Bare Essentials

Writer Nguyen Qui Duc's retreat features the natural beauty just beyond its modern minimalist interior

Working with local artisans,Vietnamese-American writer Nguyen Qui Duc built a 100-square- metre modernist home set on a cliff cantilevered over a lush valley. Opting for an open layout, he selected natural materials including glass and ochre-tinged stone from a nearby quarry.

The view is aided by eight-meter floor-to-ceiling windows that stretch across the space. With no clear dividing walls for different rooms and with little furniture, the home has an ascetic, almost monastic, quality. 'I tried to keep things simple, staying away from anything artificial,' says Nguyen. 'The decor is meant not to detract from the natural beauty of the trees, the green mountains, the open sky.'