Palisades House – New Jersey Residence, Cliff House

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Polyhedra : New Jersey Palisades Residence

New Jersey House Proposal – design by Axis Mundi, USA

17 Jan 2011

Polyhedra – New Jersey Palisades Residence


Cliff House, Palisades, NJ

(New York, NY) January 3, 2011 – A crystalline polyhedron shaped residence is cantilevered over the edge of a 200 million year old cliff in New Jersey.


The Palisades, are a line of steep cliffs along the west side of the lower Hudson River in northeastern New Jersey and southern New York in the United States. The cliffs stretch north from Jersey City to near Nyack, New York. They rise nearly vertically from near the edge of the river and are among the most dramatic geologic features in the vicinity of New York City, forming a canyon of the Hudson north of Fort Lee, as well as providing a vista of the New York City skyline.

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Palisade is derived from the same root as word pale, ultimately from the Latin word palus, meaning stake. The Lenape Indians called the cliffs “rocks that look like rows of trees.”


The cliffs are the margin of a diabase sill, formed about 200 million years agoat the close of the Triassic Period by the intrusion of molten magma upward into sandstone. The molten material cooled and solidified before reaching the surface. Water erosion of the softer sandstone left behind the columnar structure of harder rock that exists today. The cliffs are about 300 ft (100 m) thick in sections and originally may have reached to 1,000 ft (300 m).

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Starting with a vertical rectangle or tower form, a design is carved out based on various framed views, topological considerations, and the sun’s path through the sky. The final design is revealed as a crystalline asymmetrical polyhedron.


The ground floor level contains the main living space which includes kitchen, dining and living areas. A staircase leads to bedrooms above and a small terrace. The interior is white.

Cliff House at New Jersey Palisades – Building Informaiton

Design Team: John Beckmann and Masaru Ogasawara
Renderings: Masaru Ogasawara
Total sqft: 3,500

Materials: Concrete structure, anodized aluminum panels, seamed glass with solar reducing pattern, photovoltaic standing seam roof

© 2011 Axis Mundi

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