Modern House On A Hill Designs That Embrace Natural Landscapes

There’s nothing quite like a house on a hill. The image conjures the American dream of homeownership. When you live on a hill, the view is spectacular.

Modern House On A HillView in gallery

Whether you prefer to live in a house that sits on a hill for your permanent residence or second home doesn’t matter. It’s all about the home’s architecture. You want to enjoy a natural environment and surrounding landscape, and the best way to do so is from an elevated place. 

House On A Hill Designs For 2022

Curated by our team of in-house home design experts, here are 15 homes built on top of hills that exemplify elevated living.

Austrian Chalet

House with spectacular views AngleView in gallery

A mountain chalet personifies the idea of a house on a hill. Built in 2013, this home in Styria, Austria features living spaces with large windows and openings. Designed by Viereck Architects, the home is a modern take on the traditional mountain chalet.  

Panoramic Views

House with spectacular views AngleView in gallery

The design firm made a series of chalets with the same theme and features.

House with spectacular views AngleView in gallery

Each chalet offers 360 degree panoramic views. The chalets look like they’re floating above the ground due to their cantilevered designs. Spacious terraces and open balconies were constructed with natural materials. The also chalets run on geothermal energy. 

Till House 

The Till house With Beautiful ocean ViewsView in gallery

Developed by WMR Arquitectos, a house on a hill must have a view. The Till House is a contemporary weekend home in Chile. The beauty of this shelter offers peaceful solitude high up in the mountains. 

The Till house DeckView in gallery

The interior design features retaining walls and floor to ceiling windows that allow for natural light to fill the home. The windows also allow you to enjoy the natural environment and panoramic views.

The Till house back viewView in gallery

The back of the house is built into the mountain. The front design is cantilevered above the steep hill on which it stands.

Hillside House 

Hillside House from Shands StudioView in gallery

You’ll find this home in San Anselmo, California. It was the creation of Shands Studio. The design fosters a natural relationship with the landscape.

The surrounding landscape like the original oak trees were preserved and integrated into the project. 

Hillside House from Shands Studio ViewView in gallery

The 100 year old stone walls were preserved as a way of keeping the history of the site and the original summer guest house that occupied it alive.

Cross Ventilation

Hillside House from Shands Studio Living ViewView in gallery

The interior living spaces offer direct access to the outdoors in a smooth and seamless transition. The house is two volumes that form an L shape and is surrounded by trees and stone walls. Sustainability is the theme, and the aesthetic lives up to it.

The home’s upper level utilizes passive heating and cooling strategies.

Golden View Residence 

House On A Hillside Among The TreesView in gallery

Anchorage, Alaska is home to the Golden View Residence. The modern structure is surrounded by a conifer forest. Developed by Workshop AD, the studio redesigned a partially constructed house.

Perched above the landscape, the home’s platform stretches across the hillside like a traditional tree house.

Steep Slope

House On A Hillside Among The Trees ViewView in gallery

House On A Hillside Among The Trees Other viewView in gallery

Walnut panels, natural stone, and concrete make up the interior and exterior spaces. The house feels closer to its surroundings and is a natural fit for the Alaskan landscape.

Casa 115 

Mallorca House on HillsideView in gallery

Casa 115 is a contemporary residence that overlooks the valley framing Saint Vicenc Bay. It was designed by architect Miquel Angel Lacomba and is located in Mallorca, Spain. Being surrounded by a rocky landscape and lush greenery, the house offers spectacular views.

Mallorca House on Hillside ViewView in gallery

Mallorca House on Hillside PoolView in gallery

The most amazing views can be enjoyed from the bedrooms which are situated on the first floor. They feature full height windows and connect to the social areas on the lower level in a flexible and natural way.

The seamless transition between the indoor living spaces and the open terraces was an important element in the project.

Villa Escarpa 

Minimalist Villa Escarpa by Mario MartinsView in gallery

When designing this amazing contemporary residence, architect Mario Martins had to face a series of difficulties and challenges. The house is situated on a very steep site in Luz, Portugal.

One of the conditions imposed by the local authorities was for the house to be built on a space occupied by an existing building.

Minimalist Villa Escarpa by Mario Martins Angle ViewView in gallery

Minimalist Villa Escarpa by Mario Martins By NightView in gallery

The clients and the architect created a structure on top of a steep slope exposed to winds but with breathtaking views. The house features a transparent horizontal volume placed on top of a concrete support structure.

An impression of a house floating above the landscape was created.

House Dornbirn 

Single family home with clear viewView in gallery

The site on which this house is located may not be as steep as others but this doesn’t minimize in any way the beauty of the views it offers. House Dornbirn in Austria and was designed by k_m architektur.

Single family home with clear view on sideView in gallery

Single family home with clear view PorchView in gallery

It’s a single family home with panoramic views of Lake Constance, the Rhine valley, and the Vorarlberg Mountains. It’s surrounded by a green meadow and was built using natural materials such as copper, glass, wood, and concrete.

The entrance is on the upper volume which also contains the bedrooms and a studio. The top floor features an overhang that shelters a balcony, the perfect place from enjoying the views.

The Embedded House 

Embedded House with a beautiful LandscapeView in gallery

The design of this house was greatly influenced by the surrounding area and the structures present there. The topography and the views also played an important role in determining the overall structure of the house.

eh_12View in gallery

Embedded House with a beautiful Landscape PorchView in gallery

The building was constructed by Holodeck architects along a slope and establishes a close dialogue with the landscape. The house was partially embedded into the slope and this allowed the architects to include terraces on each level.

Each room of the house offers magnificent views of the valley and the nearby mountains.

