A glass house is one of those ideas that's hard to get right, often resulting in the kind of home that only an extrovert could live in. The recently-completed Hidden Pavilion offers an example of how this doesn't have to be the case, however, and besides being a practical home, has some nice little touches, such as a design intended to allow the site's existing trees to grow unimpeded.

Conceived by Penelas Architects as a quiet retreat, the Hidden Pavilion is nestled in a forest glade just northwest of Madrid, Spain. Though it appears to have no curtains or blinds, privacy shouldn't be too much of a concern thanks to its isolated location.

The surrounding forest plays a large part in this project. The second floor slopes to leave room for an existing 200 year old holm oak to continue to grow, while younger trees are also allowed to grow through gaps in its terraced areas.

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The Hidden Pavilion has a total floorspace of 70 sq m (753 sq ft), spread over two floors. It includes both a second floor veranda and a rooftop terrace. The materials used primarily consist of a cherry wood interior, steel, and a lot of glass.

The Hidden Pavilion's private areas lie on the first floor and consist of a sole bedroom, bathroom and a walk-in closet. A spiral staircase leads to the second floor (and upward to the roof), which includes a kitchen and dining area. Two doors open onto a veranda that cantilevers over a small waterfall.

The home is topped by a rooftop terrace with five chimney-like light tubes atop which bounce light inside. You might assume these wouldn't be needed in a glass house in sunny Spain, but the home is well shaded by the trees.

Penelas Architects boss Dr. José Luis Esteban Penelas told us construction began on the project some time ago, but it was left half-built and work stopped in 2010. It was then finally completed in December, 2016.

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