However, hillside or clifftop properties can also present building challenges that require creative problem solving and the help of professionals. Take a look at how these logistical issues have been transformed into inspirational solutions, resulting in some spectacular homes.
Helsinki-based architecture studio Mer Arkkitehdit built this seaside villa among the trees in the 19th-century seaside town of Hanko, Finland. The residence is situated right in the center of Hanko's historic villa district and enjoys sweeping views of the dramatic coastline.
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Designed to nestle into the environment, this clifftop residence boasts a wall of windows that showcases spectacular ocean views. The Clifftop House was designed by Ljubljana-based firm Dekleva Gregorič Arhitekti for Slovenian expats Robert and Drazena Stroj. The dramatic home features a zig-zag roof made out of ipe wood, which serves as the perfect platform for whale watching or sharing drinks with friends.
The Paros House is a minimal home located in Paros, Greece, and was designed by John Pawson. The residence rises like a citadel from the layered coastal horizon.
Located in White Salmon, Washington, the Cliff House is close to the river and Mt. Hood, while being elevated enough to offer long-range views up and down the gorge. The architects at Giulietti / Schouten AIA Architects re-used the basic footprint of a former single-level ranch house sheltered between tall firs without disturbing existing trees and rock formations. Giulietti / Schouten AIA Architects uploaded Cliff House through Add a Home.
GilBartolomé Architects designed the stunning—and appropriately named—Cliff House for a difficult site on the Andalusian coast: a hillside with a 42-degree slant. Aside from its dramatic appearance, the home features subterranean construction, which comes with an energy efficiency advantage. The surrounding soil is a constant 67 degrees, which helps keep the interiors at a comfortable temperature year-round.
Hidden within a hill overlooking Australia’s Pittwater Bay, Rob Brown’s design for this cliffside home set high along the south end of the beach offers a mighty reward for conquering the steep ascent.
Situated on a 70-degree slope and accessible only by boat, this vacation home for a Chilean family rises on stilts from a rocky cliff, and enjoys idyllic views of Lago Todos los Santos. Unsurprisingly, Casa Lago Todos los Santos proved a challenge to build for the architects at Apio Arquitectos. To manage the steeply-sloped lot with minimal impact on the natural environment, the builders decided to use a pillar system, bolting steel tubing to the foundation to support a firm platform for the house.
Located in Falling Waters, West Virginia, on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Potomac River, this hillside home is nestled into its surroundings in a way that disrupts the landscape as little as possible. The sheer amount of glass encasing the house warrants a strong connection to the natural beauty of the grounds, and serves as a constant reminder of its surroundings. It was designed for an artist and sculptor by Wiedemann Architects LLC.
Perched over a cliff's face and designed by BattersbyHowat Architects, the hooded deck of the Gambier Residence reads like a ship’s prow over Howe Sound, the scenic waters near Vancouver.