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Simple house on stilts makes a budget-conscious mountain retreat

It’s got all the necessities—plus views

Pitch-roofed black-clad house on stilts cantilevering over mountain. Addison Ow

Reaching retirement age often comes with the need to navigate options for senior housing. Some people choose to downsize into a stylish urban abode. Others join a community. One recently retired couple from Taiwan decided to go the rustic route and build a relaxing prefab retreat that cantilevers over a rocky hillside in the rural town of Nanzhuang.

Designed by Spanish architect Urdaneta Zeberio, the project came with a few constraints. First, the house had to be cost-effective (the budget was approximately $120,000). Second, it had to be easily buildable given its remote location atop a mountain. Zeberio scaled back his original design to create a straightforward floor plan with a gabled roof.

The house is propped up on stilts to overcome the sloped site and clad in slate-colored prefab metal panels. The metal framing of the structure was also prefabricated off site. Inside, the interior also opts for simplicity with white walls, pale wood floors, and a rectilinear layout accented by large windows that look out onto the mountains.

Open kitchen and dining area with white walls and cabinets and large sliding glass doors. Addison Ow
A dining table faces a large square window with mountain views. Addison Ow
A rectilinear house sits on stilts. Addison Ow
A room with white walls and pale wood floors. Addison Ow
A man sits in a woven chair outside a black house in the mountains. Addison Ow