Design trend: Cantilevered Architecture

Cantilevered architecture - Merricks Beach House

Cantilevered architecture: the gravity-defying form element in buildings that all designers love. Whether it be an outreaching overhang like the Merricks Beach House (pictured, left) or an upper floor cantilever projecting past the lower level of the ‘Isn’t she Lovely’ project (pictured, above & below) it must be said these make for a spectacular visual feast and functionally-designed houses.

The visual impact
A cantilevered form can provide a focal point for a building, drawing your attention towards its magnificent outreaching capabilities. The cantilever can evoke different emotional responses from alternate perspectives. For example, when you look directly at a cantilever, you are amazed by its gravity-defying properties. When you stand under one, you feel free and unrestricted and when you stand on top of one you feel as though you are floating.

Cantilevered architecture

Maintain a small footprint
In the case of an upper floor projecting past a lower floor, this technique is used to reduce the footprint or the sheer mass of a building that may be typically stacked or modestly recessed in the upper floor.

Cantilevered upper floors are often utilised to project rooms over difficult terrain or over garages where the less attractive element of the building is recessed and the more elegant build form is accentuated.

Cantilevers can also create protection over lower floor windows, provide sun control or simply a place to remove your shoes and seek shelter.

Form and function
Cantilevers provide designers form and function and with good planning, they do not have to cost a fortune.