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Cliff House

"Not Your Average Beach House"

Conceived as a contemporary beach house, Cliff house aims to pivot from the everyday ideology of “the coastal beach house”.


It was clear from project inception that the dwelling was to command its cliff side location using natural stone to provide a sense of weight and permanence to an otherwise slowly eroding landscape.

Upon arrival you’re greeted by a tiered view of the residence, layered through the use of landscape and curated rooftop gardens that assist the built form to anchor into its surrounding context. The expansive use of Andora Limestone was selected to blend with the coastal and moody hues of Port Phillip Bay. The refined palette was key in realising a contemporary coastal aesthetic but more importantly chosen for longevity, durability, and timelessness.

Upon arrival, we wanted to ensure a sense of grandeur and anticipation. This interplay between architecture and experience is woven into the spatial planning, resulting in a series of spaces leading off a clear axial vista that extends from the rear of the property boundary to the cliff edge.

The timber clad pivot entrance door with custom stone handle suggests a hint of what’s beyond. The stained finish of the door references the meterage of timber veneer paneling beyond, while the custom stone handle references geometry of the three-story stone clad staircase.

Upon entry to the residence, the gallery styled foyer creates a direct site line to the bay. It’s in this moment you fully understand the sites context and proximity to the cliffs edge.

Formal design qualities have been adapted to ensure open plan living spaces are symmetrically zoned. The ground floor gallery provides a strong circulation route though the core living zones while ensuring the central staircase is further celebrated though the use of symmetry as a backdrop to the dining space.

The interiors are restrained to a Pallete of Natural stone, timber veneer and polished plaster. Andora limestone is used on the ground floor to dissolve the connection between internal and external spaces, while the expanse of veneer lined walls assist to blur the connection between joinery and architecture resulting in a space that feels considered and serene.

Although it was important for the architecture to read monolithic, we wanted to ensure a residential scale, ensuring the spaces had a sense of intimacy. The realised product is a holiday home that will age and patina gracefully as it further nestles itself within its surrounding context. 

Featured Press

Australia's Best House

Project credits

Builder: DWC 

Landscape Design: Lisa Ellis Gardens

Furniture & Styling : Steph Design

Captured: Timothy Kaye

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