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18 Homes Face Off in the Beach Pad Vs. Ski House Death Cage

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Imagine you're looking to buy a new vacation home, but can't figure out whether the beach or the mountains are the place for you. How do you choose? The answer is simple: you shove them all into a metaphorical cage and let them battle it out until one emerges victorious. Yep, that's right: it's time for a Real Estate Deathmatch.




In any game of MASH or discussion of fantasy real estate wish lists, the inevitable beach house Vs. ski chalet debate is bound to arise, drawing a sharp divide between snow folk and ocean lovers. Sure, some might see the value in both a private waterfront and carte blanche to decorate with as many elk antler chairs and taxidermied beasts as possible, but when it comes right down to it, everyone's got to pick a favorite. Here to settle matters once and for all are 18 coastal and mountain properties paired up by just about every classification, including size, price, color, and even taste level (or lack there of.) Hop into the ring and pick a winner:

Minimalist, All-White Boxes:




Left: Whitefish, Mont.; right: La Jolla, Peru

Mountain:

Photos via Curbed Ski

(↑) On the market for $2.89M, this 3,541-square-foot Whitefish, Mont., ski mansion offers four bedrooms and "brings some beachfront modernism to the Montana real estate scene."

Beach:

Photos via Design Milk

(↑) Argentina-based architect Juan Carlos Doblado constructed this all-white, pile 'o boxes on the Pacific Coast in La Jolla, Peru to "bridge the gap between man and nature." The sleek, two-story structure houses seven bedrooms and a shockingly busy red kitchen.

All-Black Getaways:




Left: Catskills, N.Y.; right: Kent, England

Mountain:

Photos via Design Sponge

(↑) The Catskills, N.Y., country home of Calvin Klein VP of Creative Services Amanda Bupp comes with a brooding noir façade and sunny, all-white interiors. The thick forest locale makes for a secluded weekend retreat.

Beach:

Photos via Gardenista

(↑) Prospect Cottage—the Kent, England, home of late film director, stage designer, and author Derek Jarman—is perhaps just as well known for its pebble garden, flower beds, and waterfront views as it is for its distinctive paint job.

Mega Mansions:




Left: Stowe, Vt.; right: Turks & Caicos

Mountain:

Photos via Curbed Ski

(↑) The palatial Above the Clouds estate in Stowe, Vt., is on the market for $6.9M and measures in at an utterly insane 18,095 square feet on 15.15 acres. Inside, there are two master wings as well as an entire level dedicated to entertainment.

Beach:

Photo via Homes of the Rich

(↑) Oliver's Cove in Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos, comes with a massive main house, a separate guest house, and a personal beach space—all of which cover a total of 16,000 square feet. The island is currently on the market for $48M.

Micro Cottages on Stilts:




Left: South Fork Mountain, West Va.; right: Kanagawa, Japan

Mountain:

Photos via Bless This Stuff

(↑) Located on a steep incline in rural South Fork Mountain, West Va., the Shack at Hinkle Farm is a ridiculously picturesque, totally electricity-free getaway. Designed by Maryland-based Broadhurst Architects, the stilts are meant to to stave off critters from pawing into the often unoccupied quarters.

Beach:

Photos via Dezeen

(↑) Designed by Japanese office Yasutaka Yoshimura,this propped-up seaside pad in Kanagawa, Japan offers enormous windows for a big, sprawling view of the water. The elevated platform protects against high tide.

Blockbusters:




Left: Jackson, WY.; right: Miami Beach, Fla.

Mountain:

Photos via Curbed National

(↑) On the market for a big old $37M, this 14,000-square-foot Jackson, Wy., palace boasts "119 park-like acres" of mountain land, a home cinema, a recording studio, a two-story library, a spa-style steam shower and sauna, and an indoor pool. There's also enough Old West-esque decor to outfit a dozen Clint Eastwood movies.

Beach:

Photos via Curbed National

(↑) For an identical $37M price tag, this glossy Miami compound constructed by local architects Choeff + Levy offers a modern 13,000-square-foot spread with a master bedroom that feels practically submerged in the ocean.