Car Park House 

Concrete Car Park HouseView in gallery

This is a residence situated in Los Angeles, California which was completed in 2013 by Anonymous Architects. The project started with a vacant lot on a very steep slope situated close to the street.

To make the most of the site, the design team built a carport on the roof.

Concrete Car Park House AngleView in gallery

Concrete Car Park House BridgeView in gallery

The entrance is also placed on the roof and the interior spaces are below this level. The roof doubles as a spacious desk and from up here the views are amazing.

The steep terrain offered unique challenges. With the limited space, the designers turned a negative into a positive.

Mill Valley Hillside

Mill Valley Hillside HouseView in gallery

The home has served three generations. Project was developed by McGlashan Architecture and divides the living spaces into two main volumes that share the same roof.

Children, parents, and grandparents can also live together peacefully here, being close to each other and enjoying the beautiful landscape together.

Mill Valley Hillside House BackView in gallery

Mill Valley Hillside House StreetView in gallery

The building restrictions required the second unit to the smaller than the first one and to share space with it. The architects’ response was to build a three-level extension that stays connected to the other volume without obstructing the views or limiting outdoor space.

Corallo House 

Dense hillside forest houseView in gallery

PAZ Arquitectura completed this residence in 2011. It can be found in Santa Rosalia, Guatemala on a site surrounded by a dense forest. The project started with a desire to preserve the existing trees from the site and to have them interact with the living spaces.

Dense hillside forest house Large glass wallView in gallery

The home has an open floor plan. You won’t find any columns here as the living spaces are wide open. The floor levels adhere to the topography.

Dense hillside forest house interiorView in gallery

Both facades are made of glass, establishing a strong connection between the interior and exterior spaces. Consisting mainly of concrete and wood, the materials offer a rustic and organic look.  

Flotanta House

Flotanta House Around Lush ForestView in gallery

This is a small house compared to others we’ve seen so far. It covers an area of 300 square meters and is located in Costa Rica. The home was built in 2013 by Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture.

Flotanta House Around Lush Forest DesignView in gallery

The clients wanted a holiday home on the Pacific Coast. Located on a steep slope, the site they found had views of the ocean from the upper-mid portion.

Flotanta House Around Lush Forest Interior ViewView in gallery

When the architects were presented with this project they took advantage of the surrounding natural elements. Their original idea was to carve out the slope to fit the house, but did the exact opposite.

The final design allows the landscape to stay beneath the house while this one floats above the landscape.

Hillside House 

Hillside house on StellenboschView in gallery

From Gass Architecture Studios, the Hillside House is nestled in the Helderberg Mountains in South Africa. Surrounded by vineyards and panoramic views, what you have here is a modern interpretation of a traditional farmhouse. 

Hillside house on Stellenbosch Porch PoolView in gallery

Only two of the three levels are visible from the front yard and the house expands as you advance.

Hillside house on Stellenbosch Deck ViewView in gallery

The granite stone walls were built using resources found on site. One of them incorporates the front door, offering to clue as to what lies behind it.

After entering the house, a picture window showcases the inner courtyard and the surrounding landscape. 

Forest House

Forest House in MexicView in gallery

Located in the Mazamitla mountains in Mexico, the Forest House is a dreamy retreat perched on a steep slope surrounded by a pine forest. 

Forest House in Mexic ViewView in gallery

The architects and designers of Espacio EMA wanted the house to look as if it was a natural extension of the landscape. 

Forest House in Mexic Deck ViewView in gallery

The house is divided into two main volumes. A double-height space offers access to all the other areas. Three bedrooms sit at the ground level while an additional two sit at the upper level. 

Each living space sits inside a wooden box. The rooms are perched above the landscape. Due to their disconnected style, each room is modeled after a treehouse. 

Kentfield Hillside Residence

House with spectacular views of San Francisco BayView in gallery

Kentfield, California is home to this house on a hill. Designed by Turnbull Griffin Haelsloop Architects, the goal was to capture the view of San Francisco. 

Green Roof

House with spectacular RoofView in gallery

A curved wall follows the hillside’s contours, anchoring the house to the steep site. The green roof allows the structure to blend in with the environment.

House with spectacular views AngleView in gallery

Completed in 2010, the design adheres to a sustainable and eco-friendly aesthetic. A green roof, solar panels, and passive heating and cooling systems emphasize a close relationship with the surrounding geography.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How Has Vernacular Architecture Influenced Homes Built On Hills?

Home designers incorporate natural surroundings into their layouts. For example, a home with a green roof built into a hill.

Can I Build A Hill And Then A House On Top Of It?

If you live in a residential neighborhood, you cannot raise your property’s foundation. There are building codes that you must follow. If you raised your foundation, water runoff would affect your neighbors.

What Is The Highest Elevated Home In The World?

La Rinconada sits 16,000 feet above sea level in the Peruvian Andes Mountains. 

What Are Some Problems That Come With Living In A House On A Hill?

Drainage is the number one problem with hillside homes. With a sump basin, your lawn could flood. If surrounded by heavy plant-life and vegetation, a good drainage system prevents erosion and landslides.

House On A Hill: Wrap Up

Upper-class vernacular architecture is a real thing. Only the wealthy can afford housing that doesn’t harm the environment. The notion isn’t new, it’s always been this way. Architects often neglect nature concepts by ignoring the surrounding environment. The irony is how nature influences human perception.

House on a hill design are refreshing. They’re like paintings in a museum. And just like the paintings, most of us can’t afford the homes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t admire them.

Hillside homes offer privacy and stellar views, but keep in mind they come with pricey home insurance policies. Read the fine print as some policies only offer coverage for damage caused to your home and not your property. For example, in the event of an earthquake, you would be responsible for covering the damages incurred.