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House in Carantec

Quiet Living at the End of the Earth

Studio Odile Decq

House in Carantec
By Elisa Grossi -
AGC Flat Glass, Knauf, Fiandre Architectural Surfaces have participated in the project

Completely enveloped in glass, this contemporary home stands next to a small early-20th century fort – now an annex to the house – at the end of a rocky tip separating two broad beaches on the northern coast of Brittany. Located in Carantec, a small town overlooking the English Channel in the department of Finistère – a corruption of the original Latin finis terrae, the “end of the earth” – the house sits literally on the edge of the world, a wild yet enchanting place in contact with untamed nature and the elements. As requested by the client, a French couple, Odile Decq’s design let the landscape – among the most fascinating in France – invade the house. The sea is visible wherever you are. In contrast, the building itself hides away, melting into its context, largely thanks to the broad flat stone-slab roof of the fort (now the new building’s terrace) that butts up against a high granite retaining
party-wall that conceals the new construction from the outside world. The result: an almost invisible house with a 180-degree view of the ocean.

Located just behind the stone fort further up the slope, the new volume is virtually one single 167 sq. m space on a single level whose different functional areas flow seamlessly into each other. Smoothed concrete flooring throughout underlines the fluid yet irregular-shaped floor plan as it follows the curved and straight perimeter walls, designed to match spatial configuration with functional requirement. The living room directly faces the beach and gives on to a panoramic terrace (the old building’s roof). This existing construction, a volume of 110 sq. m, was completely renovated as guest quarters for the owners’ now adult children. Two windows were added to give the rooms ocean views. That contact with the sea and the sky at the heart of the design is especially apparent in the new building’s...

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