Private Villa, South of France

Private Villa, South of France

Architect
NOMAD CONCEPT
Location
France
Category
Private Houses
Stories By
SEFAR

NOMAD CONCEPT
Amandus VanQuaille

Classy open-air Mediterranean oasis

SEFAR as Manufacturers

Project. This exclusive villa in the south of France appears to virtually disappear into the endless blue of the Mediterranean. Being outside and enjoying a Mediterranean lifestyle while protected from the sun and wind was what the client stipulated. Around 30 meters above the sea, two awnings brave the marine climate, securely attached to two lance-shaped masts by spring hooks from a ship’s supplier.


Concept/Design. The top design priority was to provide protection from sun and heat for the sizeable outdoor area. The upper awning is made from robust SEFAR® Architecture TENARA® Fabric 4T40HF, which is able to withstand the fall winds and coastal spray typical of the region without absorbing any moisture. It is permanently UV resistant, color fast, and weather proof. The lower awning is made from SEFAR® Architecture EL-30-T1-UV, and thanks to its special coating filters out UV rays and prevents heat from penetrating beneath.


Construction. The architect describes the interaction of the two selected Sefar fabric awnings as similar to two ballet dancers in constant, gentle contact. The ingenious construction and combination of different layers holds heat between the two awnings creating a chimney effect which is distinctly cooling: Warmth simply rises upwards. In fact, the lower and upper awnings only touch at the very ends where the spring hooks are fastened, and the sails are anchored to the rugged rock. Even the existing trees are skilfully integrated into the design so they form a naturally growing part of the airy sun roof. The Sefar fabric is specially tailored in a crescent shape and built around the gnarled trees while the lance-like masts, which seem to pierce the fabric at the top, appear as almost organic elements within the sweeping lines of the sails.

A permanent sail structure in a Mediterranean climate

NOMAD CONCEPT as Architects

Placed on a precipice, 30 meters above the Mediterranean Sea, 2 white architectural sails with sharp masts like spears, watch over the deep blue sea. The architectural sails are intended to protect the villa from exorbitant light and heat. While the upper layer of the sail composition has to withstand the harsh sea climate with high dynamic wind loads and a burning sun, the sub-sail is especially created to filter the UV-light (with a special coating) and to block the heat between the 2 layers. The warm air between the 2 layers flows up, as in a chimney, and brings very efficient cooling during the summer months at the Mediterranean. The sub-sail follows the swift curved forms of the main sail. I see them as a couple in a ballet, touching each other’s fingers only. The lower layer touches the main sail only at the corner tips. But at the same time it has an own character with a more delicate lighter textile. The two main sails follow the typical singularities of the site: instead of hacking away trees, the supple forms are sculptured around the old trees. The fierce and sharp looking male masts stab through the white sails, as if they have lanced holes in the tensioned forms. Those holes or contemporary oeil-de-boeuf are designed to create views from the upper terraces to the swimming pool and to the magnificent beauty of the sea. The masts are anchored with strong stainless steel wires, usually used in the marine world, into the rocks of the precipice. A fine detail that I borrowed from the Japanese paper windows: see the shadow lines of the patterns of the above layer on the lower layer. These shadow lines create a tree-dimensional effect to the 2D layer of the sail. This refined play with light and shadow was also played with the shadows of the trees.

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