The Clifftop House

Photographer: Simon Devitt


This house is a celebration of descent and ascent, between roadside escarpment and Hauraki Gulf.

The passage up and down a series of switchback stairs is hard up against a basalt wall which separates the house’s glazed circulation lantern from its living spaces

The formal massing of the house reflects its planning: a barely enclosed stair accessing a series of discrete, stone-clad rooms. Though the site is spectacular and the views omnipresent, the rooms are formally composed rather than diffused into their surroundings.

Interior space is shaped from the interplay of materials, light, and robust luxurious furniture. The narrative of ascent and descent – the linking of city and gulf, with its intimations of connection to a wider world – is contrasted with an insistent nature.

Thus the urbanity of the living spaces contrasts with the continuous vertical movement of the inhabitants, the flicker of light through overhanging trees, the splashing ripple of the seawater and the smell of a cliff face hard outside a window.

Undertaken while a director at Jasmax.


See more by

Related articles

The Cliffs House

This modern home is nestled at the top of a cliff on a steep section with an amazing panoramic vista overlooking Tasman Bay.

Hoddy Road House

Photographer: Jason Mann   Perched atop the ridgeline over the Waimea Inlet, this entertainer’s residence enjoys all day sun and panoramic views. The brief was for a house with maximum views, that also maintained a sense of privacy. The use of natural timbers in the

Falcon Brae

Photographer: Jason Mann   Falcon Brae Villa is the result of a vision to create a luxury villa in the surroundings of the breath-taking environment of the Motueka Valley. The ‘falcon’ of the name is expressed in the curved falcon-wing roofs which are a defining

Honeymoon Bay Bach

Photographer: Jason Mann   Set within a steep-sided, bush-clad gully on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park, the building site for this bach, which has replaced the original dwelling, was a 40 sqm platform cut into the foot of the northwest side of