Flipping through the coffee table tome Elemental Living will make you feel really, really bad about your house. In fact, you may even start frantically Googling “cabins in the Swiss Alps” after you put it down. The recently released book from Phaidon showcases architecture that makes the most of its natural surroundings, and boy are they dreamy.
The houses are designed to detract as little as possible from the beauty around them. Some are so subtly blended into the surrounding landscape that they are barely noticeable. Others are not quite so hidden, but provide incredible vistas. Here are seven of the most impressive dwellings.
This Greek house built in 2008 is nestled into a hillside on the island of Antiparos. It’s hard to tell how big the house is from a distance, since it’s buried below the grade of the hill and covered in a green roof.
The Swiss artist Not Vital designed this island home on an island in Patagonia, Chile. It’s carved directly from a marble outcrop and is largely obscured from view, making it look like a lighthouse when it’s lit up at night. There is a long tunnel from the building to the other side of the island, where there’s a rectangular window out onto the lake.
The Casa Malaparte was built in 1942 on the Italian island of Capri, perched atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the Gulf of Salerno. You can’t get to it by car; it has to be reached on foot or by boat.
This turf-covered house in Denmark, built in 2006, has glass exterior walls, and its roof is covered in succulents. Like many of these houses, its roof slopes down to the ground to give it the appearance of rising out of the earth.
It’s $50 on Amazon.