Architect in ChargeAnaïs Nicolas
Text description provided by the architects. Location – History – Project
This house is located in an old granite quarry, along the Breton seashore. At the outset, the future inhabitants wanted a one-story, unobtrusive house giving on to a panoramic sea view. And they had their minds set on Breton-style landscaping, punctuated by multiple terraces.
The home will be inhabited year-round by a couple beginning a new chapter of their life,after raising their three children.
The concept behind this house could be summarized as "watching without being seen"; taking advantage of a long traveling-shot panorama, yet at the same time remaining totally integrated into the landscape.
To this end, the house is designed around a superb sea view. This long home is perfectly integrated into its environment. Built on top of a hill, the only hill remaining at the old granite quarry, is very inconspicuous--a lookout, hidden behind a few cypress trees, judiciously preserved and pruned to let your eyes wander.
The raw concrete walls are painted black and stained to give a distressed look, and the large bay windows reflect the landscape, enhancing the integration into landscape. In fact, the use of the raw, black glazed concrete, which absorbs, rather than reflecting light, is what makes the desired inconspicuous effect possible. As a result, your eye isn’t attracted to the house, which appears to fade into the surrounding vegetation.
The design of an elongated, one-story house, with a flat roof following the topography and landscape, and using the existing vegetation like a light veil, also supports the inconspicuous effect.
From one room to the other, the framing changes, playing with the horizon, the sea, and the vegetation present on the site, taking advantage of the four majestic gorgeous magnificent tall cypresses. There are three porches designed to fit perfectly with the house, making both inside and outside living possible. They keep you in touch with the outside environment, from inside the house as well, and they allow you to follow the course of the sun throughout the day (East at sunrise, South during the day and West at sunset).
In the garden, we made the choice of keeping the four magnificent cypresses that were already on the property of the old granite quarry. They have been pruned in a Japanese-silhouette style so as to not obstruct the view, while preserving the history of this site. By the same token, the idea was to keep the rocks extracted during excavation, in order to maintain the garden in, as close as possible, to its natural state. Thus, the landscape of the house was designed with local species present in the Breton ecosystem (gorse, broom, heather, etc.). The property limits are marked with a fence (chestnut and galvanized iron), always present on the Breton seashore.
Product Description. The raw concrete walls are painted black and stained to give a distressed look, and the large bay windows reflect the landscape, enhancing the integration into landscape. In fact, the use of the raw, black glazed concrete, which absorbs, rather than reflecting light, is what makes the desired inconspicuous effect possible. As a result, your eye isn’t attracted to the house, which appears to fade into the surrounding vegetation.