Dezeen Magazine

Dezeen's top five houses of February 2023

A mirrored villa in Belgium, a demountable house in the UK and a "truly ordinary" home in Vietnam feature in Dezeen's top five houses of the month for February.

A pair of rammed-earth villas in Costa Rica and a fortress-like home in Portugal round off the list of Dezeen readers' favourite houses published in the past month.

This is the latest roundup in our Houses of the month series, which collects five of the most popular residences featured on Dezeen every month from all around the world.

Here are Dezeen's top five homes of February 2023:

Yin yang villas by Formafatal
Photo by BoysPlayNice

Achioté, Costa Rica, by Formafatal 

This pair of villas is located within the Costa Rican jungle, 300 metres above the Pacific Ocean.

Rammed-earth walls and a steel frame support a concrete roof, with wall-to-ceiling glazing giving expansive views of the surrounding landscape.

Find out more about Achioté ›

Two-storey house in a forest with mirror-clad upper level
Photo by Nick Claeskens

Beli House, Belgium, by Studio Okami Architecten

Informed by an experimental 1960s villa that previously occupied the site on the outskirts on Antwerp, this concrete house was clad in mirrored panels to hide it within the surrounding woodland.

"The mirrored box disappears due to the reflection of the forest, allowing the villa to maintain its slick horizontal bungalow-like appearance," said Okami Architecten founding partner Hans Vanassche.

Find out more about Beli House ›

Exterior of Nest House by Studio Bark
Photo by Andy Billman

Nest House, UK, by Studio Bark

This wooden bungalow was designed by Studio Bark using its modular U-Build system and constructed on a farmstead in Herefordshire, UK, by students enrolled on the practice's No Building As Usual (NBAU) programme.

Built for a retired couple, the single-storey house was built with a timber frame and reusable foundations so it can be demounted at the end of its life.

Find out more about Nest House ›

Exterior of Forte House by Pema Studio in Santo Tirso
Photo by Ivo Tavares

Forte House, Portugal, by Pema Studio

Set behind the retained facade of a former house on the site, the form of this blocky, white-rendered home in Santo Tirso, Portugal, was informed by the idea of creating a protected fortress.

"The house is designed in a complex balance between the creation of a dense and closed fortress and the reinterpretation of the typical patio house, looking for a protected oasis in its intimate relationship with the sky," said Pema Studio.

Find out more about Forte House ›

Exterior of a steel mono-pitched house in Vietnam by MIA Design Studio
Photo by Trieu Chien

Thuan House, Vietnam, by MIA Design Studio

Local architecture practice MIA Design Studio designed this house for a family of four in Phan Thiet, Vietnam, to be a stripped-back and "truly ordinary" home.

Built from modular elements to allow for future expansion or adaption, the home has an exposed steel frame that gives it an industrial character.

Find out more about MIA Design Studio ›