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