- Architects: Stéphane Nikolas
- Location: 34130 Saint-Aunès, France
- Area: 275.0 m2
- Project Year: 2016
From the architect. Located in the south of France near Montpellier, in the village of Saint Aunès, the house takes place on a land of vines, cultivated since the Romans, bathed by the sun of the Mediterranean Sea, a short 15- minutes drive away. The project includes another building, under construction, whose destination is that of an artist’s workshop for the owners.
A simple parallelepiped, a cocoon of steel and glass set between two horizontal planes which delimit the view, oriented towards the vibrating light of the south, the volume, light, detached from the ground, seems to rest on the green of the original vine. The two white lines of the gangway, slender and taut, draw a minimal intervention, on a vegetable background formed of cypresses, fig trees, laurels and other olive trees. The drawing is meant to be purified, a striking contrast between the hand of man and the work of nature, complementary, balanced, without harming or diminishing the presence of the other.
Placed on a concrete base, an expression of durability and solidity, the steel cage of the structure, with optimized spans and stitches, wants to express the lightness and transparency of a habitat completely open on the outside. Bathed in the sun, catching its rays in winter, when it is low, protected from its flames in summer when it rises in the sky, the interior of the house is one with the garden, visually and physically. The bay windows of the south facade open on the entire stay and allow to extend it on the outer passageway, the terrace and the garden below.
The surface is not important. What is important is the perception of volume and the relation to nature, outside, which multiply the spatial sensation.
Made for a family of three, two adults and a boy, the program responds to a request for two bedrooms, a guest room, an office/library, and a large basement for the cellar and garage.
The metal frame was constructed as a Mecano, assembled and bolted on site, with cold bent sections. Fixed on the base of the cellar it has been dressed externally of an aluminum corrugated siding that corresponds to the industrial character of the structure, visible on the posts or the gangway. The large thermal insulation that fills the interstices of the framework allows a very small loss, compensated in winter by the solar contributions and an air/water heat pump that feed the heating by the ground. A thermodynamic hot water balloon coupled with a single flow ventilation produces the necessary hot water. The house meets the French BBC standards (building low consumption) with a consumption less than 29kwhPE / m2year.