The project is on a steep slope facing south with views over the Rhône valley and the Alps. At the feet of a neighbourhood of individual houses, the project is located on the very top of a vineyard plot and it builds a new front onto the street. The building volume is respectful of its environment, and it is placed on the slope without changing neither the topography nor the character of the land. It is organized on three levels, so that the footprint on the ground is minimal. The project intends to be easily accessible from the road and to create interesting views. The terrace, obtained by subtraction, seems to be suspended between earth and sky. It establishes a special relationship with the surrounding landscape and it is furnished with all the exterior accessories, letting the outdoor space free from the need of additional equipment.
The volume is covered by a two-colour plaster - a mixture of two different shades of green - which matches the surrounding vineyard’s colours. It increases the depth of the façade, effect that couldn’t be achieved through the use of a sleek monocrome . With its camouflage dress, the house creates a sort of ambiguity as it seems to belong more to the vineyard landscape than to the other individual houses built uphill.
At street level, the exterior space and the entrance provide access to the living spaces, such as living and dining room, kitchen and terrace. Blind walls on the sides give privacy to these spaces and frame the panoramic view.
To enhance the indoor / outdoor relationship, the terrace and the living spaces are treated as one, using the same materials: walls, floors and parapets are in concrete. For the same purpose and in order to be as discreet as possible the supporting structure is integrated into the windows frames.
On the lower floor are situated the private areas. Since the house was built for a retired couple, this level is designed as a large open space, where the arrangement of furniture can change and build the spaces according to the needs. The storage spaces and the bathroom are concentrated in the central part of this floor, freeing up the space around.
A cellar and a technical room are on the level below and are accessible from outside.
The structure of the house is completely made of concrete, such as walls, floors and ceilings. The exclusivity of the material - thanks to the elusive lines of the plan and the sloped roof - creates a unitary and sculptural space. The apparent simplicity hides the technical complexity, but this effort is made to let emotions emerge from such construction. Architecture should not be neutral but create reaction and emotion instead.
The project is environment-friendly, with a simple and compact form. Large openings on the South and smaller ones on the North help take advantage of passive energy and limit the losses.
The South window placed back from the ledge creates a small eave that protect from the summer sun; the placement of two awnings does not disturb the view of the landscape.
The massive concrete construction on the inside offers a great thermal inertia.
Controlled ventilation, heat pump heating production and a very good thermal insulation allow the building to respect the minergie standard.