Waterside Modern

by | Architecture, Books

waterside modern oporti house spain
The dining area with its dramatic sea view of Oporti House, Spain

Waterside Modern is an escapist sourcebook of stunning contemporary waterside homes.

From Kent to Cap d’Antibes, Cornwall to California, Australia, Brazil and Thailand, these homes show why the lure of living by water has always been irresistible.

The sea has always had a siren-like power over us. Whether it is the hypnotic peace induced by a glittering calm sea and wide-open horizons, the restorative powers of the waters, or nostalgic memories of carefree childhood days spent swimming like a fish and building sand castles. And now we are older, thoughts of sand castles turn to buying or building beach houses, ocean belvederes or waterfront villas. But how do we own a piece of that magic without scarring or ruining it? Cheap flights, higher incomes and mass tourism have created many ugly, crowded resorts all over the world. Both developers and the rich are continuously on the look out for the increasing rarity of a pristine piece of land. But will it remain pristine once we’ve built on it?

  • waterside modern book Kas Dorrie, Bonaire, Caribbean
    Kas Dorrie, Bonaire, Caribbean, the beachside area at the front of the house feature a number of outdoor rooms

That’s the challenge set out by visionaries like Frank Lloyd Wright well before our environmentally conscious age. Well before the emergence of renewable, sustainable energy sources and the use of eco-friendly materials, Wright articulated a sophisticated design philosophy that advocated creating structures that were in harmony with both humanity and the environment.

His notion of Organic Architecture was founded on the belief that the built environment should harmoniously coexist with the natural one. “No house should ever be on a hill or on anything.” Said Wright, “It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together, each the happier for the other.” Two of Wright’s most outstanding organic buildings Fallingwater and Taliesin West continue to inspire many today.

The exquisite collection of modern houses in Dominic Bradbury’s Waterside Modern are inspired by the challenge set out by Wright and others. As Bradbury explains, “Indeed, there is a significant common thread to the best waterside homes: an ecological sensitivity and awareness, combined with a true sense of depth and character. It is the natural beauty of these ocean and riverside sites that sparks the initial ambition to build a home on the water’s edge. The ambition has to be to frame the view and enhance the sense of connection with the surroundings, while seeking to respect and preserve the natural environment as much as possible.”

For designers and architects the shoreline is a powerful setting in which to build and as the homes in Waterside Modern richly demonstrate, the results can be extraordinary.

  • Seaside House, Shelter Island, New York, waterside modern
    Seaside House, Shelter Island, New York, view out to Orient Point across Gardiners Bay with rooms overlooking the pool

‘Sexy, glamorous, inspirational, Waterside Modern is a compendium of stunning contemporary homes in waterside locations where nature is celebrated and indoor-outdoor living has been elevated to an art form.’


by Dominic Bradbury,
photographs by Richard Powers
published by Thames & Hudson,
RRP £19.95

Main Image: The infinity pool and terrace of Silver House, Spain
Photography copyright Richard Powers, supplied courtesy of Thames & Hudson

To order Waterside Modern go to GDC Interiors Journal Book Collection


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