Irregular Volumes Make for a Unique Style in this Family Holiday Home

This inspired angular creation is the experimental work of French studio Atelier du Pont. Given the brief of creating a holiday home for a large family and visiting friends, the studio set to work creating an adaptable space both large enough for communal leisure, and intimate enough for personal space. Because, even on holiday, our siblings can just get too much.

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The award-winning house is designed to limit the impact it has on the surrounding French idyll: the gently sloping sandy headland of the Cap Ferret peninsula, covered in the area’s characteristic groves of strawberry trees, yuccas, and pine. Styled on a wooden cabin, the 330sqm space blends with the surrounding grove, and its location was selected to minimise the amount of woodland that had to be cleared for construction. The various large openings and glass windows of the exterior connect the interior more firmly with its environment, and frame interesting views for the holidaying inhabitants.

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The house spreads across two floors, with the ground floor sunk into the sloping terrain so that the first floor sits on the same level as the adjacent outdoor swimming pool. The first floor is split into three separate volumes, which further divides up the space to create personal areas for the large anticipated occupancy.

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The light and spacious interior is fractured into large and interconnecting rooms, perfect for entertaining, and provides a clean backdrop for a number of statement design fixings. A colourful collection of suspension lamps hang above the dining table, a smooth circular staircase disrupts the otherwise rectilinear architecture, and carefully selected furnishings make for a strikingly curated space.

In a neat turn of phrase, Atelier du Pont describe their dialogue-based design process as “the hyphen between desire and that which is possible to do.” In this Cap Ferret holiday home, they’ve designed the house we didn’t even know we wanted.

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THE PLUS: What inspired this unusual and geometric design?
Atelier du Pont:
Angular geometric shapes is not a traditional Cap Ferret style choice, that’s for sure. It made more sense for us than the round shape the client initially asked for.

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TP: So you took a risk on an exciting blueprint?
AdP:
The geometry we use creates a more dynamic form, and allows the house to have different framed views of the landscape from the inside.

TP: It’s a unique result – what brief were you given?
AdP:
The family wanted space in which they could have a great time together, and in which all of them could also have privacy and calm. The surrounding environment was also a brief in itself…

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TP: In what way?
AdP:
The challenge was to design a project that would exist in harmony with its surrounding landscape, and have a limited impact on the existing vegetation.

TP: How did you get there?
AdP:
The façade uses mostly wood to mimic the pine grove around it, and the construction blends into the topography of the terrain. We also worked with local craftsmen that perfectly understand the site and materials.

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Photo credits: Takuji Shimmura & Philippe Garcia

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