Tight budgets typically pose one of the biggest challenges in design projects. But as Michael Green, CEO and President of Michael Green Architecture, shows in his firm’s recently completed Dock Building, beautiful architecture is “always possible regardless of budget.” Built for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, the building melds modern and industrial influences in a sleek and sculptural volume that appears to glow like a lantern at night.

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Delft-based architecture firm Mecanoo has unveiled designs to transform a disused railway and dyke in Taichung, Taiwan into a vibrant linear park. Dubbed the Taichung Green Corridor, the project will reuse the former rail that traverses Taichung’s downtown and stretches over a mile in length. The project aims to preserve the area’s strong historic character while spurring urban revitalization and improving the area’s biodiversity.

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When Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects was asked to design a vacation home on the San Juan Islands of Washington state, the Seattle-based design firm didn’t take the easy way out. The site, which overlooks stunning views of Griffin Bay, includes three beautiful old-growth trees that the architects wanted to preserve — a different approach to that of the client’s previous architect, who suggested chopping down the trees. With the existing trees kept intact, the North Bay house celebrates the beauty of the landscape while complementing the surroundings with a natural materials palette.

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Toronto-based Teeple Architects has paired a beautiful but unusual site in Ontario with the sculptural Port Hope House, an award-winning residence that boasts a wide array of sustainable features. Located east of Toronto, the single-family rural home takes inspiration from the client’s 75-acre property that consists of a woodlot, a fallow field, an abandoned Grand Trunk railway cut and a steep cliff that falls into Lake Ontario. Built with long concrete walls, the Port Hope House appears like a rock outcropping lifting upwards.

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A new apartment complex infused with nature has taken root in New York City’s concrete jungle. Local design firm COOKFOX Architects completed 150 Charles Street, a residence that takes over the abandoned Whitehall warehouse on the Hudson River waterfront. Designed to blend in with the existing urban fabric, the modern building also boasts a low environmental footprint and LEED Gold certification.

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Swiss architecture firm Frundgallina has dramatically transformed a rundown chalet in the Jura Mountains into a whimsical self-sufficient dwelling punctuated by a variety of gabled openings. The architects kept the structure’s exterior dimensions, but rearranged the interior by dividing the floor plan into four sections measuring approximately 86 square feet each. The gabled home operates off the grid and is equipped with a rainwater harvesting system.

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