Architecture

Gallery: Don’t look down – The most spectacular and precarious cliff-side houses

Gallery: Don’t look down – The...
The Pole House is one of Australia's most iconic houses, found along the Great Ocean Road off the south coast of Victoria. Originally built in the 1970s, and recently renovated, the house has survived three major bushfires and is currently available to the public for short-term holiday rentals
The Pole House is one of Australia's most iconic houses, found along the Great Ocean Road off the south coast of Victoria. Originally built in the 1970s, and recently renovated, the house has survived three major bushfires and is currently available to the public for short-term holiday rentals
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The Pole House is one of Australia's most iconic houses, found along the Great Ocean Road off the south coast of Victoria. Originally built in the 1970s, and recently renovated, the house has survived three major bushfires and is currently available to the public for short-term holiday rentals
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The Pole House is one of Australia's most iconic houses, found along the Great Ocean Road off the south coast of Victoria. Originally built in the 1970s, and recently renovated, the house has survived three major bushfires and is currently available to the public for short-term holiday rentals
The Pole House is one of Australia's most iconic houses, found along the Great Ocean Road off the south coast of Victoria. Originally built in the 1970s, and recently renovated, the house has survived three major bushfires and is currently available to the public for short-term holiday rentals
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The Pole House is one of Australia's most iconic houses, found along the Great Ocean Road off the south coast of Victoria. Originally built in the 1970s, and recently renovated, the house has survived three major bushfires and is currently available to the public for short-term holiday rentals
The Pole House is one of Australia's most iconic houses, found along the Great Ocean Road off the south coast of Victoria. Originally built in the 1970s, and recently renovated, the house has survived three major bushfires and is currently available to the public for short-term holiday rentals
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The Pole House is one of Australia's most iconic houses, found along the Great Ocean Road off the south coast of Victoria. Originally built in the 1970s, and recently renovated, the house has survived three major bushfires and is currently available to the public for short-term holiday rentals
From Mackay Lyons Sweetapple Architects comes this excitingly cantilevered cabin, half hanging off a steep cliff. The cedar-lined structure sits facing the  Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia
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From Mackay Lyons Sweetapple Architects comes this excitingly cantilevered cabin, half hanging off a steep cliff. The cedar-lined structure sits facing the  Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia
From Mackay Lyons Sweetapple Architects comes this excitingly cantilevered cabin, half hanging off a steep cliff. The cedar-lined structure sits facing the  Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia
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From Mackay Lyons Sweetapple Architects comes this excitingly cantilevered cabin, half hanging off a steep cliff. The cedar-lined structure sits facing the  Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia
From Mackay Lyons Sweetapple Architects comes this excitingly cantilevered cabin, half hanging off a steep cliff. The cedar-lined structure sits facing the  Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia
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From Mackay Lyons Sweetapple Architects comes this excitingly cantilevered cabin, half hanging off a steep cliff. The cedar-lined structure sits facing the  Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia
This incredibly impressive construction, designed by the GilBartolome studio, is buried into a hill on a plot with an inclination of 42 degrees. The undulous texture of the house is designed to resemble both the skin of a dragon and the waves of the ocean
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This incredibly impressive construction, designed by the GilBartolome studio, is buried into a hill on a plot with an inclination of 42 degrees. The undulous texture of the house is designed to resemble both the skin of a dragon and the waves of the ocean
This incredibly impressive construction, designed by the GilBartolome studio, is buried into a hill on a plot with an inclination of 42 degrees. The undulous texture of the house is designed to resemble both the skin of a dragon and the waves of the ocean
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This incredibly impressive construction, designed by the GilBartolome studio, is buried into a hill on a plot with an inclination of 42 degrees. The undulous texture of the house is designed to resemble both the skin of a dragon and the waves of the ocean
This incredibly impressive construction, designed by the GilBartolome studio, is buried into a hill on a plot with an inclination of 42 degrees. The undulous texture of the house is designed to resemble both the skin of a dragon and the waves of the ocean
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This incredibly impressive construction, designed by the GilBartolome studio, is buried into a hill on a plot with an inclination of 42 degrees. The undulous texture of the house is designed to resemble both the skin of a dragon and the waves of the ocean
