This house listed for sale with BARNES Valbonne is simultaneously a sculpture, a tableau vivant and a work of art devoid of right angles. SoBARNES takes you on a tour of this architectural manifesto from the 60s.
An ingenious self-taught architect, Jacques Couëlle (1902-1994) wanted the houses he designed to fit perfectly into their natural environment. And the simplest way to do that was to borrow their forms. Thus the “home-landscape” concept was born. All that was left was to find a place to put it into practice. This came in the form of the Domaine de Castellaras, in Mouans-Sartoux, between 1958 and 1964. Only 5 clients were sufficiently visionary to commission a house from the architect, yet today their homes are considered extraordinary architectural manifestos. Naturally SoBARNES couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit one:
“Not only is it a six-bed home but also a living work of art”, says Catherine Mendelson of BARNES Valbonne. “Owning it is like owning a painting or a sculpture”. For Couëlle, it was unthinkable to modify the land in order to build his home-landscapes. On the contrary, the different levels and curves of the façades follow the natural slope while the windows and doors are positioned in relationship to the surrounding landscape and the orientation of the sun.
Born in Marseille, the architect did not draw up plans, but rather created plaster models directly that the workers were tasked with reproducing in real life. Rumour has it that he even asked his clients to visit the site before the works began to walk the future rooms and ensure the fluid movement from one to another before fixing the contours.
“Almost 60 years after its construction, this 280 sq.m. (3,015 sq ft) house has lost none of its magic and mystifying beauty”, says Catherine Mendelson. “The omnipresent light creates a truly enchanting atmosphere. And the absence of right angles, which may come as a surprise at first, quickly becomes a source of wellness and relaxation.”
What’s more, it is set in an idyllic location, on a gated private estate just 20 minutes from Nice Airport and the centre of Cannes. It goes without saying that the views of the bay of La Napoule, the hilltops of Grasse and the Estérel Massif are equally stunning both night and day.
The free-form pool in the 5,000 sq.m. (1.2-acre) garden is also part of Jacques Couëlle’s architectural concept. As is the patio, the fireplace in the lounge, the dining room and the kitchen. In fact, every nook and cranny is worthy of a feature in a home design magazine. All the more so given that the house is in immaculate condition, both inside and out.
This naturally unique property (in every sense) is priced at €4.85 million.
BARNES Valbonne - 35, rue Gambetta, 06560 Valbonne Sophia Antipolis - France
Tél. : +33 (0)4 22 70 01 07 - Barnes-valbonne.com
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