Nestled within the heart of the Cap d’Antibes, with the sea in sight, a once outdated neo-Provençal villa with old fashioned balustrades has been entirely rejuvenated by the Cannes based architecture firm Caprini & Pellerin. The villa now boasts a contemporary style elevated by Mediterranean architectural influences. The villa Fidji is now a stunning contemporary refurbishment.
The property has been renovated from its foundations upwards. Today, its beauty lies within the angled form of its bare concrete envelope - fringed with an outside passageway, sitting atop a basement spread out facing the bay, bedecked with sun-drenched stones. Out went the tiled roof, replaced by a planted roof terrace, upon which the Riviera’s characteristic light reveals the infinite nuances of the grey concrete, a material showcased here in all its glory.
Located close to the house entrance, the semi-circular pool was also revisited by the architects. A sea-side overflow mechanism now brings the soft sound of a waterfall with a beautiful mirror effect, accentuated by an anthracite tiled mosaic coating to blend with the natural landscape. To integrate the basin to the house of more oblong shape, they created a monumental stone staircase, surrounded on each side by curved stone walls, to harmoniously articulate the property and the pool.
The exterior of the villa embodies a contemporary regional architectural approach. It comes to life via a blend of traditional elements such as ancient stone cladding and a traditional tiered garden planted with Mediterranean essences and contemporary materials such as minimalist windows, concrete and contemporary wooden blinds.
The rear of the house reveals an entirely different picture. Sun drenched stone walls, punctuated by openings framed by grey blocks of concrete of different volumes, create a mysterious setting that connotes the artistic language of Land Art, dear to both architects. A tribute to the Southern architecture with its limestone coated walls, ancient ‘restanques’ (layered stone gardens), and its multiple openings that filter the light through Mashrabiyya like blinds.
One enters the villa via an intriguing minimalist opening. A corridor formed between the garage and the villa shaped by a low concrete ceiling cut out in its center to create a halo reminiscent of the Skylight Series by artist James Turrell.
Upon entering, one guesses the natural blending of the outdoor materials with those inside. A palette of all their variations which offers a harmonious yet practical architecture.
As if shaped of one block only, the villa blends brutalism and warmth by dividing its spaces within the uid prolongation of its materials. Spaces that gradually reveal themselves, accompanied here and there by large openings towards the sea or big boxes which frame the landscape; a scenic picture which ondulates alongside the sun’s reflexions.
On the ground floor, a large open space overlooks the garden and the sea. The space is adorned with a sculptural fireplace and ‘parqueted’ with a solid oak oor. The chimney is formed of marble stone with a hood in a bronze imitation of wood that disguises closets, televisions and technical equipment. The living room extends onto the dining room separated by a set of bespoke bookshelves.
The separation of the dinning room and the kitchen area is made by a lower ceiling and although open plan, the kitchen can be closed off by a large wooden sliding doors. This vast space has retractable minimalist bay window that disappear into the walls to maximise the views.
On the other side, behind a coated door identical to the wall, one discovers the ground floor bedroom with ensuite bathroom. The bedroom harbors an impressive custom-built headboard, set in a travertine, that acts as a separator for the dressing area. In this room one can admire the beautiful finishes, from leather to smoked oak, from glass to mirror and patinated brass handles. The unusual bathroom is a miniaturised replica of the materials used on the villa’s facade. A perfect integration of the stone used for the garden ‘restanques’ and the concrete blocks and travertine. A tailor-made design with immaculate nishes open at an angle onto the garden.
Visitors reach the first floor by a vast and luminous glass cladded staircase, which seems to levitate in the passage way. Upstairs, three ensuite bathrooms each give onto a shared concrete terrace, with its transparent balcony railing that reveal uninterrupted views of the sea. Each room expresses, in its own way, the same nuances of tones and materials. A mastercraft executed to perfection.
Finally, a large basement with an elegant staircase worked in stands, opens onto an amazing wine cellar which extends onto a home cinema, gym, sauna, laundry room and staff room.
A luxury villa, carefully crafted to its nest details. A conceptual architecture, which surprises by its warmth and cosiness. Luxury and the fluid simplicity of authenticity combined.