Another impressive cantilevered structure, this white modernist masterpiece from Fran Silvestre Arquitectos is on the coast of Spain facing the Balearic Sea. The clean white concrete building juxtaposes against the craggy grey landscape
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Another impressive cantilevered structure, this white modernist masterpiece from Fran Silvestre Arquitectos is on the coast of Spain facing the Balearic Sea. The clean white concrete building juxtaposes against the craggy grey landscape
Another impressive cantilevered structure, this white modernist masterpiece from Fran Silvestre Arquitectos is on the coast of Spain facing the Balearic Sea. The clean white concrete building juxtaposes against the craggy grey landscape
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Another impressive cantilevered structure, this white modernist masterpiece from Fran Silvestre Arquitectos is on the coast of Spain facing the Balearic Sea. The clean white concrete building juxtaposes against the craggy grey landscape
Another impressive cantilevered structure, this white modernist masterpiece from Fran Silvestre Arquitectos is on the coast of Spain facing the Balearic Sea. The clean white concrete building juxtaposes against the craggy grey landscape
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Another impressive cantilevered structure, this white modernist masterpiece from Fran Silvestre Arquitectos is on the coast of Spain facing the Balearic Sea. The clean white concrete building juxtaposes against the craggy grey landscape
Another impressive cantilevered structure, this white modernist masterpiece from Fran Silvestre Arquitectos is on the coast of Spain facing the Balearic Sea. The clean white concrete building juxtaposes against the craggy grey landscape
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Another impressive cantilevered structure, this white modernist masterpiece from Fran Silvestre Arquitectos is on the coast of Spain facing the Balearic Sea. The clean white concrete building juxtaposes against the craggy grey landscape
From architect group AABE, this house sits perched on a cliff in Ibiza
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From architect group AABE, this house sits perched on a cliff in Ibiza
From architect group AABE, this house sits perched on a cliff in Ibiza
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From architect group AABE, this house sits perched on a cliff in Ibiza
From architect group AABE, this house sits perched on a cliff in Ibiza
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From architect group AABE, this house sits perched on a cliff in Ibiza
Faced with almost no flat surface to build a structure on architect Masato Sekiya designed an incredible concrete cantilevered cabin. A marvel of structural engineering this small home floats above the Tenkawa river in Japan
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Faced with almost no flat surface to build a structure on architect Masato Sekiya designed an incredible concrete cantilevered cabin. A marvel of structural engineering this small home floats above the Tenkawa river in Japan
Faced with almost no flat surface to build a structure on architect Masato Sekiya designed an incredible concrete cantilevered cabin. A marvel of structural engineering this small home floats above the Tenkawa river in Japan
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Faced with almost no flat surface to build a structure on architect Masato Sekiya designed an incredible concrete cantilevered cabin. A marvel of structural engineering this small home floats above the Tenkawa river in Japan
Faced with almost no flat surface to build a structure on architect Masato Sekiya designed an incredible concrete cantilevered cabin. A marvel of structural engineering this small home floats above the Tenkawa river in Japan
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Faced with almost no flat surface to build a structure on architect Masato Sekiya designed an incredible concrete cantilevered cabin. A marvel of structural engineering this small home floats above the Tenkawa river in Japan
This infamous sculptural steel house sits unfinished after artist Robert Bruno passed away in 2008. Over 30 years Bruno crafted this incredibly unique structure that sits on the edge of Ransom Canyon in Texas. Bruno's daughter hopes to finish her father's vision
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This infamous sculptural steel house sits unfinished after artist Robert Bruno passed away in 2008. Over 30 years Bruno crafted this incredibly unique structure that sits on the edge of Ransom Canyon in Texas. Bruno's daughter hopes to finish her father's vision
This infamous sculptural steel house sits unfinished after artist Robert Bruno passed away in 2008. Over 30 years Bruno crafted this incredibly unique structure that sits on the edge of Ransom Canyon in Texas. Bruno's daughter hopes to finish her father's vision
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This infamous sculptural steel house sits unfinished after artist Robert Bruno passed away in 2008. Over 30 years Bruno crafted this incredibly unique structure that sits on the edge of Ransom Canyon in Texas. Bruno's daughter hopes to finish her father's vision
Fall House, from Fougeron Architecture, sits on the spectacular Big Sur coastline. Half of the house is actually cantilevered over the bluff, sitting 250 feet above the ocean
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Fall House, from Fougeron Architecture, sits on the spectacular Big Sur coastline. Half of the house is actually cantilevered over the bluff, sitting 250 feet above the ocean
