Located on the French Riviera, the extension of a Provençal house cladded in glass is conceived by Ellena Mehl Architects as an extension tightly related to the existing landscape.
The house is located on the French Riviera, at the very end of a small road, in a old hamlet built around a local spring that has been known since before the XIX th century.
Built on the side of a hill, the landscape follows horizontal lines, formed by terraced gardens and stone walls also called “restanques” in the south of France. Although built less than 40 years ago, the main house is typical of Provençal houses: rectangular, compact and symmetrical with a stone framed entrance at the centre with small windows and terracotta tiles.
The extension is set within the existing terraced planes, between the main house and the stone walls, redefining new intersection lines in the landscape. The main level is connected at half level to the house using reshaped existing stairs. With wild grass covering the terraced roof, the addition merges in completely with the existing “restanques”.
The house extension consists of 3 intersecting planes: glass, stone and grass. Glass revealing the surrounding landscape, grass on the roof-garden, stones resembling the existing terraced walls. To achieve this minimal design, the architects have used plain 10 mm sheet steel to join the 3 planes vertically and horizontally. Inside the main room, the concrete roof is curved to follow the level lines and the slope.
The main facade consists of a double glazed wall with single 10 mm toughened glass on the outside and standard glazing walls on the inside with a roller blind in betweenwith openings on both glazed walls. The thermal comfort, though exposed to the south is optimal throughout the year, even in summer, thanks to the double glazed wall and the half buried in the ground setting of the house.
SPE House, Spéracèdes, France
Architect: Ellena Mehl Architects
Area: 120 sqm, on two levels