Today’s post covers 15 dwellings that have had a profound effect on how we think about designing and building in forest environments. These featured projects share many important characteristics with one another, some of which are quite apparent, while others require a deeper read. Together, these 15 Awesome Forest Dwelling Designs that will make You Love Green Architecture establish a vocabulary of design that is evolving architecture in a design-forward direction of sensibility, timelessness and discipline. Blending the inside with the outside, they feature terraces, central rooms, porch swings and folding elements, allowing inhabitants to interact fluidly with their living space, embedded in the landscape.
Carved out of the Brazilian jungle of Iporanga, SP, Brazil, this beautiful tropical house was designed as his own dream house. “I always wanted a house in the middle of the forest, in a place where I could relax and recharge my energy”. In the form of two large symmetrical cubes embracing an open space, this house was idealised as his dream house. Arthur’s aim was interiors in total synergy with exteriors.
This is a recreational house, with it´s own carekeepers studio. It was made with Bambu(Guadua) as the structural element, designed to be seismic resistant. An atractive material that has a short growing cycle, thus reducing carbon footprint in a forested area. Casa Atrevida accommodates up to ten guest and can be booked all year round from $2,100 to $3,500 per week, depending on the season.
Hidden deep in the dense vegetation of Praia do Felix, Brazil, this contemporary resort home is a project by the architects at Vidal & Sant’Anna. It was designed to have minimal impact on its stunning surroundings.
Casa San Sen is located in Valle de Bravo, México and was constructed by Alejandro Sánchez García Arquitectos. The home is surrounded by a lush forest, and is designed with the intention of allowing its inhabitants to enjoy the outdoors as much as the interior. The view is simply impressing. A walk on the terrace, a good conversation over a refined cup of coffee and a striking beautiful view over the lush vegetation, surrounding the house – this is paradise!
The Deck House was designed by Choo Gim Wah Architect and is located in Janda Baik, a small village in Pahang, Malaysia. The home is perched on a steep hill and surrounded by a lush forest, with an interior of rich wood floors and clear glass walls.
This two story contemporary residence stands on the highest peak of the property, allowing for an unobstructed view of the surrounding landscape and shoreline from the roof terrace. The living spaces on the top floor are enclosed by glass walls that enable light and air to penetrate while a screen of trees provides a sense of privacy. In contrast, the façade of the first floor, which contains the more private spaces of the house, filters light and views through heavyweight fiberglass-screened panels. Set in separate corners of the property, the glass-walled guesthouse and pool house echo the main house’s underlying principle: open to light, hidden by trees. The bunk house, a multi-use space that is the latest addition to the complex, is conceived of as a forested retreat.
Montreal-based studio Natalie Dionne Architecture completed the T House project in March 2013. This 3,230 square foot country retreat is located Sutton, Quebec, Canada. The house was placed in a forest clearing on a plateau high up on a hillside offering beautiful vistas to rolling agricultural valleys and distant mountains.
Are you a big fan of the nature? Then, you’ve come to the right place. Realized by Parsonson Architects, Eastbourne House represents a perfect escape for those who love the birds and the sun. The architects explained: “This house is about life in the trees – creating a delicate platform amongst them to view the harbor and enjoy the birds and the sun. It has a natural spirit that is part of this special setting.
Designed by Gary Gladwish Architecture, this beautiful house is located in Orcas Island, Washington, USA. The owner requested an open, simple, low maintenance design which works with the site in such a way that her connection to the island, forest and ledges were always present within the house. Each part of the house was to be designed to accommodate the inevitable bad hips, knees and back worn out from a lifetime of moving rocks, dirt and plants.
Located in Kerhonkson, New York, USA, Hudson Woods is a project designed by Lang Architecture. Set amidst forests and meadows with sweeping mountain views, Hudson Woods homes offer modern design that blends seamlessly with the natural surroundings.
Designed by Allied Works Architecture the home has received recognition from the American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter, receiving a 2009 Honor Award. The Dutchess County Residence – Guest House is nestled within a mature deciduous forest of oak, hickory, and birch as a part of a larger site plan including a private residence and gallery. Situated above a bend in Ryder Creek it represents a place of silence, rest and reflection.
Situated on 1.4 acres of a private, wooded land in the sought after Sycamore School District, Ohio, USA this custom built contemporary home, dubbed The Zinc House, is set in its own private sanctuary, basking in the crisp wooded views from every turn.
Two simple glass boxes envelop the common area components, while a more solid block of serving functions follows the length of this house. While the interior includes only one corridor along the length of the structure, an exterior walkway creates the double corridor plan, likening it to the previous projects. A deliberate move to raise the structure above the forest floor creates intentional relationships with the topography and the additional height captures a stunning view.
Located on Lopez Island, Washington “The Walker-Pope home is modular and prefabricated, based on a 16-foot grid sized to fit on a flatbed truck. The design of the home speaks to the simplicity that good architecture should embody. Four walls and a shed roof keep the rain out and the heat in, creating an atmosphere of warm shelter. The main wall at the entry extends out in both directions and provides protection for exterior decks at each end. The opposite wall opens up to provide a sweeping view of the forest. All of the necessary functions reside within this simple, elegant box, it’s everything it needs to be and nothing more.
Designed for two graphic designers, this house bridges between two stands of redwood trees, with the northern window wall facing out to the expansive view. Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects designed the Sebastopol Residence located in Sebastopol, California. This 1,700 square foot contemporary country house was completed in 2008. The exterior of this house is clad in cedar wood and has a warm interior with predominantly wooden ceiling, wall and flooring.
Photos by: David Wakely