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Nominated Architect: Steven Isaacs #7929

© 2019 by Architecture Saville Isaacs. 

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Dreaming of uninterrupted ocean views? CLIFF HOUSE - Architecture Saville Isaacs

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

So, have you every dreamed of uninterrupted ocean views? We have, and so did our clients!⁠ ⁠ Check out this project of ours, the house is perched on the the cliffs edge, overlooking some amazing scenery in Clifton, NSW.⁠



Architecture Saville Isaacs

Cliff House




The core idea of people living and engaging with place is an underlying principle of our practice, given expression in the manner in which this home engages with its unique surroundings, not in a general expansive nod to view, but in a varied and intimate manner.


As one lives and moves through the built spaces, in daily activity, one interacts intimately with differing views and aspects of such a rich topography.


Capturing light internally to enhance the built form, and using the built form to capture and frame views and connect emotionally to the outside. From the dramatic cliff-top relationship of the sea ahead to the open green spaces on either side, as well as the imposing rocky mountainside behind.


Place making within such a context is a tool with which to experience all the different aspects of the site through the varying times of day, season and weather patterns.



The aim was to create a peaceful and healthy environment for our clients; to carefully construct a place to live in which everyday living is a joy and every simple function gives pause to reflect, by connecting each function to the surrounding nature; and to achieve this using ESD principles and sustainable, recycled, low-toxic and cost-effective materials.


The overall layout and design of the house is practical and suitable to the needs of an older couple without children. Single car parking has been provided; the owners using the nearby railway for commuting to the city.


Cost effective, common, locally produced materials have been used in innovative ways with the raw beauty of the materials providing the sense of luxury, selected to ensure minimal impact on the greater environment, local environment (the site), as well as on the inhabitants health.





The design responds to the challenges of the south east orientation, with windows strategically positioned to maximise winter sunlight penetration.


Rainwater is captured for toilets, laundry and irrigation. Blackwater recycling was extensively investigated, but pumpout installed due to unstable geotechnical site conditions preventing water dispersal on site. The house relies on sea breezes for cooling and a heatpump hydronic system (no gas available), augmented by wood fires, for space heating.




The cantilevered architectural forms enable footings to be kept away from the eroding sides of the site. The building is essentially galvanised steel, plasterboard, fibre cement sheeting, recycled timber and laminate joinery. How these materials are put together and expressed, creates the quality of space and architecture.


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