Cliff House . Moher Retreat


Somewhere on the southwest coast of Ireland, on the steep, rough cliffs of Moher, the house is conceived as a void in the steep face. As an unoccupied site with a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean. Very little is necessary: A stairway as access, a cistern to collect rainwater, cold storage rooms for provisions, a bathroom and a large space as a balcony overlooking the ocean.

The house remains subtle and, from the exterior, without form. A simple space carved out of stone, which is separated from the outside only by a large glass wall that opens in segments.
The location is designed as a retreat from the frenzy of the big city, a haven in the wildness and simplicity of the Atlantic Coast. Nature remains raw and arduous. One hundred steps lead along the cliff and open up to the exposed space that is similar to a barren cave. Inside, all focus turns to light, water and view. Nature can be experienced in its individual abstract dimensions.
After descending into the depths, you arrive at the forecourt. Illuminated directly from above, in the centre is a simple rainwater cistern for daily water needs. Designed with simple ceramic and operated with simple mechanics.
A narrow seam with service rooms separates the forecourt from the main room. This is where the storeroom, wardrobe, bath and toilet are housed. The bath itself is sparse and simple. Washbasin, bath and stairs are incorporated into the massive foundation and create a single sculptural entity. Only the mountings, the hand rail, the mirror and the lighting are added.
Passing through a narrow space layer leads to the large room, the proportions of which run lengthwise to the view. Two objects give structure to this space: the first is a long desk in the kitchen and the other is the burnished stone wall, behind which is the bedroom.
Floor and wall are hard. The walls are made of concrete, the floors are made of rough-hewn natural stone slabs. Simple railing protects the room from the exterior. Large glass panes, mounted on pivoting arms, close the room and protect from the spray of the surf.

Retreat, Moher, Ireland, 2013-2016
Wim Eckert with Sebastian F. Lippok
Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor, Ireland

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