Text description provided by the architects. The rehabilitation of this barn in the countryside outside of Aix-en-Provence gives Objekto, a furniture distribution company, an unusual showcase. The creations of Brazilian designers such as Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Mauricio Klabin and Rafic Farah are displayed with a view of Sainte-Victoire Mountain, in the heart of the Provence region.
The building retains its existing volume, and its gable roof is slightly raised to obtain a comfortable ceiling height on the first floor. Half of the floor was redone in poured concrete to create an easily convertible single level.The central shear wallis separated from the facade walls for more fluidity. It outlines the four areas of the project: reception and storage room on the ground floor, office and showroom upstairs.
Four large bay windows were carved out in the facade to provide stunning views looking out over the agricultural landscape of Provence and Sainte-Victoire. The exposed joints outside these bay windows give a hint from the street of the contemporary style used to repurpose the building.
Like a museum, the building puts the focus on the furniture being presented. The continuity of the floors, walls and ceilings of the first floor creates a homogeneous space that is white and timeless. The absence of baseboards, the white lacquered storage cabinets, the open angles of the window framing and the continuous ceiling up to the woodwork are all elements that dematerialise the office and showroom space. This whiteness is only interrupted by the shear stone walls and the views of the surrounding countryside, making the building more tangible in space and time.