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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

These Houses And Buildings Are Disguised To Look Like They're Not Even There


Humans need shelter as much as they need food, sleep, and other essentials. If you've ever been disappointed with the installation of a new housing development or the dreaded luxury high rise, you might have asked yourself: do human dwellings have to be so ugly and obtrusive? If you want to live in the blissful solitude of nature, there's something, well, unnatural about plunking a house down in the middle of untouched land. So what can you do?

Luckily, there are clever designers and architects everywhere who work to reconcile the human need for shelter with respect for natural settings that look better without humans stomping all over it. Using clever and surprisingly simple technology, these buildings blend right in with their surroundings.


The Woodpile Studio, The Netherlands



Thomas Mayer Archive

This is just a particularly square pile of logs, right?



Thomas Mayer Archive

Wrong! This little studio simply has a log facade. The images of logs are even screened onto the windows so it completely blends in when they're closed. When opened up, the house is more obvious, but it's still pretty low profile.




Thomas Mayer Archive

Inside, it's sleek, modern, and full of natural light.

Juniper House, Sweden




Murman Architects

Instead of using a facade, this house uses a tailor-made cloth printed with a photo of juniper trees as its covering, making it blend into the forested background.

The Cadyville Sauna




Dan Hisel Firm, via Architizer

Okay, so it's a sauna, not a house, but a sauna can be hidden, too. This tiny structure is built against a cliff, which serves as one of the walls. The rest of it is clad in mirrors, which reflect the natural setting in any season.



Dan Hisel Firm, via Architizer

Except for the off-set window, the house seamlessly blends into the cliff face and surrounding woods.

Mirrorcube, Sweden



Treehotel

This floating cube looks alien, but it's actually part of Sweden's Treehotel, a collection of bungalows aloft in the trees. They come in many forms, but this one was designed to be nearly invisible.





Treehotel

At night, its lights can be seen hovering in the trees. While it's barely visible to us, a special film was applied to the glass so that it would be obvious to birds, so you don't have to worry about them flying into it.

The Pinnacle, Nashville, TN



Highwoods Properties

This 29-story office and retail building looks like it's made of air itself. Besides being covered in mirrors to reflect the sky, it's also super energy-efficient and features a one-acre garden on its rooftop.

Utility Building, The Netherlands





Roeland Otten

Deisgner Roeland Otten came up with this simple concept to make less obtrusive utility buildings, which are necessary to any city but usually ugly. These structures are covered in high-res photos of the surrounding area, so they appear to blend in.





Roeland Otten


There are some discrepancies, of course, but the result is charmingly startling.


Green Box, Italy





Act_Romegialli

Instead of making a house look like nature, these designers decided to make a house out of nature. The building is a renovated garage in the Italian Alps, and its exterior is completely covered in flowering vines and other plants.





Act_Romegialli

The vines cleverly disguise the house among the natural setting. It's like a gillie suit for your home.

Lucid Stead, Joshua Tree National Park





Phillip K. Smith III, Royale Projects

An abandoned homesteader shack got a mirrored makeover by an architect so that it appears to float in the desert.





Phillip K. Smith III, Royale Projects

At night, it sheds its receding appearance and lights up!

Aloni House, Greece





Deca Architecture

This house takes "low-profile" to a whole new level--literally. This subterranean house's roof is the natural terrain of the Cyclades. The roof is supported by parallel stone walls, and the soil and plants simply continue over it.





Deca Architecture

The result is spacious and airy, not cave-like at all.

Glass Barn, The Netherlands





MVRDV

New buildings using materials like steel and glass are often the subject of ire because they can look cold and clinical. But you can't have quaint and modern at the same time, right? Wrong. This office complex looks like an old-fashioned brick building, but its walls are actually glass.





MVRDV

The pattern of bricks and windows is simply printed on the glass, making a bright airy workspace inside without sacrificing the historical charm of the area.

Camouflage House 3, Japan





Hiroshi Iguchi

This house for humans is disguised as a house for plants! It even has trees inside that grow right through the roof.





Hiroshi Iguchi

Inside, though, is a fully-functional home for humans. The glass walls let in lots of light, and, as a greenhouse operates, helps regulate temperature inside.

The Pierre, San Juan Islands, WA





Olson Kundig Architects

This house is cleverly nestled against a boulder (pierre, besides being a name, means "stone" in French). It features a green, growing roof and rough, natural materials that mirror the surrounding landscape.





Olson Kundig Architects

Keeping a low profile, it doesn't encroach on the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Cave Palace Ranch, Utah





Off Grid World

Getting back to their prehistoric roots, the designers of this home used a natural cave as their starting point, expanding on it and creating a spacious, beautiful home inside the Earth.





Off Grid World

Besides looking amazing, the stone keeps the house cool, even in the desert heat. The house is also completely solar powered, so there's no electric bill. And the desert has plenty of sun, so the house is completely modern with all kinds of electrical appliances.

If you're the kind of person who would rather not be an eyesore, consider covering your house in mirrors, photo prints, or growing vines. Blending in sometimes makes you stand out, but in an amazingly creative way.

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