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Clifftop House Maui – several houses under a common roof

Familiar with dense urban environments in Europe, the architects had a very different challenge in Maui. Their concept combines several “houses” under a common roof. The roof also serves as a folded wood deck and integrates the house with the landscape. Each separate “house” is a U-shaped volume with a bedroom and bath that each open to the ocean view. Cross-ventilation eliminates the need for air conditioning. Local materials are used throughout the concrete block house. Plaster mixed with beach sand coats interior and exterior walls. Ipe wood sheaths the floors, terrace, ceiling, and roof.

Clifftop-House-Maui-By-Dekleva-Gregoric-Arhitekti-02-759x303 Clifftop House Maui / Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti

© Cristobal Palma

For European architects Dekleva Gregoric the location in Maui Hawaii was an unusually remote and dramatically natural site for a project. Windsurf sail designer Robert Stroj, leading the design research studio of Neil Pryde, wrote a brief for a home for a family of three and referenced Frank Lloyd Wright’s oceanfront residence Walker in California. Key features for the home design included: to have as many spaces open towards the ocean as possible, to have a large living, dining and cooking area in the same space, have a large garage and a private guest room with bathroom and separate office space.

Clifftop-House-Maui-By-Dekleva-Gregoric-Arhitekti-03-759x380 Clifftop House Maui / Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti

© Cristobal Palma


Clifftop-House-Maui-By-Dekleva-Gregoric-Arhitekti-04-759x304 Clifftop House Maui / Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti

© Cristobal Palma

The brief itself and manifold context was the main input for the spatial concept that defines several ‘houses’ under a common roof. Each separate ‘house’ is a self-contained private unit (en-suite double room) in a U-shaped volume in order to open up and carefully frame the ocean views. A fluid public space between enclosed private volumes serves for cooking, eating and lounging.

Clifftop-House-Maui-By-Dekleva-Gregoric-Arhitekti-06-801x1200 Clifftop House Maui / Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti

© Cristobal Palma

The ensured privacy within the separate houses allows for a home without hallways and furthermore for a continuous social and typological change: a family-home was easily transformed into a mini-hotel for three families with small children. This systematic approach enabled the transformation of both ‘service houses’: the garage into a sail loft – workshop for sail prototypes and the utility into the client’s ocean-view design studio. The roof also serves as a folded wooden deck and materially, topologically and chromatically integrates the house with the rough and wild landscape. The area of the roof is twice the size of the indoor space that needs no air-conditioning and serves as a deck to walk on and observe the spectacular views.

Clifftop-House-Maui-By-Dekleva-Gregoric-Arhitekti-07-801x1200 Clifftop House Maui / Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti

© Cristobal Palma

Only local and natural materials are used for the finishing of the house: the walls were rendered with the custom plaster using beach sand inside and outside and emphasize the smooth indoor-outdoor relationship. The same IPE wood is used for the floor, terrace, ceiling and the roof. The clients’ true passion for this house was stretched to the level that the last 7 years they largely helped with lots of the physical work from roof cladding to plaster or furniture. Within this extensive process they have already build a long-lasting relationship with this house, now their home.

Clifftop-House-Maui-By-Dekleva-Gregoric-Arhitekti-08-801x1200 Clifftop House Maui / Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti

© Cristobal Palma

Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti:

Windsurf sail designer Robert Stroj moves from Europe to Maui to lead the design research studio of Neil Pryde in Kahului, Maui. It is in the middle of the ocean, far-off from almost everything. The home in such an environment becomes crucially important. Besides being just a home, this house works also as a social venue for the owners.

Clifftop-House-Maui-By-Dekleva-Gregoric-Arhitekti-10-759x506 Clifftop House Maui / Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti

© Cristobal Palma

Therefore the kitchen and the dining form the centre of the house. The concept defines several ’houses’ under a common roof. Each separate ‘mini house’ is an U-shaped volume in order to open up and frame the perfect ocean view. The houses are self contained private units combining bedroom and bathroom as en-suite double room. A fluid public space between enclosed private volumes serves for cooking, eating, lounging… The roof concept is strongly related to the rough climate with loads of sun and strong ocean winds.

Clifftop-House-Maui-By-Dekleva-Gregoric-Arhitekti-05-759x506 Clifftop House Maui / Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti

© Cristobal Palma


Clifftop-House-Maui-By-Dekleva-Gregoric-Arhitekti-11-759x303 Clifftop House Maui / Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti

© Cristobal Palma

The area of the roof is twice the size of the house, so the size of the covered outdoor space equals the size of the indoor space. It needs no air-conditioning, since it is cross ventilated throughout. The folded roof is carefully attached to the walls of U-shaped volumes and defines specific spaces. It also serves as a folded wooden sky deck and materially and topologically integrates the house with the landscape. Only local materials are used for the finishing of the house.

Clifftop-House-Maui-By-Dekleva-Gregoric-Arhitekti-12-759x506 Clifftop House Maui / Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti

© Cristobal Palma

Project Data:

Project name: Clifftop House
Location: Maui, Hawaii, United States
Coordinates: 20.974599,-156.529626
Type:

  • Type By Characteristic: Contemporary House
  • Type By Site: Mountain House, Ocean House, Island House
  • Type By Size: Big House – (451 sqm – 650 sqm)
  • Type By Structural: Plaster / Mortar / Masonry House

Materials: concrete blocks, laminated wooded, stucco mixed from white concrete
Site Area: 10,000 sqm
Project Area: 500 sqm / 250 sqm + 250 sqm
Project Year: 2004 – 2011
Status: Completed
Cost: Withheld
Completion Year: 2011

Awards:

  • 2013 Architizer A+ Awards – Category: Single Family Home – Special mention
  • 2012 Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award – The best new global design
  • 2012 AIT award – Category: Luxury Living – 2nd prize
  • 2012 WAN Awards – House of the Year – shortlisted

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Robert & Drazena Stroj
Architects: Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti – Dalmatinova 11, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Partnes in charge: Aljoša Dekleva, Tina Gregorič
Project Team: Aljoša Dekleva, Tina Gregorič, Flavio Coddou, Lea Kovič
Associate architect: Flavio Coddou
Contractor: ABT bv. Delft
Interior: Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti in collaboration with the owners
Landscape: Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti + owners
Lighting: Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti
Acoustic: owner
Text Description: © Courtesy of Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti
Images: © Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti, Cristobal Palma

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Clifftop House Maui / Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti
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