The best kind of architecture is that which pushes the boundaries, taking calculated design risks in order to offer truly unique living experiences. Such is the case with clifftop architecture. Not for the faint of heart, these five precariously positioned cliff houses embrace the challenge of steep slopes and dizzying cliff faces, offering breathtaking views in the process. Sheer genius.

House on the Cliff

Brought to life by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos, this monolithic white house in Alicante, Spain acts as an extension of the natural earthwork upon which it sits. A sweeping 18-metre-long balcony stretches out across the Balearic Sea while an infinity pool offers more incredible views. "We like the virtue of architecture that makes possible constructing a house on air, walking on water," the studio says. "An abrupt plot of land overlooking the sea, where what is best is to do nothing. It invites you to stay. A piece that respects the land’s natural contour is set in it."

Air

The idea behind Yakusha Design's aptly named 'Air', a stunning 270-degree glass cabin overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, was to create a feeling of weightlessness — like floating on air. The ultra-modern cliffside home is mounted on a vertical wall that's embedded into rock and secured with a recycled concrete foundation. Taking inspiration from historic lighthouses standing at the edge of the earth, the architects envisioned the house as a holiday home for a surfer, "who is no stranger to a confrontation with a powerful element of nature — the air".

Cliff House

Australian prefab architecture specialists Modscape designed Cliff House, a conceptual property that extraordinarily hangs off the edge of a cliff along a remote part of the Victorian coastline. Taking inspiration from the way that barnacles cling to a ship's hull, the home is designed to be anchored to the cliff using specially-designed heavy steel pins. Interiors are minimalist in style so as not to detract from the breathtaking views and the residence's distinctive spatial characteristics.

La Binocle Cabin

La Binocle Cabin, a unique residence that's perched on a mountain in the Eastern Townships, Canada, brings minimalism to the mountainside. Designed by Montreal-based architecture and design firm Naturehumaine, the project takes advantage of the rocky cape to anchor its raw concrete foundations, on which rest two separate volumes that advance towards the treetops. Naturally, panoramic views are the focal point of both volumes. The relationship with nature is enhanced by the sloping roofs that follow the natural slope of the ground and reinforce the sensation of sliding over the cliff.

Triangle Cliff House

Positioned on the edge of a nail-biting precipice, the futuristic-style Triangle Cliff House is the vision of architect Matthias Arndt, founder of German design studio lichtecht. Not content to merely settle with a traditional red wooden house, Matthias conceived the project as his dream holiday house in the Norwegian fjords. The project quite literally harnesses its natural surroundings, in accordance with the philosophy that architecture and nature should work in tandem with one another. 


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You've discovered awe-inspiring cliff houses, now turn your attention to these modern homes with standout spiral staircases.