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Integrating with Nature: More on Bringing the Outside In

By John Kirchner October 28, 2009

We’ve written before about ideas for “bringing the outside in” — taking advantage of all nature has to offer, particularly beauty and light, while still providing protection and comfort people need from their homes. Some of our recent reading turned up more great finds along these lines.

One Project Closer has a photo story about a cabin buried in the woods with a deck that’s designed to kindly deposit the inhabitants squarely into the middle of their natural surrounding. As Fred from OPC writes, “While the deck is only about five feet off the ground, the bridge to the rock cluster really integrates the space better than steps down and up would have.”

You can get a better idea from the photo here, and OPC’s post has more photos — including one of a deer who visited during the photo shoot. How’s that for becoming one with nature?

Another one of our favorite sites, Inhabitat, sums things up nicely in a recent post, saying, “It’s always a pleasure to see a stunning home with sustainable features, but isn’t pretentious about it.” Indeed.

This post shows off a gorgeous home in California’s Bay Area that was built on the site of an older home that had be torn down due to structural problems. The new house built in its place is tightly wrapped around the lot’s small pond.

To take advantage of the scenic views of water, the home was built as four buildings, the main house, study, pool house and garage, that all come right up against the water’s edge. Large sliding glass doors from the buildings open up towards the pond, providing an immediate connection with nature as well as a good dose of natural ventilation.

The house also includes solar photovoltaic panels, a solar hot water system, and a combination of stone floors and a radiant floor heating system. You can read more and (more importantly) see a great collection of photos at Inhabitat.

Photo courtesy of One Project Closer