The Cliff House
As far as complicated sites go, they don’t get much tougher than a cliff top, but the challenges of site created nothing but opportunities for this home
Architecture will always be a response to site, even in cities where the only physical limitations are other buildings. So while a difficult location might present certain challenges, it also inspires the most beautiful homes.
This cliff top home south of Sydney takes in views across the Pacific Ocean. “The site posed exciting opportunities rather than any associated difficulties in achieving the views,” explains principal Steven Isaacs of Architecture Saville Isaacs.
“Its position and location are unique and incredibly inspirational. The site does have some serious Geotechnical issues being on an eroding cliff edge.” However, Steven explains, this was overcome by cantilevering the building from the top of the site.
“The design of the house is all about how it is placed in nature and how it relates to its surroundings.”
Each aspect has been carefully considered for its use and relationship to the outdoors, from the dramatic sweeping views over the cliff edge, to the framed glimpses of the treed mountain behind and the intimate use of liveable outdoor spaces such as the entry courtyard and the outdoor undercroft deck.
The architects have used a number of contrasting materials, including recycled timbers, glass and a fibre-cement product called Cemintel to create a polished concrete feel for the floors throughout and for the bathroom walls.
The internal spaces each offer unique views, “whether it’s a large open space or view or a small tight composition showing glimpses of green, grass, leaves, rocky mountain, wide blue sea and sky”.
“Wherever one is in the house one is constantly connected to place.”
Architecture Saville Isaacs