Houses like the Cloudy Bay Shack in Marlborough, New Zealand, make you wonder why anyone would ever choose to live in an apartment (besides, you know, money). This house has everything: lovely rural scenery, a brilliant layout and a bold modern aesthetic. And though those two things might not normally jibe, they actually work in perfect harmony here.

Designed by Australian firm Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects in collaboration with Paul Rolfe Architects, the building is not only beautiful and modern, it has quite a smart plan. See the way it's cinched in the middle? That's a clever way to facilitate air flow and give you more windows. The architects clustered the areas where you want more privacy (like bathrooms) in the middle, where there's less exposure.


Located at Cloudy Bay Winery, the four-bedroom house has glazed windows that overlook the vineyards, and two weathered steel walls evocative of the classically rural architecture of the area that frame the entrances on either side. Even though it's a modern space, the architects have clearly designed the house to fit in with the pastoral nature of its environment. It wouldn't be a bad place to enjoy a glass of wine, either. [Dezeen]