A young couple were faced with a difficult site on the Spanish coast: a hillside with a 42 degree slant. GilBartolomé Architects designed the stunning—and aptly named—Cliff House for them.
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GilBartolomé Architects says the metal facade looks like "the skin of a dragon set in the ground when seen from below" but "waves of the sea when seen from above."
The undulating roof is reinforced concrete covered with hand-made and hand-installed metal tiles. The home was built when the Spanish economy was especially depressed, so in lieu of factory-made construction components, the architects used local labor for fabrication and installation whenever possible.
The home is divided into two floors: seen here is the second floor, where the bedrooms enjoy private balconies and ocean views. The shared spaces, such as the living room and kitchen, are below.
Aside from its dramatic appearance, the home's subterranean construction comes with an energy efficiency advantage: the surrounding soil is a constant 67 degrees, thereby helping to keep the interiors comfy year-round.
The reinforced concrete shell requires no columns, leaving the 47.5-foot-wide interior totally open. The living room doubles as a stage and the terraced seating can accommodate 70. A large sliding glass door separates the living room from the pool just outside.
The fiberglass furniture was designed digitally but manufactured on site as well.