The Beach House

Floor to ceiling glass to replacement Cliffside home in Cornwall

A replacement cliffside dwelling in Cornwall underwent a remarkable transformation, emerging as a luxurious coastal property on a high cliff edge framing the most spectacular sea views through frameless floor to ceiling marine-grade glazing.

Excavation was required to build this two-storey cliffside replacement home into the cliff edge which sits over 50m above sea level, and so it was important to design with the topography and coastal vernacular carefully selecting all materials, not just the marine grade glass. Natural local materials such as stone, timber and slate were used in the build with a traditional pitched roof design, in juxtaposition with the modern 'virtually frameless' glass delivering an instant 'wow' in this ultimate modern cliffside house. 



Architects Mark Gregory & George Lewis

Noble Construction Ltd.

Photo credits: Barrett Photographers



At the core of this ambitious project lies the close collaboration between the architects, engineers and IQ Glass, as delivering the project’s vision and install would not have been possible without them.

Architects Mark Gregory & George Lewis  worked alongside our technical team and Noble Construction throughout the three year journey to design, produce and install bespoke oversized glazing elements which would perform under great wind loading tests without compromising on the aesthetics of slim framed profiles. 

All to achieve this ambitious replacement cliffside dwelling in Cornwall nestled into a cliffside edge commanding the most stunning panoramic coastal vistas through floor to ceiling slim framed sliding glass doors. 


The glazing installation team overcame several logistical challenges working on this sloping site with restricted access.  The entire marine-grade glazing installation had to be carried out in phases.  The large elevations of glass would be pit-stopped into a layby, and then moved by a 26 tonne Hiab before being off loaded by a telehandler and manually installed into position. 

This proximity of the dwelling to the sea meant that all elevations of the cliffside home would be tested to wind loadings of  f 2.1 to 2.9 kN/m2 as a minimum, with some doors requiring 3.4 kN/m2 loading to comply with Building Regulations and safety.  

The challenging sloping site required accurate structural engineering solutions and 3D laser scanning technology was used for efficiency.  

Bespoke glazing elements include Keller minimal windows floor to ceiling sliding glass doors, portrait and landscape casement windows and doors, and a double-height frameless effect structural Invisio entrance window, all finished to marine grade level and frame spectacular views from every room. 



Mixing natural and local materials such as stone, timber and Cornish slate, with traditional pitched roof design juxtaposed with expansive slick and modern elevations of slim profile glass accomplishes a modern yet sympathetic two-storey cliffside home which was key to the clients brief. 

The main living room boasts an impressive corner to corner glass with 4m tall solar controlled slim framed sliding doors achieving the slimmest sightlines of 21mm. The clever corner to corner element adds more useable space forging a stronger connection to the natural elements while creating a cocooning environment.  The elegant minimal detail extends to the flush thresholds between indoor and outdoor living spaces, flawlessly merging the boundaries between both. 

Large floor to ceiling solar controlled slim framed sliding doors were installed across the rear South West and the South East elevation boasting slim sightlines of 21mm. 

Casement portrait and landscape windows continue along the side elevations offering more aspects of the coastline. 3m minimal framed sliding glass doors offering seamless transitions to the outside from all sides of the cliffside home. 


The design continues to encapsulate panoramic vistas of the Cornish coastline as you step down the rugged cliff side through the newly added modern dedicated gym room which offers views out through minimal windows sliding glass doors allowing its occupants to enjoy the space throughout the seasons. 

The result is a stunning open planned cliffside home immersed in its beautiful coastal surroundings, framing dramatic skies and seascapes through floor to ceiling sliding glass and double height structural glass windows that give the 'wow factor' .



Architect, Mark Gregory said "IQ Glass was the obvious choice for the scale and logistical challenges of this cliff edge project.  The team went above and beyond the call of expectation to deliver awe-inspiring architectural glazing elements that frame the special panoramic views from every room in the house.

"As you step inside the entrance and see the double height structural window, you're reminded of that instant visual impact, and appreciate how everything works in harmony with the coastal vernacular."