Elemental Living: Contemporary Houses in NaturePhaidon Editors

60 stunning works of contemporary architecture, all of which have a special relationship with the natural landscape

Elemental Living presents 60 works of architecture from across the 20th and 21st centuries that have a special relationship with the natural world. The book includes a visually breathtaking selection of architect-created houses that have been designed to create unparalleled views of a wide variety of natural landscapes; designed to be almost indistinguishable from the natural landscape; or designed using materials and forms found in the natural landscape. Each house demonstrates a deep concern with the creation of unique living spaces that connect their inhabitants with the forests, mountains, lakes, deserts, and oceans that have attracted humanity for millennia.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 290 × 250 mm (11 3/8 × 9 7/8 in)
  • Pages: 280 pp
  • Illustrations: 260 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714873176

Conceieved and edited by Phaidon editors

As featured in Interview and T: The New York Times Style Magazine

"Dream home reverie at its most exciting and extreme... A timely survey that will especially resonate with lovers of design and nature... The book's stunning pages take the reader on a global adventure that is both visually exciting and illuminating... A must-have for architecture and design aficionados, as well as anyone with a passion for the natural world and stunning landscapes." —The Swell Life.com blog

"While one might be quick to shout "house porn" and salivate over the dozens of homes in this monograph, the fundamental takeaway is the special architectural relationship that these structures have with the natural world. The sense of environmental awareness might make you want to disconnect for a while and explore the countryside." —Interview Online

"Guaranteed to satisfy the armchair (and real life) travellers on your list, taking them on a visual odyssey across the world... From clifftop houses to rainforest retreats, this book journeys through 60 of the world's most innovative buildings, designed to make the most of their natural surrounds." —TheSpaces.com

"The fun of this book is seeing the far-out, off-the-beaten-track homes that are perfectly in sync with their surroundings... No one can design better than Mother Nature, but these architects have done very well indeed."—1stdibs

"Beautiful... Homes crafted to be sustainable; secluded hideaways in harmony with their environment. Who wouldn't want to nestle beside nature." —Psychologies

"A pictorial celebration of buildings that are at one with nature... Architects are responding to the natural world with low-impact, sustainable constructions." —First (British Airways first class in-flight magazine)

"[Elemental Living] surprises and delights with its spectacular photography of contemporary architecture in dialogue with its dramatic natural surroundings... Includes work by leading lights of 20th-century architecture such as Mies van der Rohe, Oscar Niemeyer and Frank Lloyd Wright alongside pioneering contemporary practitioners including Rick Joy, Kengo Kuma, and Mathias Klotz." —New Design

"Excellent... 60 glorious modern buildings celebrating the natural world... An extraordinary book." —PrivatAir

"Soothing, lush residences are what make Elemental Living a masterpiece for dreamers and designers alike... Ideal for the libraries of architects, designers and those who envision a future that embraces the power of dreams and truly remarkable destinations." —Identity

"A refreshing and gently radical reorientation of the compass, a look away from cities to the edges of our encounters with nature... Makes a case for the relationship between climate and building as a site for significant innovation. One striking quality of the publication is the breadth and diversity." —Aesthetica

"This superb book features stunning homes from around the world and showcases how these properties can be artfully integrated into the landscape." —The Garden Design Journal


"A picturesque look at the spellbinding sensitivity that is possible in houses." —Vogue Living

"The beautiful meeting of man and wild... Some of the world's most breath-taking architecture benefits from being in the middle of nowhere... The exceptional beauty of these buildings can help us see nature anew."—Amuse-i-d.vice.com

"Beautifully natural spaces... Awe inspiring."—Resurgence.org

"Architect-created works that make the most of their environment-from gravity-defying structures to those that ingeniously meld with the given landscape."—Singapore Tatler Homes

"Inspiring."—Homes & Antiques