© Team Green Architects

In Good Company: 10 Guesthouses That Make You Feel at Home

Eric Baldwin Eric Baldwin

The spaces we inhabit shape the way we live, yet they do so at different scales. Where we work reflects our values or our circumstances. Where we gather reflects our larger sentiments or shared necessities. And our homes reflect who we are, our preferences and the furnishings we organize by our daily rhythms. These programmatic spaces give us a glimpse into the social and physical fabrics that constitute our lived experiences. While these areas can be big or small, utilitarian or luxurious, they are designed around an understanding of time and ephemerality. One of the greatest examples of architecture that embodies time, domestic life, and a minimalist scale of living is the guesthouse.

While guesthouses are usually reserved for wealthy clients and the upper class, they reveal unique relationships between space, landscape, and privacy. Often designed as weekend retreats or temporary living quarters, guesthouses usually stand isolated from larger residences or communal areas. Made with utility in mind, these pragmatic structures may also be poetic. Embracing the surrounding contexts and touching lightly upon the landscape, they can promote understanding, contemplation, and reflection.

Drawing together 10 guesthouses from the Architizer database, the following collection looks at this unconventional building type and how it embodies a unique way of living. Located in diverse sites around the world, the projects each explore different materials, construction methods, and programmatic combinations to house temporary guests. Though their spatial and formal expressions vary widely, they all share a common design language rooted in the nature of privacy, travel, and dwelling.

© PARATELIER

© PARATELIER

© PARATELIER

© PARATELIER

The Guest House by PARATELIER, Portugal

Sited in the “pinhal da Comporta” reserve, this project is surrounded by sand dunes and pines along the Atlantic coast. Built as a temporary living space for guests, the simple volume was split into three parts. Organized alongside an artificial lake, the house combines storage, living, and parking space.

© Cumulus Studio

© Cumulus Studio

© Cumulus Studio

© Cumulus Studio

Pumphouse Point by Cumulus Studio, Lake Saint Clair, Australia

Pumphouse Point was made as an adaptive reuse of existing art-deco style buildings that had been left unused for over 20 years. The wilderness retreat now includes 18 guest suites, a shared dining area, and communal lounge space.

© Desai Chia Architecture PC

© Desai Chia Architecture PC

© Desai Chia Architecture PC

© Desai Chia Architecture PC

LM Guest House by Desai Chia Architecture PC, N.Y., United States

Created as a 2,000-square-foot guesthouse overlooking farmland and a trout pond, this project was made as a retreat for weekend visitors. Opening up to the surrounding landscape and vast, unobstructed views, the context provides a powerful backdrop for the living spaces inside. The project uses minimal material detailing and imbedded steel columns to support a cantilevered roof and prefabricated assembly.

Fish Creek Guest House by Carney Logan Burke Architects, Jackson Hole, Wyo., United States

The Fish Creek Guest House was made to immerse visitors in the sloping forest property. Embracing the sounds of running water and a clearing to the north, the project is oriented on an east-west axis near a stream. Bedroom and bathroom spaces are separated by a glass-enclosed central living space with a galley kitchen.

© Jeremey Bitterman

© Jeremey Bitterman

© Jeremey Bitterman

© Jeremey Bitterman

Dutchess County Residence – Guest House by Allied Works Architecture, Dutchess County, N.Y., United States

Allied Works designed this guesthouse on a site along the Hudson River Valley. Surrounded by dense hardwood forests, rolling hills, and an open meadow, the project was carefully placed among a grove of trees. An eight-inch continuous steel frame weaves through the building and the forest, defining the building enclosure and exterior terraces.

© Enrico Iascone Architetti

© Enrico Iascone Architetti

© Enrico Iascone Architetti

© Enrico Iascone Architetti

The Guesthouse by Enrico Iascone Architetti, Bologna, Italy

Located in the hills of Bologna, this project embraces the forest and the natural landscape. Created with wood to emphasize the relationships between building and site, the structure is covered with gray panels that echo the nearby trees. This outer shell was then perforated to allow light into the spaces within.

© HHF Architects

© HHF Architects

© HHF Architects

© HHF Architects

Guesthouse by HHF Architects, Ancram, N.Y., United States

This guesthouse project was designed in partnership with Ai Weiwei as the addition to the Tsai Residence. Located on a forested slope in New York, the project includes a gallery, bedroom, and workroom. The Y-shaped plan links these elements while defining the project’s overall appearance.

© Team Green Architects

© Team Green Architects

© Sam Hartnett

© Sam Hartnett

Dalefield Guest House by Team Green Architects, Queenstown, New Zealand

The Dalefield Guest House was made as a private space for visitors on a rural site. Providing quarters for the owner’s family and friends, the structure is a simple, tranquil retreat for relaxation and contemplation.

© Andre.Avdeenko

© Andre.Avdeenko

© Andre.Avdeenko

© Andre.Avdeenko

Guest houses in Relax Park Verholy by YOD design-lab, Poltava, Ukraine

Designed as part of the “Relax Park Verholy” spa-complex, these guesthouses were made in the pine forest of the Poltava region. The lightweight metal frame structures stand on so-called screw bases. The technique allowed teams to set the houses in the landscape without damaging trees or root systems.

© Thomas Phifer and Partners

© Thomas Phifer and Partners

© Thomas Phifer and Partners

© Thomas Phifer and Partners

Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer and Partners, Millbrook, N.Y., United States

Made as part of a larger residential project, the Millbrook guesthouse is a cantilevered, weathering-steel box hovering over the car park below. As the first experience of the larger complex, the guesthouse was designed to frame long, perspectival views of the Hudson Valley.

© ZAS Architects + Interiors

The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence // ZAS Architects + Int eriors

Toronto, Canada

© bureau SLA

Nature and environmental learning center // bureau SLA

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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