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Live Dangerously in Big Sur's Cliffside 'Fall House'

Given the name Fall House, and probably not because it offers great views of those resplendent, color-rich Big Sur autumns, this home by San Francisco-based Fougeron Architecture is staggered down a cliffside, ending in a double-cantilevered master bedroom suite. Fougeron, the firm behind the Tehama Grasshopper, and a load of other Bay Area projects, describes the challenge of designing a home "in one of the most spectacular natural settings on the Pacific Coast that would both respect and transform the land" as one that required "a form more complex than a giant picture window." Not that the abode doesn't have windows worthy of its oceanfront views, as well as the 250-foot drop to the Pacific; the entire glass-enclosed northern side takes care of that just fine. But the interior is what's worth writing home about here. The upper half is entirely open-plan, housing the entryway, living room, dining area, and kitchen, but it subtly differentiates them with a sloping ceiling, shelving-equipped dividers, and a floor that proceeds downward like a long set of stairs.

Fougeron describes the interior as "a shelter, a refuge in contrast with the roughness and immense scale of the ocean and cliff," but it also complements the surrounding landscape, with floors of French limestone and sustainable timber on the walls and ceiling. What's more of a shelter, in the cave-like sense of the word, is the grass-covered concrete wing that runs perpendicular to the main section, otherwise known as "the boulder locking the house to the land." The porthole that pokes above it and the handsome, copper-clad south-facing facade are two more reasons to be glad that Fougeron went above and beyond the giant picture window.

· Fall House by Fougeron Architecture steps down a cliff side [Dezeen]
· All Fougeron Architecture coverage [Curbed SF]