In 2011 Colin Price purchased a 1960s seaside house in Cornwall as a surprise birthday present for his wife Sharon Toye. The couple considered extending and renovating the existing house but soon concluded that it made more sense to demolish the property and replace it with a new house.

Their architects designed a striking contemporary home with large expanses of glazing to make the most of the stunning location and views. Despite the tight and rocky ground conditions, the project was finished on time and within budget.

Architects’ View: Tom Lacey and Andrei Saltykov Architects

Creating a house that was both striking and worthy of the stunning setting was a real challenge, but the site gave us all the inspiration we needed on this project. We were limited to a traditional palette of materials, which we reinterpreted for a crisp, clean finish. The house has rendered walls and frameless double-glazed glass units. Built from engineered slate, the low-pitched roof adds extra volume to the living space.

Project Notes

  • Project: Contemporary self build
  • Location: Cornwall
  • Build time: Mar 2013 – Feb 2014
  • Size: 350m2
  • Plot cost: £1.75million
  • Build cost: £1million (£2,857/m2)
  • Value: £3million+

Rear Elevation

cliff top self build with sea below

The starting point was the idea of two pairs of binoculars, placed one on top of the other, so that the four lenses of the binoculars were angled individually to capture uninterrupted views towards Will’s Rock and out to sea. The north-facing rear of the rendered blockwork house has been almost entirely glazed, and is angled to make the most of the sun and sea views.

Front Elevation

white rendered entrance of cliff top self build

The windowless front elevation of the house appears single storey and gives little clue as to what lies beyond the entrance door — including those stunning views

exterior front entrance of cliff top self build


The open plan kitchen features high-gloss base cabinets and burr walnut wall cupboards, white Corian worktops and painted glass splashbacks. A walk-in fridge was also requested by the family. The dining space opens out on to a patio with breathtaking views.

kitchen diner opening to patio of cliff top self build in Cornwall
walnut wall cupboards and high gloss base units

Outdoor Space

firepit and garden of cliff top self build in Cornwall

The massive amount of glazing to the rear of the property ensures the stunning views are fully visible from the main living areas

The Living Room

Large wall-to-wall full-height glazing overlooks sea views in the first floor sitting room (accessed via a centrally placed stairwell), where engineered oak flooring has been laid over underfloor heating and clads the fireplace wall.

wood clad living room with burgundy corner sofa
wooden staircase with vaulted stairwell

Master Bedroom

The bed in the master bedroom has been placed facing the wall of glass, which overlooks Will’s Rock and the sea. A sunken bath is positioned directly in front of a window looking out to sea.

en suite bedroom with large window and sea view


bathroom in cliff top self build with modern fittings

In keeping with the rest of the home, the bathrooms are contemporary and feature a subtle combination of dark slate and natural stone. The sanitaryware is from CP Hart

bathroom with stone pedestal


study in seaside home with picture window and midcentury furniture

A study area on the first floor takes full advantage of the magnificent sea views

Images: Ambience Images

Our Sponsors