Livable Design Object
VIPP Shelter – Lake Immeln, Malmö, Sweden
A steel pod with a deeply sleek style all alone with the lake and trees
In the heart of the Swedish wilderness, a crisp black steel structure stands like a visual marvel, finely attuned to the surrounding natural landscape. The sleek design, with a reduced color palette in black and grays, is cleverly juxtaposed with the rich color of the trees and the lake, which can be viewed through the large, glazed sliding doors. Accessed via a ladder, a loft bed looks up through the skylights, which provide a view of the changing colors throughout the day. Dinner by the fire, prepared in the fully equipped kitchen, a stroll through the forest, or an early morning swim in the lake are all unforgettable experiences.
Tainaron Blue – Vathia Mani, Peloponnese, Greece
A historic fortified watchtower turned luxury boutique hotel directly by the sea
The stone tower stands high above the Mediterranean Sea, the surface of which reflects the sun’s bright sheen. The Tainaron Blue Retreat, formerly an early nineteenth century watchtower, has been carefully renovated in a manner that harmoniously combines the traditional and modern with the luxurious comforts expected of a boutique hotel. Most impressive is the main suite in the apex of the tower, which has a timber terrace that seems to soar above the landscape. After a swim in the outdoor hydrotherapy pool, guests can relax on the day beds under the dappled shade of the olive trees. The hotel’s restaurant serves dishes inspired by traditional Greek cuisine and made from local organic ingredients.
Bay of Peace
Pigeon Bay – Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand
An award-winning eco-friendly home in a secluded cove
Sheltered almost entirely by rolling fields of tawny grass, the sharp angles of the stone and glass home appear like an unusual yet welcome extension of the soft, undulating landscape. The rhythmic surge of the sea in the bay below is a constant auditory backdrop. At the close of the day, the light slowly fades and the interior glows with its sleek wooden surfaces, crisp white textiles, and the flicker of flames in the hearth. The architect has combined textures with a material palette of stone, wood, concrete, and glass that echo the surroundings.
La Casa Pequena – Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico
Architect-designed tiny house made of concrete and wood with its own private pool
Once the wooden shutters of Casa Pequena are pulled open, the bright richness and variety of natural green hues are revealed, like a work of organic art. The expansive shuttered-off concrete surfaces cool the interior of the house that opens up onto an outdoor dining area and private pool. Alongside the house, the marine blue tones of the pool create a sense of harmony within the indigenous green shrubs and trees that surround the structure. Guests have privileged access to nearby Casa Wabi, designed by the famous self-taught Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
For Mountaineers Only
Alpine Shelter- Zgornje Jezersko, Skuta Mountain, Slovenia
A simple wooden architect-designed shelter for rest and protection.
The sharp, stepped roof the bivouac (storm shelter) echoes the jagged contour of the alpine peaks surrounding it. Designed by the architecture firm OFIS and students of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, the shelter is perched on the third highest peak of the Kamnik Alps and is a place of rest and recuperation for hikers and mountaineers on their strenuous journeys. At night, the shelter seems to be the only source of light on earth and during the day the beauty of nature is reflected in its geometric windows. A simple shelter with bunk beds for eight people, the essence of the bivouac is protection from the harsh, high-altitude elements.