Steep Sites

Steep sites present challenges and opportunities in equal measure. The way you tackle a steep site dictates the style and functionality of your home.

Generally speaking you have two options when dealing with a steep site - hunker into the slope, partially submerging some of the home to tackle the incline. The other option is to rise above the slope on stilts of some sort.

Take a look at these houses and learn from the way they deal with a steep, challenging site:

Island Bay House by WireDog Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Island Bay House by WireDog Architecture
Martha by Ola Architecture Studio (via Lunchbox Architect) Martha by Ola Architecture Studio
Featured Project Perched on Top of the Sand Dunes for the Perfect Beach View This timber-clad four bedroom beach-side family home is perched on a steep dune in a quiet pocket of the Mornington Peninsula region.
Mount Ninderry House by Sparks Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Mount Ninderry House by Sparks Architects
Mount Ninderry House by Sparks Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Mount Ninderry House by Sparks Architects
Featured Project Mount Ninderry House: Low Budget Sustainable House in Picturesque Surrounds Mount Ninderry House is a sustainable house that takes full advantage of its stunning natural setting without the extra cost. And check out that pool!
Venus Bay Bach by MRTN Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Venus Bay Bach by MRTN Architects
Featured Project Venus Bay Bach: It's a Piece of New Zealand on the Australian Coast, Bro! Venus Bay Bach is a beach home built on a tight budget, but spacious enough to house family and friends for the weekend. And it doesn't ignore the views...
Cocoon by Bellemo & Cat Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Cocoon by Bellemo & Cat Architects
Featured Project Cocoon: A Home? Or a Zeppelin That Crash-Landed in the Australian Bush? You don't get homes much more unusual than Cocoon -- a zeppelin-shaped home lofts above its steep site, nestled in the canopy of Australian native treetops.
Jack and Jill House by Breathe Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Jack and Jill House by Breathe Architects
Featured Project Jack and Jill House: No Crowns Were Broken in the Making of This House Level changes in this home inspired its name, Jack and Jill House. It has fairytale-esque fun by the bucketful -- and not a broken crown to be seen...
Ridge Road Residence by Studiofour (via Lunchbox Architect) Ridge Road Residence by Studiofour
Featured Project Ridge Road Residence: A Beach House Where Nature is the Star A single tea tree on the site of this beach house became the focus of the project. The aim became to showcase nature, rather than try to dominate and control it.
Bruny Shore House by Beachouse Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Bruny Shore House by Beachouse Architecture
Featured Project Bruny Shore House is Eco-Friendly But Still Has a Dramatic Flair Eco-friendly Bruny Shore House reaches out from one of the steepest parts of the site to take in the dramatic Tasmanian coastline.
Copper House by Takt Studio for Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Copper House by Takt Studio for Architecture
Featured Project Quality Trumps Quantity in this Small House of Rich Materials This coastal cottage proves that quality always trumps quantity. The small house will age gracefully thanks to quality materials.
Blackpool House by Glamuzina Paterson Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Blackpool House by Glamuzina Paterson Architects
Featured Project Blackpool House at Home in the Tree Canopy Tackling difficult topography, a heavily treed site and a modest budget, Blackpool House defiantly lofts amongst the treetops - a modest, modern treehouse.
Herston Gardenhouse by Refresh Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Herston Gardenhouse by Refresh Architecture
Featured Project Herston Gardenhouse Re-Conceptualises Contemporary Inner-City Living Hereston Gardenhouse pops up in a disused back yard and demonstrates a way to make cities more dense and (importantly) sustainable.
Arrowtown House by Kerr Ritchie Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Arrowtown House by Kerr Ritchie Architecture
Featured Project Modest Arrowtown House Mimics the Look of Nearby Sheds and Outhouses In accordance with a local planning law, Arrowtown House is a series of small buildings similar to the the surrounding historic sheds.
Cosgriff House by Christopher Polly Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Cosgriff House by Christopher Polly Architects
Featured Project Cosgriff House: Semi-Subterranean Extension for Backyard Connection A new rear extension, much of which is under the existing house, creates a new-found connection to the backyard on this sloping site.
Waiatarua House by Monk Mackenzie Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Waiatarua House by Monk Mackenzie Architects
Featured Project Waiatarua House: A New House on a Steep, Challenging Site One of the challenges at Waiatarua House was to giving the home a sense of modesty and poetry in the sensitive bush reserve.
Highway House by Room 11 (via Lunchbox Architect) Highway House by Room 11
Featured Project Highway House Seems to Float Dramatically Above a Sheer Slope The compact Highway House takes full advantage of its difficult, but dramatic site — sitting lightly over Hobart and the Derwent River…