At the end of the 19th century, a groom constructed a seaside estate as a gift for his new bride. While unfortunately the marriage didn’t last, this building—originally the caretaker’s house and storage area for boats—survived and has now been given a new life.
The current owners, who are both passionate about art and architecture, gave Théo Alliot and Romain Maudet, architects at Alliot + Maudet, carte blanche to design an open and generous home with passageways that connect it to the outdoors and the sea. “We recreated the openings in the facade as they were at the time of construction,” shared the architects in an email. They also lined the windows with mirrored glass and small old-fashioned shutters to both illuminate and soften the bright Mediterranean sun.
Inside the home, the bedroom floats like a canopy, lifted off the floor of the old boat room, with a higher ceiling than the caretaker’s quarters. Théo and Romain turned this element of the design, necessary because of the existing architecture of the building, into a strength, creating a physical separation of the sleeping area without having to enclose it. The curtains that surround the room transform it into a cocoon.
A second dramatic move of the renovation included a small installation—a large “box” made of walnut—that includes a refrigerator, a guest closet, a toilet, and various storage spaces. It provides structure to the space and is located to the left of a small travertine staircase; to the right, in line with the bedroom, a closet leads to the bathroom. Everything is flawlessly integrated and even the handles are discreetly hidden.
The minimalist spirit of the design is reflected in the materials the architects used. In the kitchen, the thick plates of carbonized steel that cover the cabinetry have been treated so that they will retain their current appearance and complement the color of the walnut box. With all the materials being 100% natural, it creates a continuity between the various elements of the kitchen. On the floor, a brushed flamed natural stone has a textured orange peel-like surface, which allows sunlight to accent the natural features of the stone.