Wood House of the Future: Geometric Beach Cottage

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The idea of what a wooden home looks like is shifting as contemporary architects use this natural, sustainable material in surprising new ways, contrasting its warmth with angular modern silhouettes. This incredible beach cottage by Marc Koehler Architects is a stellar example, using timber inside and out for a look that fits the sandy setting, yet is firmly rooted in the 21st century.

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Wood continues to come into its own as a building material of the future, remaining one of the most environmentally friendly choices as well as the most beautiful. ‘Dune House,’ located on a northern Dutch island, shows off the capabilities of timber cladding across a faceted facade.

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The shape of the house was designed to make the most of the plot’s views of the sea and landscape, with large windows along one of the angular surfaces capturing sunlight in the winter for passive heating.

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Inside, split levels are arranged around a spiraling staircase, with large wooden beams, wide planks and unfinished plywood taking center stage.

Post and Beam Eastern White Pine House by Eric Watson Architects

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Eastern White Pine may be more closely associated with log cabins and the historic architecture of the Northeast than with beachy contemporary cottages in Florida, but architect Eric Watson proves the material’s versatility with the Haupt Walstrom House. This two-story residence in Seaside, Florida is a post-and-beam structure made with Eastern White Pine timber.

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The natural, pale creamy shade of the wood is enhanced with just a touch of whitewash to give the home’s interior an airy, bright and open feel. It lines the walls and ceilings, and comprises the clean and simple cabinetry in the kitchen. While still maintaining its rustic charm, the wood adapts beautifully to this surprising usage, resulting in a beach house that’s anything but typical.

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Light stains, whitewashing or nothing but a clear coat finish not only allow Eastern White Pine’s natural beauty to shine through, they also lend a more contemporary air to residences and other structures than medium to dark treatments.

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Choosing between light and dark wood can change the entire vibe of an interior, making the difference between a clean and spa-like environment and a cozy, historic-feeling space.