The stunning Cliff House designed by Bainbridge Island-based firm Scott Allen Architecture is a site-sensitive structure that has been tucked into the side of a natural cliff feature on the water's edge of Gig Harbor, Washington. The new private residence not only enjoys stunning views of the harbor from practically every room, but is topped off with gorgeous grass roof that doubles as a yard. The Cliff House also enjoys the use of durable, long-lasting materials able to withstand the harsh marine environment, and boasts sunscreens, natural ventilation and a tight thermal envelope.
The Cliff House was built in response to the unique site conditions and uses them to create a wonderful new private residence. The old house and boathouse were torn down to make way for a new, energy efficient and more structurally stable structure. Tucked into the side of the cliff, the house makes use of the earth’s stable temperatures to moderate its climate. The main living quarters sit on one side, and the boathouse on the other with a protected courtyard in the center. A series of staircases, decks, and terraces create a variety of spaces for outdoor living and entertaining.
Up on top, the lawn continues out over the home and acts as extra lawn space and a green roof. The overall aesthetic is that of a boat’s cabin with warm wood finishes. Large windows and doors open up to the environment and allow for a mixing of the outdoors with the indoors during warmer months. All materials were selected for their durability, longevity and ability to withstand the marine environment. These materials include copper, concrete, metal window cladding, and cedar. Besides the green roof and natural ventilation, the house also makes use of sunscreens and a tight envelope to maintain comfortable temperatures inside.
Images ©Tim Bies