Private House by Bumper Investments
Location: Beauvallon, Drôme, France
Photo courtesy: Bumper Investments
”PRIVATE HOUSE” is a large family home situated in Beauvallon, in the Gulf of St. Tropez on the French Cote d’Azur. Stylistically the modern concrete, glass and steel construction is the first of its kind in the area, marking a new generation of design in a region rich with tradition. Bumper Investments, the developers, envisioned an aesthetic and sensorial link between the edifice and the surrounding nature and garden. Corresponding to the natural topographical setting, the maximum height of the elevation reaches just above the treetops, impressing on the inhabitant ideals of being at one with the surrounding wildlife.
This contemporary home is a concrete, glass and steel construction that employs transparent, movable glass walls to further blur the concept of what is within and external to the volume of the house, allowing the open indoor spaces to fuse deftly with the exterior environment. The woodpressed concrete provides a strong and cool texture while echoing the concept nature’s direct involvement in the way we take shelter. Though often brutal, the concrete’s treatment softens the material’s appearance by adding illusion to the structure’s already very livable qualities. Additionally, the adaptable walls allow the house to utilize natural light and take advantage of cross ventilation to continuously break the Provence summer heat.
Immersion with the Cote d’Azur’s organic verdure is pivotal to the experience envisioned for the house-complex, prompting the landscape to feature a few citrus trees and a lush, diverse garden. The family may draw from their garden at will, and in doing so live sustainably and at ease. Emphasizing the concept of sustainable life within nature is the remodeling of a shipping container into an open-ended bedroom at the site’s lower elevation.
From the main house there is a softly lit natural path leading to the concealed door along the container’s shell. Within the container one end is the bathroom, which extends into a floating pellucid shower surrounded by bamboo – at the other is a sliding glass door leading out onto a patio. Transparency on both ends of the remodeled container admits generous daylight to filter across the space, beautifully catching the color of the wooden floor. The container offers the user the most exclusive experience of comfort amid the natural world, which is the essence of The Private House.
The living spaces are divided into three areas. The main section containing 3 bedrooms – a master bedroom on the second elevation connected to a large living space framed in sliding glass walls, and two rooms on the ground floor with garden access. A secondary area for bedrooms named Le Dortoir takes shape beneath the pool and is separated from the garden by another glass wall. The pool is wrapped in large sections of local tree bark that naturally insulates the rooms beneath. The pool’s surface is level with the terrace and parallel to the treetops, which equates every breath at the top to a glimpse into your own private jungle.
The pool connects to an inside/outside living room, maintaining the circulation of the upstairs program, while extending visibility of the Mediterranean. Wood steps link the upstairs to the lawn where the secondary bedroom, Le Dortoir rooms, and a storage closet can be accessed. The lawn extends to the downstairs patio’s beginning where one may enter the kitchen, rest on lounge chairs or wander down to the container.
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