The defining concept for this house, commissioned by a photographer as both his summer house and studio, was based on the client’s wish to celebrate the experience such a site could offer despite the very small buildable area on the lot. We drew inspiration from the most common photographic strategy: framing viewpoints. This, applied in all directions but strictly guided by the floor plan and functionality, and combined with compressed and open spaces, darker versus light filled rooms allowed us to express a very wide range of sensations within the same building.
As a counter balance to the above described guideline, we opted for the simplest architectural expression of facades and building shape: a single developed facade defines a simple and smooth building skin varied in height and punctured by openings.
Two volumes define the main living & work spaces, both converge to the North corner freeing up as much space as possible on this small lot and turning all window openings to face South and West. The main space is compressed at the entry and releases up towards the landscape, the fan shaped plan gradually provides more floor area, volume and light. The second volume is exclusively dedicated to the owner’s studio. All rooms and bathrooms are reduced to a bare minimum and provide maximum surface area to living and work spaces.
The varying angles at building edges offer a series of changing volumetric & perspective experiences as in the south façade showing as a single vertical plane, while all others are hidden from view. Similarly, an open angle on the main corridor defeats natural perspective to create an illusion of parallel walls. The V shaped building footprint opens to the site and South-East facades have 95% of all building openings.
Whenever relevant, we try for our designs to lead the way for a more compact lifestyle essentially showing that smaller manifestations of built form can achieve great levels of creativity, balance and response to constraints. Because architecture can be reduced to a celebratory tactic, focusing exclusively on larger commissions, a greater segment of the practice can be overlooked.
Because this house was built on a small plot of land with a modest budget, it stands as a proof that architecture can be accomplished with little effort and provide immense sensorial satisfaction. This specific objective is at the core of our practice and is best expressed through historical continuity of form, space and materials.
Alireza Razavi, Guillén Berniolles
Alireza Razavi, Guillén Berniolles
Lennon Leberre Joncour
Olivier Martin Gambier
Our work rests on the mediation between engineering & architectural culture. It is our belief that successful designs can only materialize by fully synthesizing building technology and architectural sensitivity. Our approach to space is determined by a rigorous understanding of existing relationships between technique and culture, free of stylistic limitations, open to context.
Our designs cover a wide spectrum or architectural services from interiors to master planning for clients in both the public and private sectors. Operating as one firm our portfolio includes residential, corporate, hospitality, civic, transportation, and mixed-use projects.
Our reputation is built on our ability to translate a client’s physical needs, aspiration and budget constraints into memorable designs and spaces. We strive to bring innovation and construction techniques together as well as branding, marketing and post-occupancy issues, as we believe that long lasting experience is measure of excellency.