Blurring Boundaries: 14 Modern Houses That Open to the Air

House on Princess of Wales Road, Singapore
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The open courtyard of this house by Hyla Architects is its heart, protected from prying eyes with a ‘party wall’. Large sliding glass doors connect the swimming pool area to the living room, kitchen and dining spaces on the lower level, and the master bedroom is similarly connected to an upper-level deck.

Breeze House, Vietnam
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A screen facade made up of faux branches flows down the front of this narrow multi-level house slatted between two structures in Vietnam. ‘Breeze House’ by Mel Schenck can be fully opened to the breeze, as the name indicates, as glass doors open each level to reduce the need for air conditioning.

Curtain Wall House by Shigeru Ban, Tokyo
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Gigantic curtains envelop the exterior of this home in Japan by renowned architect Shigeru Ban, best known for his cardboard architecture. Curtain Wall House enables privacy while connecting spacious balconies on each level to the outdoors, and glass doors can be opened to the interior spaces. The movement of the curtains in the wind becomes a poetic expression of natural air flow.

House with Retractible Roof, London
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A retractible roof opens this home by Paxton Locher in Hampstead Village, London to the sky. A double-height ‘reception room’ transforms into a courtyard at the push of a button, turning an indoor swimming pool into an outdoor one and providing air flow to relaxing lounge areas.