The Cliffs

The Cliffs

  • Nelson, NZ
  • Photos: Simon Devitt
  • WINNER: Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects 2022

This house, on a dramatic cliff top site in Nelson, takes in uninterrupted views across Tasman Bay/Te Tai-o-Aorere. The Client’s brief was “A Modern cool looking house that made the most of the views”.

The design is a simple but strong form bending and cantilevering delicately toward north and Haulashore Island. Also opening the heart of the house up to a rear courtyard protected from the sea breeze. Expansive views to the beach were made possible by incorporating a moveable external sunscreen over the large west facing windows.

Inside and out, there are screens shaped with influence from the jagged rocks below . Water is expressed with nautical tile colours, decks around and over a pond at the rear, and custom designed rain chains in the front.

Materials are a balance of metal and timber cladding. The house has very high levels of insulation, unique passive heating systems, motorized sliding sun screens, and generates its own power.