Building in nature constitutes a contradiction, as architecture enables immersive access to the landscape, while at the same time, natural landmarks are being slowly engulfed by tourists. The human presence in natural landscapes is an interplay of scales, a juxtaposition of archetypal shelters against the vast sceneries, as well as a negotiation between access to the landscape and environmental conservation. Exploring a variety of attitudes and formal strategies, the following takes a look at what could be learned from the experiences and design philosophies of several architects and practices that have perfected ways of addressing architecture in the landscape. The relationship of man to nature and of architecture to the landscape is continuously renewed, and architecture built within the natural landscape represents a certain kind of poetic exploration, as well as a renewed perspective on the human scale. The current architecture in the landscape is the product of a specific view of the relationship between human beings and nature. More than ever today, there is an awareness of the landscape as a precious heritage that architecture can and should enhance while protecting it to be passed on to future generations. The myriad of briefs and design proposals for objects in natural settings, be it cabins, observation towers, shelters that are a constant in the architectural news chicle reflect an ongoing preoccupation with a mindful creation of habitable places in the landscape.
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