Nature’s Choice / Visiondivision

Stone and Wood ©

Our friends from Visiondivision shared their latest vacation home for two families in with us. The coastal site, which has been included on the world heritage list due to its outstanding land uplift geology, has two different levels – an upper level of untouched wood and a lower one of a rocky meadow. The project draws inspiration from the site as its unique arrangement beckons any built structure to blend into its environment. As the site incorporates two very different areas, the architects saw three potential alternatives for the site: either a wooden house set amidst the forest level, a stone house that lies in close connection with the rock outcrops, or, the more challenging alternative of how to appeal to both types of nature present on the site.

More about the project after the break.

Wood Interior © Visiondivision

For the forest house, two mirrored units are separated by a foldable wall to bring the families together for larger gatherings. When in place, the wall supports a fire place and when the wall is folded away, one gets a twice as big living room with a large central fire place.  The varying columns call to mind the variety of tree trunks just outside the house, and the aesthetic results in a “light and welcoming house that merges with the forest and that is highly flexible with its folding wall.”

Stone Interior © Visiondivision

The boulder house also has two mirrored units with a separating wall in the middle that can be folded away to provide an impressive dining area. Two piles of boulders on the forest plateau conceal two stairs that lead to each living room. The roof is covered with grass to blend in with the nature.  For this house, the columns are much heavier set than the forest house to mimic the massive boulders on the site. Yet, the pillars are mostly hollow, creating great storage space for the families or are even carved to become alcoves where one can sit.    The boulders, teamed with the grassy roof, create a home that is almost invisible from the forest and integrates well with the rocky meadow.

Stone and Wood Axon © Visiondivision

The third house is based on a tailored pillar system where the columns begin wide at the base and taper to become more slender at the top.  Over this transition, the material also gradually changes from stone to wood. The columns cause the two stories to become completely different even though they are based on the same plan.  The heavier set columns on the first floor create a cavernous and comfortable feeling with a lot of niches and a high contrast between dark and light. As with the boulder house, some of the columns are hollow and have various functions like wardrobes, furniture and storage. The flooring is made out of stone and continues out on a terrace overlooking the bay. The upper floor with the more slender columns blends in with the surrounding tree trunks behind it and have large windows with great views of the scenic cove. The result becomes an exciting house that has two completely different floors with two completely different perceptions.

All Axons © Visiondivision

By creating different housing scenarios, the families are afforded the flexibility of trading houses during the seasons to experience their architectural differences.

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Nature’s Choice / Visiondivision" 11 Dec 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • delaware

    How luxurious to be this client and pick from these three wonderful houses, I’m not sure which one I would invest my money in, but they all have very good potential to become something quite exquisite.
    Great post.

  • Justgothomefromdisco


  • up_today_arch

    Ancient middle east coming back…

  • Carambole

    Rich and lovely presentation with fairy tale qualities! I’d go for the stone type if I had to choose.

  • ASphere

    bluntly spatial interpretation of nature-like atmosphere?

    this result is too cliche
    just the use of material and columns

  • mandar

    very nice!

  • Roberta

    Very nice to go behind the scenes and see the total effort and different sketches of one project. They all look good to me kind of sad knowing that only one of them will be the winner.

  • Joel

    Good stuff!