Just because it’s got a great view doesn’t mean it’s a great house. But a killer view squandered is certainly a waste of precious resources. In the same way a good photographer uses the camera’s viewfinder as a tool for framing beautiful vistas, serene coastlines, or vibrant cityscapes, a good builder does the same thing – except with wood, glass, metal, stone, and any other number of materials.

As the saying goes, you work with what ya got, right?  Here are some finely crafted homes from around the nation that use architecture as an aperture. Each was thoughtfully oriented and built to savor its environment.