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Green Grandeur: 8 Exceptional Eco-Friendly Estates

In honor of the 51st anniversary of Earth Day (April 22), Luxury Defined tours eight homes that seamlessly blend sustainable living with luxury design

More than half a century ago, some 10 percent of the US population marked the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. It helped the modern environmental movement to spotlight the oil spills, pollution and smog that endangered species and habitat—including human beings. In response, the United States passed legislation to protect the air and water, including the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many countries have enacted similar laws. Earth Day, commemorated on April 22 as a global day of observance, has since become the planet’s largest civic event, observed by more than a billion people. To celebrate the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, Luxury Defined spotlights a collection of eco-friendly properties around the world. Aesthetically pleasing and built with the environment in mind, these beautifully designed homes include energy-, water-, and cost-saving features such as solar panels, geothermal systems, and rainwater collection for irrigation—certain to appeal to any earthling who does not take the planet for granted.

Frank Lloyd Wright-Inspired Villa in ‘s-Gravenweg, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Asian influences and Earth-friendly design combine at this striking contemporary house near Rotterdam.

This Zen-like villa in ‘s-Gravenweg, Netherlands, is an homage to Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic architecture. The striking cantilevered façade, constructed from sustainable materials, such as Oregon pine and freestone, and recyclable stainless steel, sits under a spectacular zinc roof. Vast walls blur the lines between indoors and outdoors. The fluid, light-filled living spaces extend to nearly 4,500 square feet. The heart of the home is the living room, featuring a 12-foot-high ceiling, gallery walls, a raised fireplace, and glass doors opening to an outdoor lounge. Farther along is a dining room, study, gourmet kitchen, and luxurious wellness center with spa, sauna, relaxation area, and bathroom. A wooden staircase rises to an entresol level overlooking the living room. This floor also includes four bedrooms, two luxurious bathrooms, a powder room, and a balcony. The lower level houses the temperature-controlled wine cellar. The Asian influences extend to the gardens, a haven of tranquility with cascading water features, bridges, and four interconnected terraces.

The Urban Mountain III in Zhubei City

Bringing nature to the city is the grand concept behind The Urban Mountain III, a luxury, eco-friendly development near the bustling city center of Zhubei.

This unique three-bedroom, three-bathroom residence has a spectacular location in The Urban Mountain III, a luxurious, eco-friendly urban development by Banmu Tang Environmental Integration Group, an architectural firm that advocates restoring the natural landscape in the built environment. The building and its verdant grounds take inspiration from the topography and ecology of Li-Tou Mountain. Lush, high-density vertical planting on the outside of the structure forms a barrier against the elements. An abundance of trees and plants provide a corridor for wildlife. Inside the apartment, the sense of calm continues, a skillful use of wood and stone aligning perfectly with the exterior. The interiors are flooded with sunlight and open to tranquil, tree-lined balconies. Edible plants, wild herbs, flowers, and fruit trees grace the surrounding gardens. The on-site permaculture farm and nature trails evoke the rural lifestyle. A fitness center, yoga and meditation rooms are further amenities. The property is within Hsinchu’s high-speed rail zone, the bustling city of Zhubei is within easy reach, though this serene oasis feels like a world away.

Seven Stones Estate in Cawston, British Columbia, Canada

Seven Stones is a 25-acre vineyard estate in the Similkameen Valley wine region of British Columbia. An energy efficient, solar powered main residence; electric-vehicle charging ports; and irrigation system are among the eco-friendly features.

The 25-acre Seven Stones winery estate resides in eco-friendly harmony among the spectacular views, vineyards, pasture, and rolling mountains of British Columbia’s Similkameen Valley wine region. The winery’s label honors the seven landmark rock formations of the valley, and ages its wines and pays tribute to them on their labels. Well-known for its full-bodied red wines, a spectacular view and its mysterious caves where the wine is aged to perfection in the finest French Oak barrels. There are 20 acres of mature vineyards, planted with chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, syrah, petit verdot, and Malbec, producing about 4,000 to 5,000 bottles per year. The winery includes wine caves (accessed via elevator) with barrel storage, commercial kitchen, and event space; a bottling area; warehouse and storage sheds; exterior covered crush pad; and tasting room. The estate also includes an owner’s residence with three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a den, attached garage, and wine cellar. The residence is energy efficient (powered by 18 solar panels). There’s also a helipad, Tesla car-charging station, spring-fed irrigation system, and 25-gallon well.

