Two-storey Cliff House, with a suggestive name, is the project completed this year by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects extends over the edge of a rocky cliff on the Atlantic’s windswept coastline of Nova Scotia (Canada). Envisioned as a simple and peaceful seaside retreat, the construction is one of those “almost impossible” homes, giving the illusion of floating over the ocean. Built as a weekend getaway for a family who shuttles between California and Nova Scotia, the simple two-storey wood and steel-frame residence is the perfect refuge, a wonderful way to escape/ disconnect from a hectic lifestyle.
The construction of it did not require a substantial investment. When asked, architects explained that the house was built with an extremely low budget, in response to a challenging austere climate: “This is a modest, affordable cabin that is intended as a repeatable prototype. A large, galvanized, steel superstructure anchors it to the cliff. A light steel endoskeleton forms the primary structure expressed on the interior. The envelope is a simple flat form framed box, which is clad in cedar shiplap.” Comprising a spacious open plan living room on the first level (windows on three sides) and a mezzanine bedroom with unobstructed views of the ocean at the second floor, the house highlights the overwhelming landscape. The striking simplicity enhances the feeling of peacefulness.