One lecture I remember in particular discussed the importance of proper placement of a building. How critical it is to relate it to the geography, the climate, and the purpose of the edifice. For example, in Austin, one certainly wouldn't want to face a wall of windows towards the west - because, like everything else that's "Bigger in Texas," so, too is the withering heat for most of the year. A west-facing facade begs for a giant oak to provide shade and natural cooling. However, a south-facing window can take full advantage of the muted radiance that is the Winter Sun.
The point being, a well-designed space takes into account, and manipulates light to its best advantage.
I couldn't help but admire how each and every one of these images brings that idea to fruition. I also couldn't put the thought out of my brain that I NEED to live in Spain - where all these homes reside. *wistful sigh*