Fall House, from Fougeron Architecture, sits on the spectacular Big Sur coastline. Half of the house is actually cantilevered over the bluff, sitting 250 feet above the ocean
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Fall House, from Fougeron Architecture, sits on the spectacular Big Sur coastline. Half of the house is actually cantilevered over the bluff, sitting 250 feet above the ocean
Fall House, from Fougeron Architecture, sits on the spectacular Big Sur coastline. Half of the house is actually cantilevered over the bluff, sitting 250 feet above the ocean
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Fall House, from Fougeron Architecture, sits on the spectacular Big Sur coastline. Half of the house is actually cantilevered over the bluff, sitting 250 feet above the ocean
Till House is a compelling experimental structure from WMR Arquitectos. Situated on the coast of Chile, the house is made up of wooden modules with a full open plan layout
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Till House is a compelling experimental structure from WMR Arquitectos. Situated on the coast of Chile, the house is made up of wooden modules with a full open plan layout
Till House is a compelling experimental structure from WMR Arquitectos. Situated on the coast of Chile, the house is made up of wooden modules with a full open plan layout
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Till House is a compelling experimental structure from WMR Arquitectos. Situated on the coast of Chile, the house is made up of wooden modules with a full open plan layout
Till House is a compelling experimental structure from WMR Arquitectos. Situated on the coast of Chile, the house is made up of wooden modules with a full open plan layout
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Till House is a compelling experimental structure from WMR Arquitectos. Situated on the coast of Chile, the house is made up of wooden modules with a full open plan layout
Cabrita Cliff Haus is as precarious as they come. A luxury villa sitting on the cliff off the coast of St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. The villa is available for short-term holiday rentals
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Cabrita Cliff Haus is as precarious as they come. A luxury villa sitting on the cliff off the coast of St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. The villa is available for short-term holiday rentals
Cabrita Cliff Haus is as precarious as they come. A luxury villa sitting on the cliff off the coast of St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. The villa is available for short-term holiday rentals
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Cabrita Cliff Haus is as precarious as they come. A luxury villa sitting on the cliff off the coast of St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. The villa is available for short-term holiday rentals
Cabrita Cliff Haus is as precarious as they come. A luxury villa sitting on the cliff off the coast of St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. The villa is available for short-term holiday rentals
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Cabrita Cliff Haus is as precarious as they come. A luxury villa sitting on the cliff off the coast of St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. The villa is available for short-term holiday rentals
Tula House, several hours north of Vancouver in Canada, is another boldly positioned single-story house that cantilevers over a cliff edge
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Tula House, several hours north of Vancouver in Canada, is another boldly positioned single-story house that cantilevers over a cliff edge
Tula House, several hours north of Vancouver in Canada, is another boldly positioned single-story house that cantilevers over a cliff edge
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Tula House, several hours north of Vancouver in Canada, is another boldly positioned single-story house that cantilevers over a cliff edge
Tula House, several hours north of Vancouver in Canada, is another boldly positioned single-story house that cantilevers over a cliff edge
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Tula House, several hours north of Vancouver in Canada, is another boldly positioned single-story house that cantilevers over a cliff edge
The Hanging Houses of Cuenca is a marvel of classical engineering. This medieval town in Spain, east of Madrid, contained a cluster of old structures built to hang of the edges of cliff faces. Only a few of the perilous buildings still exist (Credit: Diego Delso, delso.photo, (CC-BY-SA))
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The Hanging Houses of Cuenca is a marvel of classical engineering. This medieval town in Spain, east of Madrid, contained a cluster of old structures built to hang of the edges of cliff faces. Only a few of the perilous buildings still exist (Credit: Diego Delso, delso.photo, (CC-BY-SA))
The Hanging Houses of Cuenca is a marvel of classical engineering. This medieval town in Spain, east of Madrid, contained a cluster of old structures built to hang of the edges of cliff faces. Only a few of the perilous buildings still exist (Credit: Mario modesto, (CC BY SA 3.0))
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The Hanging Houses of Cuenca is a marvel of classical engineering. This medieval town in Spain, east of Madrid, contained a cluster of old structures built to hang of the edges of cliff faces. Only a few of the perilous buildings still exist (Credit: Mario modesto, (CC BY SA 3.0))

