House to be Built inside Cliff in Lebanon

July 11, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. cliff / klɪf / (n.) – a high, slanted side of a rock
Example: The house, built on the cliff, is more than 5,000 feet above sea level.

2. astounding / əˈstaʊn dɪŋ / (adj.) – surprising or shocking
Example: The company paid an astounding $1 million for the construction of its new office.

3. distinguishing / dɪˈstɪŋ gwɪ ʃɪŋ / (adj.) – describing something that stands out
Example: The building’s most distinguishing feature is its curved roof.

4. embed / ɛmˈbɛd / (v.) – to place into something
Example: The hotel is embedded in the mountain, which gives it a great view of the ocean below.

5. lair / lɛər / (n.) – a place that is hidden away from the rest of the world
Example: In the movie, the villain’s lair is an underground laboratory.


Read the text below.
Casa Brutale, a stunning house designed to be built inside a cliff, will start construction in mid-July.

In 2015, architectural firm Open Platform for Architecture (OPA) released plans for Casa Brutale on the Internet. These plans quickly became viral and became so popular that the article featuring the house made it to architecture website ArchDaily’s Top 10 Most Read Articles in 2015. What is even more astounding is the fact that major news websites such as CNBC and Yahoo also featured the story.

Heavily inspired by the architectural style Brutalism, Casa Brutale will be created using simple materials like raw concrete, wood, and glass and will feature an uncomplicated design to highlight the beauty of the area.

The design of the house features a glass-floored pool that also doubles as the roof. Its most distinguishing feature, however, is its structure that is embedded into the cliff. Originally envisioned to be built in Greece’s cliffs overlooking the Aegean Sea [ih-JEE-uh n see], Casa Brutale will be built in Beirut, Lebanon, after a client took an interest in the plans and funded its construction.

Due to its remote location, many netizens have dubbed Casa Brutale as the perfect lair for a Bond villain. A Bond villain is an antagonist, or the hero’s enemy, from the James Bond movie series. Casa Brutale’s isolation and sense of danger makes it a welcome addition to the roster of Bond villain lairs, which include a Bahamas mansion with a pool infested with sharks and a secret lair hidden within a Japanese volcano. 

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Given the chance, would you like to live in Casa Brutale? Why or why not?
·         What are the possible advantages and disadvantages of having a house built inside a cliff?

Discussion B

·         Aside from those mentioned in the article, what are other unusual places to build houses on?
·         If you were to design your own house, how would it look like? Please describe in detail. 

July 11, 2016