Friday, July 24, 2009

Objects in the Landscape

There are several schools of thought when it comes to siting a house in the landscape.  First, we build a house and then create a landscape to go “with” the house.  It has always been my belief that a home and landscape go together – that one would never imagine the house in any other context. 

Another school of thought is just as valid, however.  The house or architecture becomes “art” in the landscape or an object in the landscape.  In this context, the landscape is so perfect that the house fits right in and needs no manmade landscape at all. 

Here are some fine examples of objects in the landscape.  This is what we would label as Design with Nature.  Click on the captions to see and learn more about the houses.

 Neal Creek Residence by Paul McKean Architecture, Hood River, OR

 Hong Luo Club House / MAD Office, Beijing, China

"Bridge House" by Max Pritchard, Architect, near Adelaide, Australia

Less is more.

Now there is a trend called Cargo Container Architecture where used cargo or shipping containers are being recycled as basic building units for residential housing.  Take a look.

Kit Home by Adam Kalkin

Cargo Container House, Designer Unknown


Redondo Beach Cargo Container Residence by DeMaria Design

A clean and green way to live?   In this economy, will less truly become more?  Will we see Americans giving up square footage for a simpler life style?  Building sustainable homes with native and natural landscapes instead of exotic ones that require an unending flow of water and chemicals to be kept alive?

Maybe one day, my friend Julia over at Hooked on Houses will feature an in depth look at some of these homes.

It’s been a while since I participated in her “Hooked on Houses” Friday Blog Party, but I feel social today and I’m hoping you do to.  To see what she and others are hooked on this week, visit Julia's Hooked on Houses Friday Blog Party and then stop by Melissa's The Inspired Room Blog Party.



  1. Great post--love these photos. I'm fascinated by the cargo container houses. Such a cool idea. I've had several people ask me to write a post about them, and maybe one of these days I'll get around to researching them!

    Thanks for joining my party today. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! :-)

  2. I love the look of container houses. I've only seen them in pictures and on HGTV, but I'd love to see how one functions in real life. They seem small, but at the same time spacious with regard to how the space is used. Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

  3. Absolutely love the first home. And the idea "Design with Nature" has always appealed to me..., I think we need more of that (kind of attitude).

  4. Oh my gosh, I haven't visited you for ages -- I'm sorry!!

    I absolutely LOVE the concept of these houses. How cool would it be to live in a house over a creek?! And the storage container houses are great. Talk about taking recycling to a whole new level!!

    Our house is definitely too big for us. Maybe one day we'll downsize to a house like these ones. I just love how simple they are, and the way they fit right into the landscape.

    Great name for the painting in our giveaway :-) Good luck!!


  5. The Neal Creek residence looks fantastic in the snow. I am a great fan of the Design by Nature concept.

  6. I'm attracted to the bridge house. It's funny to me that 2 of the most loved structure are also the most unnatural in their environments: Bridges and Lighthouses.

    I love the idea of recycling containers. But I think there are industrial or urban locations the are more fitting than a meadow. Nobody loves old factories and warehouses more than I do but they usually look more fitting among their "friends."

  7. Recycling is such a good idea, and certainly the ones you've shown I would live in! Love the one perched above the ravine!

  8. Hi Pam...those are some very unusual houses. I know I for one, do hope to downsize one day...hopefully to a cute cottage with lots of charm. :-) Thanks for stopping by BNOTP stop by for dinner anytime!

  9. Hooked on Houses? Very cool post. I'll never live in a new, specially built house, but it's great to dream! Cheers, Alice

  10. I have a serious case of envy starting up now. The Hong Luo Club House looks amazing.
    One day, I'd love to be involved in the planning and building of a house to be a part of the landscape rather than tack the garden on to try to soften the house?

  11. I think those container houses are so cool!


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