Everyone loves a good view, however, some architects have taken this obsession to the extreme, perching structures on perilous precipices, often leaving parts of the dwellings literally hanging over sheer drops. In this gallery we feature some of the most thrilling, beautiful and possibly insane cliff-side homes for those that are determined to literally live on the edge.

Not all structures require flat foundations, and increasingly advanced building technologies are allowing architects to create stunning structures that often seem like they are defying gravity. From GilBartolome's dragon-like construction that sinks into a hill on a 42 degree angle, to Masato Sekiya's incredible cantilevered cabin floating over a river in Japan, these buildings are often the result of obsessive designers figuring out creative ways to build on difficult sites.

Other precarious structures such as Australia's iconic Pole House or Robert Bruno's infamous Steel House, rise above their locations with iconoclastic design. These ambitious buildings stand tall, often on the edge of stark cliffs, and are not recommended to be inhabited by individuals that suffer from vertigo.

Take a look through our gallery for a look at some of the world's best cliff-side homes.

8 comments
f8lee
Most of them look like James Bond supervillian headquarters!
Aross
They may have a great view but do nothing to enhance the view.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
At least the owners used their millions to build something creative instead of a faux Louie IV castle. If I had the money I would make the base structure fiberglass and epoxy.
MikeRyanc95317ae2315443b
While there are a few that look interesting, the majority are to me nothing but eyesores that conflict with the environment they have been placed. When I looked at the home north of Vancouver, my first thought was earthquake.
Doe Hunter
No thanks... any structure such as this made by humans WILL fail at some point. Mother Nature, gravity and the planet never get tired and never quit. Water always wins. Couple it with earthquakes, a hurricane, wind shear, lightning or a tornado and it is toast. The same goes for any currently standing bridge. It just has not fallen yet and they all require continual maintenance to counteract the constant attack by wind, rain, snow, ice, ground movement, road chemicals to keep it clear.... etc
Nik
Ground movement is a fact, and hills move more quickly, so all these structures will eventually be destroyed, but if their owners enjoy their environment during their lifetime, then they can be happy, and good luck to them. Eventually all the buildings will be claimed by nature, but their owners will have had the pleasure of something out of the ordinary, however brief. Solitude, and an invigorating view is good for the soul!
Grunchy
No different than skyscrapers really, just smaller scale. They're all precarious. I guess this might appeal to someone who is living "on the edge" in other aspects of their life. Obviously the one that comes first to mind is that place in LA from "Lethal Weapon 2" that Gibson yanked down with his truck. https://www.homedit.com/the-house-from-lethal-weapon-2-is-now-renovated/
ljaques
Fall and Tula houses were wonderful and understated. The old Hanging House of Cuenca was a wonderful old building. The rest? I think a GoFundMe should be started to support free vas and tubal ligation services for most architects, to ensure that their lack of taste is not propagated to future humans. Super-villain HQ, indeed!