AR House 2012 Commended: The ruins of a historic farmstead form an armature for a new house
The house is built on an abandoned farm overlooking the Luberon valley in Provence. Framing and defining the dwelling, the ruins of the farmhouse form an armature for new elements, while a guesthouse and pool were inserted within the old stone walls.
Set under a large overhanging roof, the main glazed volume of the living space and open terraces orchestrate a sense of fluidity and transparency, opening up to natural light and expansive views down the valley. The smaller bedroom wing is structured by three distinct plywood volumes, like large crates, that integrate storage and wet spaces.
The site lies in a protected national park, which has strict guidelines regarding the use of materials in any new structures. The house is constructed from solid sandstone blocks, quarried from the locality since Roman times.
Building principles are elemental, with the blocks staggered or skewed to make openings or create texture. Interiors are left untreated with concrete floors and birch ply ceilings. The jury thought the relationship between old and new was deftly and poetically handled.
Architect: Carl Fredrik Svenstedt
Sanitaryware: Duravit; Aquamass
Taps: KWC; Flaminia
Lighting: Havells Concord
Photographs: Hervé Abbadie