Whether perched on a wooded ridge overlooking a fjord or nestled, almost indistinguishable, atop a white-sand beach, these houses are in dialogue with their surroundings: the water. Each house embraces the natural beauty of the water and allows it to contribute the atmosphere, inside and out. The architects all take into account the reality of the context, the local culture, and the climate in creating these showcase homes. The styles featured run the gamut of architectural mixed-metaphors: modernist and rustic; Floridian with exotic; and transparency against rocky shores. Miniarch: Houses by the Water will inspire even the most "landlocked" designers, architects, and homeowners.