It doesn't matter what the weather is like outside — you probably have office weather in your cubicle. Wouldn't you rather be in one of these dream holiday homes right now? They have to be some of the most relaxing and beautiful buildings on Earth.
Or at least in the top 10. Dream on.
1. Universe House, Mexico
Created by Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco and architect Tatiana Bilbao, Universe's design is based in the Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory, which was built in Jaipur in 1724. Orozco — who visited the observatory in 1996 — wanted a house that captured the concept of the Indian building. Bilbao's office drafted the detailed plans from his sketches, and a team built the house in the traditional way, which included the help of a donkey called Panchito that ferried some of the materials and stones into this wild spot in the Sea of Cortez.
2. Casa 11 Mujeres, Chile
Divided over three floors, Casa 11 Mujeres ("House 11 Women", so named because it was designed for a family with 11 daughters) was built with bare concrete with wood floors, glass and steel on a 45-degree slope looking down Cachagua beach, 140km north of Santiago de Chile. The bottom floor contains shared spaces, while the second level has the daughters' bedrooms — all overlooking the sea — and the top floor has the master bedroom, kitchen, living room and dining room.
3. Playa Carate, Costa Rica
Playa Carate, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica. 5 per cent of the world's biodiversity is in this place, a perfect paradise on Earth. Somehow, someone built this house there. Loaded with green technology, it's not only pretty but 100 per cent self-sufficient.
Created by Robles Arquitectos, the house is so isolated from civilisation that it has no access to public power cables, sanitation or water. For the latter, the house uses water from the forest, which also serves as a power source thanks to two low-impact 800kWh hydroelectric turbines. In addition to the generators, the roof can provide up to 10,800kWh of electricity thanks to its panels. Additional panels heat up the water.
4. Fish House, Singapore
Screw the 600sqm Central Park duplex, the $100 million house in South Kensington or the 17th-century apartment with views of Notre Dame. Fish House! Property porn doesn't go more luscious than this.
Made of wood, steel and glass, glass and more glass, the Fish House is an environmentally friendly waterfront home in Singapore.
5. Villa Amanzi, Thailand
Villa Amanzi — designed by Original Vision and built in 2008 — has got to be one of the most breathtaking places on Earth. What's not to love? Perched on a 60m high cliff overlooking the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, it just does not get better. Or does it? Let us know in the comments. I would love to be wrong.