Situated next to the Col de Villefranche-sur-Mer, overlooking St. Jean Cap Ferrat and the Villefranche Bay with a stunning view, the property initially consisted of a small neo-Provençal house in a very poor condition and without any architectural interest. The site was relatively steep, as was the entire hillside which backs onto the last foothills of Mont Alban, but this was also what created its charm.
It was a real 'love at first sight' when the owner introduced us the place, its location, the view and the enormous potential it represented. The property had to be dramatically redesigned and developed to meet the requirements of our client (who wanted a contemporary architecture that would allow for a very large extension) and to overcome the obstacles posed by the geology of the land.
The house, as it was designed, did not take advantage of the potential of the land, the natural light or the magnificent views. So we imagined extending the existing building so as to have a villa that would be on three floors, respecting the constraints of the land with its numerous slopes: a contemporary villa that would integrate into the rocks, with optimised openings in order to blur the limits between the outside and the inside, to the benefit of an ‘art of living’ in harmony with the elements; the different areas fluidly connected to one another and to the seasons, thus creating a real pleasure to live in.
The exterior facades and retaining walls, sometimes treated with lime plaster and sometimes dressed with natural stone, have been extensively planted. The choice of colours and materials has given this villa the freedom to blend into the original natural environment.
The icing on the cake: the roof terrace, which provides a planted solarium that is an integral part of the surrounding nature, has become a garden in its own right, with plants overflowing onto the facades, and from which we can contemplate the historical beauty of the citadel.
The site was perfect for an infinity swimming pool which gave the illusion that the water disappeared into the sea, creating a soft and relaxing atmosphere and giving an incomparable visual effect.
Alongside the architectural project, the landscape project created the garrigue identity of the Mediterranean nature (holm oaks, olive trees, Aleppo pines and so on) while creating points of interest all around the house. For example, located in a small corner on the southern edge of the property, the 'Cascabelle', a stream cascades down the reworked slope and flows into a rounded basin attached to the building. Citrus trees punctuate each of the terraces in this steep landscape.
PROJECT CARRIED OUT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:
Complete architectural mission: Nathalie Gehamy, architecte
Landscape Designer: Laurélie De La Salle