Supported by nothing but skinny poles, delicately balancing or tethered as if they might float away, these precarious-seeming houses laugh in the face of gravity. Cantilevering architectural volumes off cliffsides or elevating them well above ground level gives modern residences incredible views of their surroundings, whether they’re located on a mountain overlooking the sea or in the middle of a busy Japanese city.
Snohetta Treehotel, Sweden
Architecture firm Snøhetta has completed their addition to Sweden’s Treehotel, a hovering cabin that appears at first glance to be supported by no more than the staircase leading up to it. The design is based on a traditional Nordic cabin with a wood facade clad in charred boards of pine for a look that contrasts with the snow below, making the structure look heavy and solid to enhance its gravity-defying properties.
Tower House Inspired by Observatories
Tucked into the woods of upstate New York, GLUCK+’s Tower House takes inspiration from observatories for its mostly-vertical form. A bright yellow staircase is visible from outside through the glass envelope of the supporting tower, and the upper volume is topped with a terrace.
House in Yatsugatake Mountains by Kidosaki Architects, Japan
Jutting out over a cliff at the foot of Japan’s Yatsugatake Mountains, this home by Kidosaki Architects Studio expands horizontally out into midair to enhance views of the natural landscape through floor-to-ceiling glazing on three sides. The cantilevered portion of the home is supported by two diagonal steel cylinders.
Cargo Container Office Sticks Out Beyond Edge of Hill
Architect Patrick Bradley repurposed a 45-foot cargo container into an office for himself, allowing a third of it to hang out over the edge of the hilly plot as a sort of floating balcony encased in glass. The project makes very few structural changes in the container itself, staying true to its original form while modernizing its exterior.