Openly Embracing – Clifftop House by Simon Couchman Architects and Simone Haag

Words by Bronwyn Marshall
Photography by Timothy Kaye
Interior Design by Simone Haag
Structural Engineering Don Moore & Associates

Combining nostalgia with a connection to place, Clifftop House carefully integrates collected treasures with new insertions to reflect its owner. Simon Couchman Architects and Simone Haag propose a fitting home that is both warm and inviting, intimately and openly connected to the surrounds.

Enviably sited along the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Clifftop House peaks out over the ocean below, uninterrupted and as a place of restorative calm. With the sound and movement of the waves hitting the beach below, the nature-inspired soundtrack sets the scene as a place of retreat and recharge. Conscious of legacy, the owner wanted to create a place that would resonate and continue in relevance as it was passed down through the family. Instead of responding to trends, the home is informed by a timeless approach, formed as a response to the surrounds. With architecture by Simon Couchman Architects and interior decoration by Simone Haag, the resulting structure captures a spirit of togetherness.

Conscious of legacy, the owner wanted to create a place that would resonate and continue in relevance as it was passed down through the family.

Clifftop House sits elevated, both outwardly and inwardly focused. Drawing on an established and familiar coastal vernacular, there is a casual element integrated into the home, with operable façade elements that encourage the outside in. Generous outdoor terrace spaces encourage the living areas to spill beyond the bounding walls and dissolve the threshold traditionally in place. Elevating the typified response to an occasional home, refined details and quality finishes ensure a matched longevity and robustness for the location.

Throughout the home, a warmth is created through the comprised palette of timber and darker elements. These are then balanced by lighter insertions that allow a sense of relief from an otherwise encasing home. The openness both internally and with the surrounds also adds a lightness, allowing the spaces to be naturally ventilated. Adding to the feeling of calm, rich and diverse layers are introduced along with interesting furniture, artwork and lighting, each with their own connection and story of their maker. In creating the home for his family to enjoy for the years to come, the owner is leaving his own mark through the architecture itself.

Elevating the typified response to an occasional home, refined details and quality finishes ensure a matched longevity and robustness for the location

Forward focused, Clifftop House is both firmly connected to its site whilst also openly embracing the surrounding natural elements. Simon Couchman Architects and Simone Haag have created a beautifully removed home, reflective and meditative.