The clients bought land in South of France’s Vaucluse department in 2001. Twenty minutes from Aix-en-Provence and a little less than an hour from Marseille, the plot is well placed but completely secluded, hidden in the country side. At the time the only thing present was an old and unlivable farmhouse.
Unable to refurbish the structure the clients started designing and building a house on a neighboring hill. The home was completed three years later and for a long time was the only habitable structure on the property – contrasted by the farmhouse in its ruinous state.
For 15 years the small, abandoned and decrepit house that sat but a couple hundred meters away was left untouched. Yet in 2016 an agreement was reached with the commune and design and construction finally started on the house.
Respectful of the aesthetic constraints and wishes of the clients the house was designed to be a intimate refuge buried in the hills – one that would respect the site and the architectural history of the region. The existing structure was carefully dismembered in phases. The footprint and envelope were revised but stayed very much in keeping with the proportions of the old farmhouse. More than a simple reconstruction, this house was imagined as a renewal, emphasizing the house’s quirks and lending voice to careful craftsmanship.
Text provided by architect