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Spectacular Glass and Copper Cliff House in Big Sur, California

Some houses you could “lift” from their site and move them to another and they would still make sense. Others, like this amazing California vacation home, become one with the land and are completely inseparable from their context. This site is no ordinary one; it is set along a bluff that drops 250 feet to the Pacific Ocean, offering dramatic views over it. The architecture follows the natural contours of the land, creeping down to the ocean like a giant snake and deforming its shape and structure in response to the obstacles encountered on the way. Like growing out of the site, the house takes the long and thin shape that best accommodates the geography. A part of the house is anchored against the cliff, and the other part cantilevers above it, like an elegant refuge that contrasts with the roughness and immensity of the ocean and the cliff. Fougeron Architects have designed a layout with three volumes on different heights. The upper volume is the root of the house, as it anchors it to ground by a concrete wing that comes perpendicular to the main volume. This part consists of an open-plan kitchen, living room and dining room. There is a transition all-glass volume that serves as library/den, and then there is the lower volume, containing the bedrooms, that cantilevers over the cliff like a promontory above the ocean. The floor -to-ceiling windows of the bedrooms offer breathtaking views. On the north side the house is exposed through a glass facade that reveals ocean and coastline views, and on the south side it is protected by a copper cladding that wraps over the roof.

Perfectly adapted to the climate, the south facade is covered in copper and is meant to protect the house from heat and strong winds. The copper will slowly change color in time to become one with the rocky cliff.
On the weather protected north side of the house, the facade is all glass and it opens overwhelming views over the ocean and the coast line. This great expanse of glass gives a lot of adrenaline and a sense of imminent danger that comes with the feeling of hanging over a cliff.
The kitchen, dining room and living room are set under a wood clad swooping roof that follows the shape of the land. The combination of dark wood, grey stone and grey and dark purple fabric create a distinguished yet cozy atmosphere.
Whenever the terrain and the architecture allow for it, there are terraces and balconies that give the owners the opportunity to enjoy nature from different angles.
The volume of the library is increased visually due to the fact that the walls and the ceiling are made of glass. The two armchairs placed in front of the fireplace are the perfect spot for reading and relaxing.
The bedrooms cantilever over the cliff and offer the most amazing views of the landscape and the ocean. The walls are lined with the same dark wood like in the other part of the house, giving a warm and reassuring feeling.
The custom-made bath tub is enclosed with thick glass balustrades on two sides, and on the other side it gives access to a walk-in shower by climbing a few steps.


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