That striking creation you’re looking above is a room in the Treehotel in Sweden. How awesome is that? Treehotel has six treehouse rooms, each with a completely different concept and design. The room above is called the Mirrorcube, and is by far my favorite.

Aside from the modern high-design aesthetic of the structures, the concept of the hotel is based around a complete retreat-to-nature approach, eschewing even snowmobile tours for their noise in favor of guided nature hikes. With the location in Lapland, 60km south of the Arctic Circle, guests are able to experience not only the surrounding nature, but also the phenomenon of midnight sun in summer and the Northern Lights in winter. You’re already staying in a treehouse, and then you add an experience like that, and really the whole thing could not get more surreal!

Check out the video below for more info…

For more treehouse posts, click the “treehouses” tag under “labels” in the info for this post.

The Practical Made Beautiful

What you see above is a hydroelectric power station in a medieval town in Germany. ! Oh how I love when practical, necessary things are made beautiful.

A hydroelectric station from the 1950s that supported 3,000 homes with clean energy every year previously existed in this same spot, and when it needed to be rebuilt, the town bypassed plans for a standard station in favor of this more contemporary, sculptural beauty by local firm Becker Architects.

In contrast to most hydroelectric stations, which, by their form, look like the evil sorcerer come to harness the power of the water and beat it into submission, the design of this one takes its direction from water itself– the station has been compared to “a river stone,” “a fish,” “a frozen wave,” and a “stranded whale.”

The approachable, organic form creates a link between the town and the river, where a typical industrial design would have closed one off from the other. The inside, with its arches and curves, is like “a cathedral in raw concrete” and houses the necessary equipment.

photos by Brigida Gonzalez, [via]

A Former Oil Mill Near Nimes

The title says it all, no? Read: airy converted space + south of France. What more do you need? I love the subdued palette, mix of materials– stone, concrete, wood, iron, linen– and those amazing huge iron windows!!

I’m high on French daydreams right now…

Designed by Marie-Laure Helmkampf, via Cote Maison

Spain’s Micro-Coasts

I love the look and idea of these “microcoasts” along the rocky Mediterranean shores of Vinaros, Spain. How fun if one day all of a sudden you were able to take advantage of a nearby beautiful natural asset that had hitherto been mostly unusable?

Apparently the microcoasts were an instant hit, as locals and weekenders headed to the “beach” for sunbathing and picnicking. I know I’d be there all the time if I’d always lived in a town with an amazing shoreline that had previously been too rocky to sit around and enjoy!

I also think it’s cool that these were funded by the Vinaros City Council. Perhaps not the most practical use of funds, but why not an occasional project purely meant for the enjoyment of a local asset? It doesn’t hurt that it’s incredibly well-designed and is also probably drawing tourist dollars as people come to check them out. Brilliant!

Designed by Guallart Architects.

Weekend Retreat

I don’t know that I could live in a space this minimal on a daily basis, but for a weekend home, I love it.

My sister designed and built their vineyard house in a style very similar to this (but with a sand-hued palette to go with the surrounding land), and it was simultaneously the most peaceful and sexy house I’ve ever been in.

The open floor plan, restricted neutral palette, lack of any clutter, and wealth of windows and light just immediately put your mind and soul at ease and made you feel free– exactly what you want on vacation.

I’m sorry that I don’t have any information on this house or who designed it! Thus is the downfall of tumblr… I found these images on Seth’s tumblr here, but tumblr unfortunately eradicates any evidence of source or information on images. If anyone has any info, please comment!

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