Don Stuart Architect

Whytecliff 2

A bit of nostalgic indulgence here. This home no longer exists. It was the home demolished in 1991 and replaced by Whytecliff #1.

The clients were a delightful couple whom I still occasionally see. She still tells me how much she misses her old home.

They came to me with a clear vision for their home. Stark white cubic forms set in a flat green landscape. Unfortunately the site was mostly vertical. My job became to adapt their image to the realities of the site.

White forms and a landscape such as this could not help but remind me of the Aegean and the almost organic way that buildings there seem to grow out of the rocky terrain. This became the basis for the homes vocabulary - simple, white, cubic forms growing out of the rock.

No blasting, and only minimal chipping occurred on site despite it being almost entirely solid rock. Only two small, stunted pine trees within the building footprint itself were removed. The building was wrapped around the features of the site.

The home was sited on the bluff itself. It was entered via a covered walkway that passed through the boughs of a group of conifers, and over a gully below. It arrived at the blank, white, stucco walls of the home, which revealed nothing of the view beyond. At the main entrance was a small tile landing. The main rock bluff rolled gently down to this landing, then continued beneath, re-emerging to form the back wall of the master bedroom below. It then continued down and out beneath the building.

Once through the main door, things changed dramatically. Beyond the edge of the living room lay an expansive view and the ocean some one hundred feet below. Next to the living room were the dining and kitchen areas, as well as a small den. One level below was the master suite. Below that was a small wooden deck facing the ocean, and set into the grassy bluff at the base of the building. It was a small home, and quite intimate in scale.

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