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Cliff House / Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

  • 01:00 - 12 December, 2013
Cliff House / Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects
Cliff House / Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, © Greg Richardson
© Greg Richardson

© Greg Richardson © Greg Richardson © Greg Richardson © Greg Richardson +13

© Greg Richardson
© Greg Richardson

From the architect. This project is the first of a series of projects for a large 455 acre site on Nova Scotia's Atlantic coast. This pure box in the landscape is precariously perched off a bedrock cliff to heighten one's experience of the landscape through a sense of vertigo and a sense of floating on the sea. This strategy features the building's fifth elevation - its 'belly'.

© Greg Richardson
© Greg Richardson

This modest 960 square foot cabin functions as a rustic retreat. Its main level (16x44) contains a great room with a north cabinet wall, along with a service core. The open loft (16x16) is a sleeping perch. A large south-facing deck allows the interior stage to flow outward through the large windows. 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.

Ground Floor Plan
Ground Floor Plan
Cite: "Cliff House / Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects" 12 Dec 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


FLA · November 07, 2014

Im worried about one thing here: that gargoyle facing the sea means all the rainwater is going to be blown back on the facade (wood + windows, yikes), and in winter its going to be one heck of a frozen waterfall there... otherwise, very very nice !

Rod Piper · April 18, 2014

Love it :)

Pierre · December 17, 2013

There's NO WAY that's a 960m² house....

Earnald Lumbert · April 27, 2014 01:11 AM

let's see: 16 x 44 = 704. 16 x16= 256. Seems an awful lot like 960 sf to me. Or looking at spaces: a kitchen/dining room, a living room, a bedroom, and a bath.

Kamil · April 07, 2014 08:43 PM

Maybe 960 m^3 :)

PJ · December 13, 2013

Beautiful location and the building isn't half-bad either! I wish the bedroom had some kind of a view as well, I find prioritising the living area somewhat unecessary. Also, I would have left out the terrace, or alternatively reduced its size a lot.

One thing is puzzling me, though: looking at the interior shots and the truss under the ceiling, can anyone tell me why it is asymmetrical? Is there more loads on one side of the house?

dwaine frazier · December 12, 2013

very exciting love it


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