Coveted Crib: Modern on Lava

Architect Craig Steely pays close attention to nature when it comes to designing structures. He has to, since his modern home designs on the Big Island in Hawaii share space with lava flow.

Steely, an architect based out of San Francisco and Hawaii whose work has been featured in such publications as Dwell, Sunset, and the New York Times, was awarded recognition by the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects for this home. His passion for Hawaii's very particular landscape is apparent in his comment in a New York Times article that "The volcano is so immediate and fresh . . . You're constantly reminded how fragile life is."

While the proximity of lava flow would be a little too jarring for some homeowners' comfort, I recognize the attraction and thrill of living near it. The alien landscape of volcanic rock makes this steel-framed home all the more fascinating in appearance. Hovering on a cliff that overlooks the ocean, this 1,400-square-foot-home is wrapped in glass on all sides, allowing residents to take advantage of the gorgeous, otherworldly views. The interiors take cues from the landscape, with red-and-orange tiling muscularly wrapping a curved wall in the bathroom and limited furnishings echoing the minimalist exterior vegetation. Take a look at the gallery for the big picture on this Big Island beauty.