fran silvestre arquitectos: house on the cliff fran silvestre arquitectos: house on the cliff
nov 19, 2012

fran silvestre arquitectos: house on the cliff

‘house on the cliff’ by fran silvestre arquitectos, calpe, alicante, spainimage © diego opazoall images courtesy of fran silvestre arquitectos




overlooking the mediterranean sea, the ‘house on the cliff’ is positioned upon an abrupt plot of land in calpe, alicante, spain. designed by valencia-based fran silvestre arquitectos, the living spaces of the residence are spread over four floors to minimize adjustments to the topography. respecting the natural contours, the structure is anchored by stone. the white lime stucco recalls the traditional architecture of the area. continuing onto all planes including walls and paved surfaces, the dwelling becomes unified amidst a backdrop of  rocky mountains.


set upon a platform on the lowest level, a swimming pool terrace opens to the dramatic ocean view. leading up from the pool deck, an outdoor stair is attached to the monolithic concrete exterior allowing inhabitants to change levels while gazing towards the scenery. before passing through a portal within the exterior wall, a landing allows for a moment of pause with a view. turning around the corner, they continue their climb within a sheltered area beneath to highest storey of the home. the living room, dining, kitchen and bedrooms are situated at the top level. panoramic vistas are offered from a veranda which runs the length of the upper floor plate. outside, the passageway leading to the main entrance is carved within a space between the home and cliff enabling the craggy landscape to double as a backdrop to the kitchen. 

aerial viewimage © diego opazo

monolithic white form within the craggy landscapeimage © diego opazo

viewimage © diego opazo

mountain backdropimage © diego opazo

facade overlooking the seaimage © diego opazo

balcony is cantileveredimages © diego opazo

stairway from living spaces to the lower swimming terraceimage © diego opazo

outdoor stair leads down to swimming terraceimage © diego opazo

seating areaimage © diego opazo

pool deckimage © diego opazo

view from seatingimage © diego opazo

stairs leading down from upper level living spacesimages © diego opazo

scenic viewimage © diego opazo

living roomimage © diego opazo

(left)sea view from kitchen(right) cliff backdropimages © diego opazo

kitchenimage © diego opazo

concealed kitchen componentsimage © diego opazo

sink with cliff backgroundimage © diego opazo

bedroomsimage © diego opazo

pathway between residence and mountainside image © diego opazo

entry pathwayimage © diego opazo

drivewayimage © diego opazo

illuminated stairwayimage © diego opazo

at nightimage © diego opazo

balconyimage © diego opazo














floor plan / level 0



floor plan / level 1



floor plan / level 2



roof plan


















project info:


project name: house on the cliff architecture: fran silvestre arquitectos project team: fran silvestre (principal in charge), maría josé sáez (principal in charge), maria masià (collaborator architect), adrián mora (collaborator architect), jordi martínez (collaborator architect), josé v. miguel (collaborator architect) structural engineer: david gallardo (upv) building engineer: vicente ramos, esperanza corrales, javier delgado interior design: alfaro hofmann fotography: diego opazo video: alfonso calza marketing & communication: adrián mora (architect) collaborators: fran ayala (arquitecto), ángel fito (arquitecto) contractor: construcciones alabort location: toix mascarat. calpe. alicante site area: 962,84 m2 built area: 242,00 m2 cost (p.e.m.): 650.000 EUR

  • interesting but i don’t like the landscape relation, more protagonisme without sense

    cash says:
  • A great architectural. Thank you for sharing. says:
  • Less is more. More is less.
    what is lacking is the thumb print of the person living there
    the art and craft which we feather our nests with
    some pieces edgy and though provoking
    some pieces soothing and beautifully tranquil
    why not bring some Vermont art your way ?

    Paedra says:
  • wow.

    absolutely phenomenal

    dbkii says:
  • please… no thumbprints, feathers, nests, macrame, or maple syrup

    dbkii says:
  • Never understood why you need a pool when you´re next to the sea…

    Q says:
  • Emotionally impoverished pristine pathology. A feeling of alienation, isolation and desolation are experienced. A day dream becomes a nightmare.

    Kenneth Smythe says:
  • I Stunning photographs. Phenomenal site. Self conscious clinical space.

    Sparky says:
  • With the ancient Greeks it was man against nature where white was a neutral interface. They were able to create a marvelous poetic and beautiful visual concerto. The Greek artists and architects had great clients. Today we are missing both with great frequency.

    Kenneth Smythe says:
  • Stunning.

    mArkW says:
  • Works for me. What a location.
    I dig the cliffs. What’s the rock climbing like in the neighborhood?
    Love the impoverished isolation and the pristine desolation.
    You can’t have good dreams if all you have is nightmares.
    I would like to add a slide down to the pool area except,
    it would mess with this beautifully designed, well thought out, architecture.
    Actually, there were fingerprints on the glasses down at the pool side table.
    Here on Maui, anyone who lives next to the ocean does have a pool. Go figure.
    Very well photographed. It would be nice to see the construction pictures.

    Dan says:
  • I find it sad when a site is turned into a Neon Sign that mostly displays ego. There was one recently from Chile that was 10X more suited for the site. However, I do love the design.

    JimCan says:
  • What a wasted opportunity to design something that would compliment the local landscape and still have visual impact. I will admit that I really do like the hidden elements in the kitchen. (You can only look at so many stainless steel stoves/ovens/cooktops…) Having them hidden was actually refreshing for me.

    Nicholaus says:
  • Fantastico!

    nelsonDReyes says:
  • A handsome and clever design totally lacking in humanity. Views up and down the coastline are far more interesting than staring out at the sea day after day after day. It could be converted into a trendy sushi bar.

    Fred A. Saas, architect says:
  • Interesting comments
    we all “feather” our nests to suit our personalities in different ways
    as do we choose the structures in which we live
    these are the many different ways we express ourselves… that we differentiate ourselves from others
    strong statements of this can be made very quietly or very loudly
    some become iconic…. some fade with time
    this Vermont transgendered artist has no intention of fading :))))))))

    Paedra says:
  • yes, wunderschöne Architektur, kraftvoll und stark, wie ich es liebe! Gut gemacht, und erst noch zu einem super Preis.

    René Düsel says:
  • Too much architecture. Not enough design.

    Mort D'Urban says:
  • Stunning.
    Pure Art in architecture. I found myself not caring what the inside looked like while I was viewing the artfully composed photographs of the exterior and its setting.
    I am speechless (so to speak).
    I have house envy.

    Ron Smith says:
  • thumbs up for emotionally impoverished pristine pathology

    dbkii says:

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