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Outside House: Amazing Hawaiian Home Next to an Old Lava Flow

Living next to an old lava flow does sound like an exciting prospect – even if it is one that is 300 years old. But for the residents of Maui, Hawaii dealing with fiery volcanoes and lava flows is a less common affair. Despite this constant interaction with volcanic elements, it is hard to find a home that is as unique and yet unassumingly ‘effective’ as the Outside House designed by FLOAT Architectural Research and Design. Made out of two small pavilions, the elegant house was crafted for a life that is in harmony with nature and gives the homeowners an opportunity to easily interact with the elements outside. And yes, it is the 300-year old lava flow just outside the bedroom that ends up becoming the showstopper.

Polycarbonate sheathing covers the exterior of the cabin

It is the completely enclosed unit in wood and Polycarbonate sheathing that contains the more private areas of the house and offers a modest living environment. Dubbed ‘Mauka’, this unit sits on concrete piers and it is from the bedroom that one can enjoy amazing views of nature outside along with a peek at the lava flow. Once inside one is engulfed by wood and the cozy environment is still minimal and nature-centric. It is the outdoor pavilion called ‘Makai’ that feels much more liberating as a carefully hidden outdoor kitchen on the deck, sitting area and outdoor shower create a serene environment.

Unhindered views of the Pacific Ocean and Kahoolawe Island in the distance, a relaxing ambiance and practicality that also takes into account sustainability are the features that give the Outside House a sense of exclusivity. [Photography: Olivier Koning]

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Concrete base supports the wooden structure of the main house
Fabulous pavilion style outdoor house sits above the 300-year old lava flow
Pavilion style outdoor unit of Outside House in Maui
Covered pavilion with outdoor kitchen creates a connect with the landscape
Large window of the bedroom offers wonderful views of the landscape outside
Bench next to the window along with a small chair and desk serves multiple purposes

Designer Erin Moore is an architect and principal of FLOAT architectural research and design and Associate Professor in the Architecture Department and in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Oregon. Moore uses her teaching, research, and design practice to explore ways that architecture reflects and reinforces ideas of nature.

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Sheltered bathroom connected with the outdoors
Floor plan of Outside House in Maui

Sherry Nothingam

Sherry is a blogger who loves to live her life to the fullest. She enjoys everything associated with design, décor and stylish modern trends. Born in California, Sherry has grown up on open ranches and in a wild setting, which has defined her taste for design and developed her interest in examining how structures and homes interact with the beauti[...]

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