectilinear architecture. The visualized landscape is whimsical, but the home itself is equally breathtaking.
Here, there are no boundaries. A verdant stone wall intersects the main volumes, and the rooftop lawn surrounds an outdoor living space on the roof. The stairwell itself is the most substantial part of the glass-clad design.
Visualized as a part of a resort for the “unplugged yet not-disconnected”, this space is carefully integrated into the surrounding landscape. It sits perched atop an overlook, its foundation plunges into the earth and emerges from the hillside as a chic entertainment space. The pool’s sunken fire pit is especially inspiring!
Serene settings with a view of the great mountains. What more could you want?
Yet another building that is built right into the landscape!
Orderly, linear, folded – rustic wood cladding and sleek concrete panels help this home feel like the perfect compromise between suburbia and country living.
Built into the cliffside, this home features classic Greek influences mixed with notes of streamlined modernism. An observatory-type space sits discreetly underneath the patio.
Another gorgeous cliffside concept, with a gravity-defying observation deck. Recreation areas occupy the top floor, with private areas enjoying the shade beneath. The uppermost room would make for an especially inspiring office.
Wintertime visualizations are surprisingly rare but this home looks like the perfect place to warm up as the snow falls outside, especially with the yellow-hued lighting that emanates from the interior.
The juxtaposition between the smooth white walls and textural stone cladding exert amazing visual appeal. Don’t you just love the cistern/urn-style fountains integrated with the retaining wall? The shapes echo the planters used on the upper balcony and, taken together, provide a touch of classical appeal to an otherwise fully contemporary design.
This home takes full advantage of its narrow plot. The pool runs alongside a tasteful garden and terminates at a patio sheltered by the room above. A tidy row of bamboo softens the look of the modern striped fence.
Part of a villa hotel project, this u-shaped retreat embraces its tropical environment. Small palms in the courtyard extend the landscape.
Pools occupy multiple levels. The topmost pool features clean glass walls to preserve the view for people lounging on the balcony, and to give swimmers an incredible way to experience the landscaped surroundings.
The home architecture seems weightless and divine, but the lovely pool deck deserves a second look as well. The furthest portion extends out from the underneath a breathtaking cantilever dining room, transitioning from smooth white to sumptuous dark wood that matches the singular section of timber cladding on the upper story of the home. A neat boardwalk provides another route of access to the entertainment areas.
A sleek rectilinear volume intersects with a strong triangular prism. This unique form helps to enhance – rather than obscure – its connection with the conifer forest behind it.
Rendered by Michal Nowak and designed by 81. architects, the Crown House projects its stoic form across a still dark lake. The somber color of the water is reflected in the treatment of the charcoal-colored eaves, heightening contrast and making the folded architecture look even more dramatic.
Diamond-shaped trusses support the home like a bridge, with a singular beam placed in the middle to create the illusion of an impossible balancing act.
Designed for single person-usage, this compact modular home features a distinctive shape and an even more distinctive interior layout. Alternating stairs help to save space at the entrance but ladder rungs provide access to the main living spaces housed in cantilever cross-section. Ascending further, the vertical passage leads to a quiet observation deck with the potential for an amazing view.
Severe angles and impressive stepped cantilever volumes set this home apart from any other. The open vaulted ceiling and glass-clad gable creates a spacious impression, almost like a cathedral, and is made even more striking by the series of glass skylights that makes the ridge of the roof look transparent.
Intricate girih strapwork forms a metallic screen to shield the open volumes. A lower horizontally slatted wood screen offers a more discreet aesthetic that directs attention upward.
This perforated building (located in Nicosia, Cyprus) is a striking blend of angular construction and playful port windows. Not pictured – but alluded to on the left – a u-shaped fold gives the back of the home an open and organic aesthetic that smartly contradicts the sharp facade.
Designed to mimic the shape of binoculars, the Two Hulls project by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple makes spectacular use of its unique view of the Nova Scotian coastline. Geothermal heating, wooden rain skin, and concrete piers ensure harmony with the surrounding environment.
A living room rests on thin concrete piers and offers an incredible 180-degree view of the mountainous surroundings, and a covered porch brings the surroundings into the architecture with a round porthole with a tree growing through.
The translucent ground level living space opens to the world, supporting the chevron-clad private living spaces above.
A modern boardwalk crosses a carefully framed channel of water, leading to an ever-so-slightly elevated indoor/outdoor living space decorated with trendy diamond frame lighting and streamlined furniture.
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