Architecture as Landscape: 15 Terrain-Inspired Buildings

Cliff-Inspired ‘Mountain Dwellings’

Mountain Architecture Cliff Apartments

BIG took inspiration from stepped cliffs to create a vision of the suburban future that preserves private outdoor spaces without the need for sprawl. ‘Mountain Dwellings’ is a terraced housing complex that gives each individual home access to sunlight, fresh air and views for ‘suburban living with urban density.’

Zira Island by BIG

Mountain Architecture Zira Island

Yet another concept by BIG takes the mountainous terrain inspiration even further with an entire island of artificial landscape forms. Zira Island was envisioned for the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan, recreating the nation’s natural landscape in miniature with a series of entirely self-sufficient structures that create an ecosystem of their own using the latest in sustainable technologies.

Lace Hill by Forrest Fulton Architects

Mountain Architecture Lace Hill

A complex multifunctional structure is concealed in Armenia’s Mount Ararat in this vision by the American Forrest Fulton architecture office. Mimicking its surroundings, the lace-like structure is covered in grass and perforated to allow for air flow, sunlight and observation of the historical landscape.

Green-Roofed Skyscraper by Graft Architects

Mountain Architecture AO Graft

The AO Project by Graft Lab is a high rise concept with a massive green roof that drapes down the side of the building to create an artificial hill.

Hilly California Academy of Sciences

Mountain Architecture CalAcademy

The California Academy of Sciences blends beautifully into its hilly environment in San Francisco thanks to an undulating green roof measuring 2.5 acres. The building, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, is covered in native plant species that don’t’ require extra maintenance or water.