Contemporary Colonial in Ocean Club Estates in Nassau, Bahamas

Solar panels and electric-vehicle charging ports are among the green features of this colonial-style residence overlooking the Ocean Club Golf Course in Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Classic and contemporary design converge in this palatial residence on Paradise Island, Bahamas. The property has a prime location in the prestigious Ocean Club Estates, abutting the club’s championship golf course, with views of the fairways, white sands, and azure seas. The home’s stately colonial-inspired façade encloses 8,200 square feet of luxurious living space accoutered with green technologies: solar panels, electric-vehicle charging ports, a water purification system, and energy-saving “smart” thermostats. The home is appointed with formal reception rooms, a gourmet kitchen, a large family room, and a movie theater with 165-inch screen. There are six bedrooms and six bathrooms, including a master suite with a private balcony. Below is a loggia with an alfresco dining area leading out to a pool terrace surrounded by lavish greenery.

This one-of-a-kind villa off the coast of Queensland, Australia, counts solar energy and captured rainwater systems among its eco-friendly features.

Jewel of the Reef, a tropical hideaway on Bedarra Island, off the coast of Northern Queensland, is perched on nearly an acre of white-sand beach and coral seafront. The open-plan villa has been carefully designed to make the most of the breathtaking island and ocean views. The contemporary living spaces lead out to a 1,600-square-foot covered deck floating above a natural granite tidal pool. The self-contained caretaker’s residence is completely sustainable with 100 percent solar power. Other earth-friendly features include a natural spring and captured rainwater system. Located only 2.5 miles from the Australian mainland, between the cities of Townsville and Cairns, Bedarra Island is a world away, yet has the convenience of city life on its doorstep.

Coastal Contemporary in Puerto Los Cabos Mexico

Casa Tierra is a masterfully designed eco villa overlooking the Sea of Cortez in Puerto Los Cabos, Mexico.

Casa Tierra, a hilltop villa overlooking the Sea of Cortez in Puerto Los Cabos, Mexico, exemplifies contemporary eco-architecture with its rammed-earth walls, wood and metal roof, and natural finishes of wood and stone. The property offers more than 5,000 square feet of interior space with a fluid floor plan, perfect venue for gatherings large or small. The private quarters comprise three sleeping areas, two traditional casitas, and six bathrooms. Outside, a terrace with an infinity pool seems to float between the sea and sky. Further highlights include a playroom, volleyball court, staff quarters, and a two-car garage.

Nature-Inspired Ranch in Ashland, Oregon

This 8,880-square-foot eco retreat on 700 private acres in Southern Oregon was built to honor and reflect the beauty of its surrounding landscape.

Shining Hand Ranch was inspired by the Native American spirituality that characterizes its 700-acre setting in the foothills of Oregon’s Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges. Completed in 2016, the 8,880-square-foot residence was handcrafted to echo the organic flow of nature. Visitors cross the home’s threshold on a granite floor reminiscent of a riverbank; above, a blue-stone tiled ceiling reflects the color of the open sky. From the arched mahogany front doors, framed by copper tree sculptures, to the geothermal heated floors and the solar-powered indoor pool, the home’s architecture and amenities not only honor nature but function in concert with it.

Villa Auva in Marrakech, Morocco

Luxury and sustainability go hand in hand at this magnificent private compound in Marrakesh.

Villa Auva, an exclusive private compound near the Old City of Marrakesh, blends luxury living with sustainability. The 7.4-acre estate comprises a palatial main villa, six guest pavilions, a sports and wellness center, and resplendent gardens. The architecture blends traditional Moorish details with contemporary green design. Solar technology heats the estate’s water supply, including the two hammams. The 12,916-square-foot main villa has eight suites, ornate reception areas, and an indoor pool. The six pavilions each have two bedrooms, a kitchen, dining and living areas. A separate building within the ground includes a catering kitchen and dining room, garages, and technical rooms, and a recreation center with a sauna, two hammams, fitness room, two outdoor pools, and a tennis court. The gardens are an oasis of verdant lawns, cactus and palm gardens, and olive trees.