3 innovative houses built on sloped plots

These 3 unique homes meet the challenges of building on hills with brilliant results.

By Hugh Metcalf | 5 February 2020

Building on a slope or hill can come with its problems, but these three architects innovated to produce homes that navigate steep plots successfully.

modern timber clad house with open front on hillside in chile - grand designs

Image: Ian Hsü 

Did you know that in the UK, there’s a general rule that for every 1° gradient that your plot of land slopes, you can add £1,000 to the construction bill. 

Building on hills and slopes comes with its own challenges, but the rewards can also be spectacular, offering not only more panoramic views, but also architecture that goes beyond the norm to adapt to the requirements of the plot.

These 3 unique builds all tackle building on hills of different gradients using interesting approaches to meet the challenges of the ground head on.

Slope House, Hsü Rudolphy 

timber clad modern house set onto hill slope - grand designs

Image: Ian Hsü 

Rather than modifying the build to meet the 30° incline of this hillside on the edge of Rapel Lake in Chile, architects Ian Hsü and Gabriel Rudolphy changed the landscape to fit the house by digging out to create flat terrain to build on.

To avoid any unneccesary excavation, each level is stacked slightly shorter, with the upper level also cantilevered out to create a bedroom and terrace deck with views out over the reservoir. The main access is via a walkway at the top of the house.