CLIFF HOUSE

2015 - 2017

 

Co-host to a heritage listed church relocated the coastal bluff some years earlier, the objective of cliff house was to maintain a low profile and create a private realm with respect to the existing church. While the church enjoys a prominent position visible from both vehicular approaches, the house is completely hidden from the landward side. 

 

Buried into the cliff, the house is visible from the beach as a subtle profile, camouflaged by the colour of the surrounding rocks and ragged tufts of native grass above it.

 

The spine of the house is a long thin concrete box, set into the hill and contained by concrete walls with dune berms on two sides. From here, the main living space forms a view corridor from west to east. A brief anticipation of the spectacular ocean views is endured as the entry delivers the visitor immediately into the heart of the house.

 

Guests are afforded prime position, with an entire north facing wing separated from the main house by a link-way that bridges an enclosed thermal bath and an external heated spa overlooking the ocean.

 

A challenge was to reconcile the south-eastern views with northern solar orientation. In this instance, a flat lawned courtyard was introduced to gain northern aspect to the living spaces and to harvest the afternoon sun while offering protection from the strong southerly Pacific Ocean winds. A large sliding landscape kitchen window integrates the courtyard with the house during fine weather.

 

Materially the house is robust and resilient with off-form concrete providing the predominant shell.  Lighter weight elements are clad in a green-grey zinc cladding, for both longevity and natural colouring that merges with the scrub and coastal native landscape. In contrast, tactile interior surfaces are light and lined in timber to provide a warmth to the internal space.

 

Project Team: Prudence Bowe Architect, David Stafford, Corinne Anton

Surveyor: Parker Scanlon

Heritage Architect: John Carr

Structural Engineer: Cantilever Engineers

Geotechnical Engineer: CSG Engineers

Bushfire Consultant: Parker Scanlon

Energy Audit: Prudence Bowe NatHERS Assessor 

Builder: Under negotiation

 

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