- Extension of a farmhouse in Provence
Certain family decisions also lead to architectural changes. So when a French couple - Benoit and Roselyne - decided to permanently move into what until then had been their country holiday home not far from Avignon, they needed to adapt it to their new needs, which meant accommodating their children, grandchildren and friends. Far from being a simple add-on to the farmhouse, their brief to the architects from Dixneufcentquatrevingtsix uwas for a building that would respond to their need for more room and at the same time gratify their desire for formal and aesthetic innovation.
The designers responded with a geometrically crafted concrete volume that embraces both deconstructivism and brutalism. But despite this bold visual statement, the new architecture engages perfectly both with the old farmhouse and echoes the site's history as a limestone quarry.
By opting to use two separate and adjoining additions - a sculptural, monolithic, three-storey structure with private courtyard and the other a single-storey rectangle - Dixneufcentquatrevingtsix references the native forms that are reinterpreted with a contemporary take using a modern material and an iconic geometric facade. Even the size of the apparently randomly positioned windows reflects traditional buildings, providing supreme frames for views of nature while protecting the interiors from harsh weather and the local Mistral winds.
These openings reinforce the eye-catching effect of the interiors dominated by a stunning, sculptural, rounded spiral staircase that offsets the angular corners of the exterior container.
Benoit and Roselyne's house is a contemporary example of a home extension where the desire for renewal and expansion goes well with a bold formal language that is at the same time attentive to the rural context, without falling into the architectural banality you often see in the countryside.
Location: Uzès, France
Year: 2014 - 2016
Images: © F. Kleinefenn