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by Anna Carnick

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The new book "Arcadia: Cross-Country Style, Architecture and Design" interprets its namesake (the remote mountain region of Greek mythology) for the modern age, surveying contemporary alpine and back-country architecture, bespoke furniture and interior design projects that take their inspiration from the beauty of their natural surroundings.

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Demonstrating an awesome range of possibilities for integrating of-the-moment aesthetics with breathtaking environments, the book's traditional and progressive architecture ranges from pristine, private mountaintop homes and forest-set hotel lodges to temporary or professional spaces and ski jumps. (Click above image for detail.)

Throughout, a sense of respect for specific location—both aesthetically and logistically—drives the project. Simple but dramatic spaces reveal shapes and colors informed by surrounding terrain—the land, the sky and the water—celebrating the full impact of their surroundings. Meanwhile, abundantly large windows and rustic materials like wood, clay and natural stone help bridge the separation between inside and out.

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Circling the globe, Arcadia’s chapters include “Off Shore,” “Cross-Country,” “Deep in the Woods” and “The Mountain Calls.” Each entry—spanning Taiwan, The Netherlands, Chile and New York—is beautifully photographed and accompanied by elegantly descriptive text.

By showing how these stunning solutions work with the elements instead of against them, Arcadia hints at a reinvented back-to-the-land movement that harmoniously integrates contemporary living with nature. (Click above images for detail view.)

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Arcadia sells from Amazon. (Click above image for expanded view.)

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