House on the Cliff - Duarte Caldeira | architect
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House on the Cliff

Located on the southern coast of the island of Madeira this villa was designed to enjoy the view of the ocean. It is built high on a cliff overlooking the sea where the sight of the horizon is ever present. It would be a ordinary house, should it no be on the edge of a cliff. The cliffs exert an irresistible attraction, but also raise fears. It is like being in the presence of a border or an abrupt change, a physical breakdown of the territory and nature. But is closer to the vast and undefined. It is a place of great tension, as well as beauty.

The building was designed with simple volumes cladded in stone, chosen to render “materiality” of the object, to “hold it into the ground” – provide security and shelter.

Travertine cladding at the top and basalt at the bottom creates two distinct layers of colour and texture similar to the cliff’s geological strata. The plot of about 620m2, needed to be managed sparingly to accommodate three-bedrooms, one en suite, an office and library, living and dinning rooms and parking for several cars. The geometry of the house is given by the constraints of the site. It’s layout has the shape of “L” to diminish the footprint area and allow more space for the garden. The garage is located underground to avoid further unnecessary building size.

status – built
location – Madeira Portugal
year – 2007
architects – Duarte Caldeira, Filipe Araújo


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