Stunning home built into a steep cliff edge and designed to withstand 96mph winds

A walkway leading up to a brick house with large windows and hot tub and stone wall in front
This seaside Cornwall home has undergone a three-year transformation after being built into a steep seaside plot (Image credit: IQ Glass)

An awe-inspiring three-year restoration of a coastal property in Cornwall is a testament to the transformative power of renovation. 

This magnificent two-storey seafront home underwent an extensive rebuild, involving excavation into the cliff edge and careful material selection to withstand the harsh effects of the sea.

The site posed considerable challenges due to its steep slope, perched over 50m above sea level, however, the end result is a remarkable property that showcases the possibilities that can be achieved when renovating a house.

Cliff excavated to build seafront home into it

The two-storey seafront home had to be excavated into the cliff edge

The two-storey seafront home had to be excavated into the cliff edge  (Image credit: IQ Glass)

The site posed considerable challenges due to its steep slope, perched over 50m above sea level. 

To ensure stability and precision, the project employed innovative structural engineering solutions, and state-of-the-art 3D laser scanning technology was utilised to optimise the construction process for maximum efficiency. 

The end result took three years to get to but shows a meticulous build through thoughtful craftsmanship.

Local natural materials used for construction

The property uses a combination of local natural materials such as stone, timber, and Cornish slate and boasts a traditional pitched roof design, contrasted by modern 'virtually frameless' glass elements.

Any property within five miles of a seafront is classed as being in a marine environment and is therefore in an atmosphere with much higher than average chemical contents. Elements in the air such as salts, chemicals, and deposits from the sea can all affect the external face of buildings, meaning glass in marine environments will need extra care.

The property uses IQ glass and architect Mark Gregory said: "IQ Glass was the obvious choice for the scale and logistical challenges of this cliff edge project.

“The team went above and beyond the call of expectation to deliver awe-inspiring architectural glazing elements that frame the special panoramic views from every room in the house.

"As you step inside the entrance and see the double-height structural window, you're reminded of that instant visual impact, and appreciate how everything works in harmony with the coastal vernacular."

Sourcing natural building materials is easy with our handy guide.

Seaside views from floor to ceiling glass doors

The house features Keller minimal windows – touted as an almost frameless aluminium sliding window system – floor to ceiling sliding glass doors, portrait and landscape casement windows and doors, and a double-height frameless effect structural entrance window for views from every room. 

All of the glazing underwent meticulous wind-loading calculations. As the location has experienced wind speeds of 96mph, making it imperative to ensure that the glass could withstand the force without compromising on looks.

Homebuilding and Renovating has a fantastic guide on the different window styles available to renovators.

Solar controlled sliding doors to step outside

The house has solar powered doors and large windows on both floors

The house has 4m tall solar controlled sliding doors (Image credit: IQ Glass)

The main living room boasts corner to corner glass with 4m tall solar controlled slim framed sliding doors boasting slim sightlines of 21mm.

A spokesperson from IQ stated: “The elegant minimal detail extends to the flush thresholds between indoor and outdoor living spaces, flawlessly merging the boundaries between both. 

“Stepping down the rugged cliffside, the design continues to encapsulate panoramic views of the Cornish coastline through the minimal windows sliding glass doors in the modern dedicated gym room. 

“The result is a stunning cliffside home immersed in its beautiful coastal surroundings, framing dramatic skies and seascapes through floor to ceiling sliding glass.”

Sam Webb

Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world.  As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.