Recreating a local architecture
The house is situated in a vast field and the clients requested it be largely open to the surroundings. Therefore large French windows are found in every room and a 200 m² terrace extends every side of the house. The surrounding field is a former meadow in the villageof Saint-Sauveur, in the Dordogne departement. Special care was taken with the building volume and the shape of the roof, in order to better blend in with the regional heritage. The geometry of Périgord roofs with four sideshas been recreated in a new way. Accordingly, the deep roof overhangsprotect from the sun and the harsh rain. The skin of the building is made of dark grey metal cladding, which is a reminder of local tobacco dryer architecture, which are long, narrow buildings and their wood skin is covered with motor oil.
Aesthetic choices were balanced with the limited budget: few materials and a short building time. The building is built on one floor, with a semi-deep foundation on clay soil. The building is compact: 25 meters long and 5 meters wide. The interior is separated into three sequences based on a regular grid. The facades are symmetrical. The concrete floor finish is the same outside and inside, creating continuity between both areas. The furniture is made from two-layered birch wood and white painted OSB. For the outside skin, the chosen material was to be durable, standardized and prefabricated allowing the house to be built in less than a month. Ten days were necessary to raise the isolated mono-bricks walls, then a week for the isolated metal framing and finally a week for the skin.
Technical elements made invisible
A special attention to details, especially concerning technical elements, is fundamental to a minimalist approach. Therefore gutters, rain water downspouts and manholes were unobtrusively integrated. A crawl space was made possible thanks to ventilated cladding. A sump was hidden in the garden, to collect rain water. The roof is extended in order to shelter the car and create a porch. Being part of the entrance, parking is integrated in the whole design. The scale and careful details of the house reveal its typology, and make the whole project more refined. As an example, a slight roof overhang is chosen instead of a perimeter detail. A simple bracket replaces industrial angle connectors. The cut-out sheet metal was used in order to hide the window joinery. The cladding edge is sharp so the iron is bent where the cladding stops. As a result, the façade appears continuous and light, enhancing the wave of the iron.
Black is color
The surrounding landscape is enhanced by the dark metal. The dark shade seems severe but is actually subtle. Texture variations make it ornamental. The metal sheets reflects the sky and the iron waves looks tinted with gold at the beginning and the end of the day. The roof is perforated to filter the sun light. It generates shadows distinctive to the seasons. Outside, precious dark harmony contrasts with the lightness inside. The most used rooms face the garden. The roof bend is softer on the south side. The tall bay windows frame the landscape and asymmetrical casements create sophistication. In the north end, a technical buffer space,includingthe lengthwise corridor like space, allows thermic optimization.