A Trio of Idyllic Retreats Raises the Bar on Rural Modernism

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

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.

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.

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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