Portable Pads:




Left: Mazama, Wash.; right: Whangapoua, New Zealand

Mountain:

Photos via Olson Kundig Architects

(↑) The Rolling Huts in Mazama, Wash., were designed by famed Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects as a step above camping, but still simple and easy to move, thanks to wheels at the base. Hunkered down on an RV campground, each small hut offers a single room and a personal porch.

Beach:

Photos via Curbed National

(↑) Perched on a sandy bluff in Whangapoua, New Zealand, this boxy, timber-clad vacation home comfortably houses a family of five in just a 430-square-foot bunker. Designed by New Zealand-based firm Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects, the hut also sits on wooden beam "sleds" that can be rigged to a vehicle.

Cliff-Side Dwellings:




Left: Kappl Tirol, Austria; right: Coogee, Australia

Mountain:

Photos via Curbed National

(↑) The shape of this odd dwelling in Kappl, Austria, is meant to mirror its surroundings, emulating the same steep slant as its near-vertical locale.

Beach:

Photos via Takt

(↑) Situated on an extremely narrow, hilly plot of beachside land In Coogee, Australia, this seemingly modest home by the local Takt firm extends down in a snake-like tumble of boxy rooms.

Eco-Friendly Houses :




Left: Steamboat Springs, Colo.; right: Turks & Caicos

Mountain:

Photos via Enpundit

(↑) Located right outside Steamboat Springs, Colo., the four-bedroom Reed Residence by local firm Robert Hawkins Architects is Net-Zero structure made from reclaimed woods and insulation, with solar panels on the roof.

Beach:

Photos via Curbed Hamptons

(↑) Made from shipping containers, the famed 2,000-square-foot Beach Box in Amagansett, N.Y. was built from repurposed materials and equipped with energy star appliances for the highest, most energy efficient performance.

Wall-Free Wonders:




Left: Jackson Hole, Wy.; right: Malibu, Calif.

Mountain:

Photo via Curbed Ski

(↑) Cold weather makes the outdoor living room at this this Larry Pearson-designed Jackson Hole retreat rather impractical, but the fireplace and those views of the Teton Mountains do their best to combat that fact. The rest of the 5,400-square-foot home, which cost $5.2M to build, is sleek and modern.

Beach:

Photo via Curbed National

(↑) Recently listed for $12.5M by Friends-alum Matthew Perry, the glassy, 5,500-square-foot Pier House sits right on the Malibu coastline, with an open living room that spans the entire first floor.

· This Tiny Home is Little More Than a Pair of Windows on Stilts [Curbed National]
· Spend a Weekend Off the Grid in This Charming Micro Shack [Curbed National]
· These Bold, Brooding Houses are Very Much in the Black [Curbed National]
· Confused Montana Home Would Fit Better in Los Angeles [Curbed Ski]
· Enjoy a Minimalist Vacation at This Boxy Seaside Pad [Curbed National]
· Rolling Huts [Olson Kundig]
· This Portable Beach Hut on Sleds Houses a Family of Five [Curbed National]
· $37M Jackson Listing Casts Off Ranch, Keeps Huge Mansion [Curbed National]
· Historic Miami Teardown Gives Way to $37M Modern Manse [Curbed National]
· Precarious Copper Beach Cottage Hides Secret Rooms [Curbed National]
· Appartementvillen Aradira [Urlaubs Architektur]
· Ten Sexy Ski Homes That Prove Modern is the Next Big Thing [Curbed Ski]
· Buy Matthew Perry's Oceanfront Malibu Pad For $12.5M [Curbed National]
· Modern Meets Rustic In This Eco-Friendly Mountain Home[Enpundit]
· The First "Beach Box" Hits The Market, Wants $1.395M[Curbed Hamptons]
· Modern Jackson Hole Home Takes Outdoor Living Up A Notch[Curbed Ski]
· Buy Matthew Perry's Oceanfront Malibu Pad For $12.5M[Curbed National]
· All Outdoors Week 2014 posts [Curbed National]