May 13, 2021

A Trio of Idyllic Retreats Raises the Bar on Rural Modernism

A trio of idyllic retreats raises the bar on rural modernism.

A white soaking tub overlooks a glass wall with views of nearby trees
Photography by Peter Aaron.

Firms: Alexander Gorlin Architects and Butter and Eggs

Site: Tuxedo Park, New York

Recap: A driveway that winds through groves of mature trees leads to a house clad in local granite and mahogany, which is designed to dissolve into its site overlooking a mountain lake in the Hudson River valley. The landscape of boulders and rock outcroppings in turn inspired the serene master bathroom of polished royal blue sodalite from Mozambique.

A guest home with a porch near an inground pool
Photography by Aldo Lanzi.

Firm: MAPA

Site: Garzón, Uruguay

Recap: The architects transformed an existing wood-and-stone ranch in a remote Uruguayan prairie into a glammed-up, off-the-grid vacation destination by adding a black corrugated-metal exterior as well as autonomous water, energy, heating, and sanitation systems—not to mention statement pieces by Jean Prouvé and Hans Wegner.

A wooden canopy over an indoor-outdoor living area with expansive views
Photography by Gemma and Andrew Ingalls.

Firm: Summerour Architects

Site: Walland, Tennessee

Recap: Perched surreptitiously on the slopes of the Great Smoky Mountains, a two-level guesthouse sheathed in cypress touches the earth lightly via poured-in-place concrete stilts. The yachtlike interior—a composition of white oak, raw steel, marble slabs, and brass accents—is meticulously fitted to keep the emphasis on the jaw-dropping views.

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