One of the ultimate desires of humankind: living on the solitary edge between urban luxury and the embrace of nature. Houses on cliffs and rocks reflect this desire well. You might find your dream house among the next 27 buildings; many of them are true examples of exceptional architectural design and outstanding engineering.

The Cliff House, San Francisco, California (1896-1907).

Photo: Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library


The Cliff House, San Francisco, California, 2008.

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Photo: Eric Risberg/AP


Old house on the cliff on the left bank of Kura River, Tbilisi, Georgia, c1910.

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Photo: Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky/Library of Congress


The Kittatinny Hotel, overlooking the Delaware River, Pennsylvania, c1900.

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Photo: Library of Congress


House on a cliff on Hierro Island (Canary Islands, Spain).

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Photo: JMN/Cover/Getty Images


The Mushroom House, designed by Dale Naegle in the 1960s. La Jolla, California.

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Photo: OaklandNative


The Holman House by Durbach Block. Dover Heights, Sydney.

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Photo: Durbach Block


Robert Bruno's Steel House near Lubbock, Texas

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Photo: Robert Bruno


Town of Manarola, province of La Spezia, Liguria, Italy.

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Photo: tonyduckles


Dogon Cliff Houses, Southeastern Mali.

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Photo: David Holt London


Castellfollit de la Roca (Catalonia, Spain), a village perched atop a fifty meter-high basalt crag

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Photo: Wiros


Hanging Houses of Cuenca, Spain.

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Photo: G Travels


Meteora monasteries in Greece.

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Photo: Davide78


House On The Rocks by Fran Silvestre Architects. Ayora, Valencia, Spain.

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Photo: Fernando Alda/fransilvestrenavarro.com


The Leonard J. Malin Residence, aka Chemosphere, Los Angeles, California. Architect: John Lautner.

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Photo: Jeremy Sternberg


The Stahl House, Los Angeles, California. Architect: Pierre Koenig.

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Photo: rward2008


The Villa Amanzi by Original Vision Studio. Cape Sol, Phuket, Thailand.

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Photo: Original Vision Studio


The Michael Gantert Residence, the last Pierre Koenig design. Hollywood, California.

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Photo: Jeremy Sternberg


The Monte Rosa Hut near Zermatt at the foot of Monte Rosa, at an altitude of 2,795 metres, owned by the Swiss Alpine Club, inaugurated in 2009.

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Photo: twiga269


The Cliff House by Fearon Hay Architects, overlooking Rangitoto island and the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand.

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Photo: Patrick Reynolds/fearonhay.com


The Headland House by Fearon Hay Architects, Waiheke Island, New Zealand.

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Photo: Patrick Reynolds/fearonhay.com


The Sandy Bay Farm House by Fearon Hay Architects, Tututkaka coast. New Zealand.

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Photo: Patrick Reynolds/fearonhay.com


House on the Cliff by Fran Silvestre Architects, Calp, Spain.

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Photo: Diego Opazo/fransilvestrenavarro.com


Cliff House by Altius Architecture. Muskoka Lakes, Ontario, Canada, 2009.

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Photo: Altius


Skeleton bay Cottage by Altius Architecture. Ontario, Canada.

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Photo: Altius


The Cove 3 by Saota and Antoni Associates. Near Knysna, Western Cape Province, South Africa, 2010.

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Photo: Saota


Vame by SAOTA. Yzerfontein, South Africa.

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Photo: Saota