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Five Inventive Residences from the Pages of Dwell: Part Two

Photos: Jason Schmidt/Dwell

We're back to finish up where we left off with Dwell's picks for most innovative homes from their archives. (For a look at more Dwell favorites, pick up the "Best Homes in America" special issue.) Up first is a Canadian house with a decimal in its name, the 23.2 House in Wood Rock, British Columbia. Designed by Vancouver-based Omer Arbel, the angular structure was built using reclaimed wood for parts of the interior with the overall shape of the building impacted by one overarching maxim. At the designer's insistence, none of the reclaimed planks could be altered in any way. This determined some of the house's more absurd angles, but it's hard to argue with the results, like the roof that hovers over a seamless expanse of sliding glass.

Photos: Dave Lauridsen/Dwell

? In this pick, the Orchard House in Sebastopol, Calif., the architects left the raw wood off the ceiling and instead it found its way into the furnishings. Most notably, a gigantic slab of unsealed salvaged cypress that rests on sawhorses and serves as a primitive kitchen island. Designed by the architecture firm Anderson Anderson, the place was built for a East Coast couple relocating to Sonoma and was so designed to emulate, in part, the NYC loft they were leaving behind.

Photos: Dean Kaufman/Dwell

? The Dutch popped up in our last Dwell round-up and now they're back again to represent for the Low Countries. In a distinctly European twist, the Villa van Vijven was built as a collective home for five families. While each family lives in a distinct apartments, they all share communal spaces like the lawn and "the public square," a cobblestone plaza beneath the main structure. The design was helmed by Next Architects and has a distinctive, and very Dutch, orange exterior.

Photos: Lloyd Russell/Dwell

? The sweltering high deserts of Southern California's interior would seem like the last place to plop an untested new design, but it's precisely the challenges of building here that drove the construction of Rimrock Ranch, a vacation getaway for surfwear entrepreneur Jim Austin. Using a solid concrete slab foundation and a steel canopy to shade the house itself, Austin and architect Lloyd Russell managed to keep the temperature inside comfortable without resorting to the government-mandated air conditioning system.

Photos: Gregg Segal/Dwell

? Followers of this year's Innovation Week should find this house pretty familiar, as it appeared in as an AirBnb vacation rental on Tuesday. It's nice to put more of a backstory to the glassy modern cottage, which rents for $350 per night. Known as the iT House, it was built by Linda Taalman and Alan Koch, of Taalman Koch Architects, as their own personal escape in the high desert in Pioneertown, Calif. The house was constructed from prefabricated components and the final cost of constructing this slick getaway was just $265K.

· Five Inventive Residences from the Pages of Dwell: Part One [Curbed National]
· A Fresh Angle [Dwell]
· Fertile Grounds [Dwell]
· Creative Commons [Dwell]
· Operation Desert Shed [Dwell]
· iT House, Joshua Tree [Dwell]
· Five Eco-Friendly Houses to Try Green Living Before You Buy [Curbed National]