Living in a Stone Age: Seven incredible homes where rock meets a hard place
Between a rock and a hard place. Photo: Live Journal, Uhaiun
Imagine waking up every morning surrounded by nature, or walking bare foot on a smooth stone floor that wasn’t placed there by a contractor. Well, some architects and homeowners are preserving the natural beauty of rocks by designing houses around, in and under them, and the results are stunning.
From modern homes pushing the boundaries, to rustic retreats suited to off-grid living, take a look at these seven homes that are bringing back the Stone Age with style.
1. Cabin Knapphullet, Norway
This seaside home designed by Norwegian studio Lund Hagem was created as a client’s summer residence. The small-but-sweet 30-square-metre retreat sits on a rocky site in Sandefjord, Norway. Tucked against a cliff, it features a stepped concrete roof that doubles as a viewing platform. The surrounding beaten boulders protect the home from extreme weather.
Also designed by Lund Hagem, this summer house is situated on the rocky edge of a Norwegian island and is only accessible by boat. The 75-square-metre dwelling is the holiday home of an interior architect, an artist and their two children. Located just five metres from the water on the small island off the coast, the uneven rocky site is exposed to strong winds but enjoys unobstructed sea views.
This home in Whistler, Canada was designed by architectural firm Studio NMinusOne, built for a professional snowboarder. Consisting of five levels, the house cascades down the line of a mountain. On the lower level, a guest house is embedded in the rock and has a green roof that blends into the landscape.
This stunning modernist home woven into the natural landscape of upstate New York was the home of designer Russel Wright. He believed in good design living in harmony with with nature, as evidenced by his home. Wright used the actual rock on which the home is set as the floor. Because it is a little uneven, the Eames chairs around the dining table have been outfitted with custom tripod legs so they don’t wobble.
Dubbed the “Barud House” after the warning call shouted by construction workers before exploding a rock mountain in Jerusalem, this property was designed by Paritzki & Liani Architects. The exterior is made of checkered white Jerusalem stone. The upper floors are built up against the rock, forming a passageway that leads from the top of the property to the entrance. Daily life in the house has been designed to run parallel to the exposed rock.
Located in the Fafe mountains of northern Portugal, A Casa do Penedo, or the “House of Stone“, was built between four large boulders found on the site. Although the house may seem rustic, it is not lacking in amenities, which include a fireplace and a swimming pool carved out of one of the large rocks. The house was built in 1974 as a family’s off-grid retreat but as word has spread, the sleepy little house has attracted many curious visitors from all over the globe.
In case one rocky retreat won’t suffice, you may like to consider a move to an entire boulder-friendly town? Nestled on the edge of the Spanish border in Portugal lies the ancient village of Monsanto, this town is filled with houses nestled between, around, and on top of a crop of gigantic boulders. The picturesque town’s homes and streets have been integrated into the landscape over the centuries, leaving many of the oversized rocks intact.