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Meeting the new opportunities for rural living demands imaginative design, and many of the world's most inventive architects are rising to this challenge. Among those featured in this book are well-known names like Kengo Kuma, Steven Holl, Lacaton Vassal, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Baumschlager + Eberle, Niall McLaughlin and Sean Godsell, as well as a host of talented architects from Russia to South Africa, Chile to China, New Zealand to the US. What makes the demand for new and challenging architecture all the greater is the rapidly changing relationship between countryside and city, driven by social and technological development. In these circumstances, precedents from history and tradition are at best starting points: imagination, innovation and creativity are essential to do full justice to new challenges, expectations and opportunities. As urban life becomes increasingly rarified and stressful, so the contrast with raw nature assumes a different value to its status in past centuries, when architects generally sought to bring nature under human control. So this book divides houses into sections that reflect elemental qualities of landscape, forest, plain, ocean and mountain, as well as a section on houses that update the tradition of manipulating nature into telling a story.