the NYT has an article about a 10-year project to build a house in the high deserts of idaho, which attempts to not only fit in with the landscape, but at some times to disappear. mostly constructed of a modest material of concrete block, the house provides durable shelter in one of the most extreme climates. at the same time, large expanses of glass dissolve these massive walls and making the inhabitant just as much a part of the landscape as the surrounding vegetation.
the house is a great example of how a typical building material can be elevated from its common stereotypes to a precise and artful expression of craft. the architect, tom kundig [of olson kundig sundberg allen] compares the house to a "tootsie roll pop" -- hard on the outside and soft on the inside" by utilizing recycled douglas fir wall and floor finishes gathered by the client herself. other accentuations of exposed steel beams and wood joists give an added perception of depth in contrast to the more austere exterior.
more images in the slideshow.