French Villa, Bargemon house, Provence home, Property France, Architect, Architecture

Villa in the Var, Bargemon, France : Provence house

French house by Dixon.Jones Architects

Bargemon villa – Provence property

Date built: 2007

Architects: Dixon Jones and Jean-Paul Radigois

Location: Bargemon, Provence, south of France

Client: Margot & Edward Jones

Villa in the Var : RIBA European Award 2007

Images from Dixon.Jones Architects

Villa in the Var French Villa in the Var Bargemon
images © Morley von Sternberg

The combination of ‘Les Adrets’ (sunny side of the mountain), once terraced for the cultivation of olives, overlooking the village of Bargemon with spectacular views towards the Mediterranean, presented the challenge of an ideal site.

Bargemon villa Bargemon house Bargemon villa
images © Morley von Sternberg

The building is linear following the terraces. Its plan ‘en enfilade’ with a 60m pergola, acts as an armature for the re-establishment of the landscape providing a series of frames to view it from, some accidental, others more considered.

Bargemon property Bargemon home Provence villa
images © Morley von Sternberg

The first sign of occupancy on the site was a small shepherd’s cabanon with a tall palm tree positioned in front of it. Interestingly, this was the best relationship to a magnificent view, looking south through the saddle of the hills towards the Mediterranean. The site is located 2 kilometres above the town of Bargemon in Provence.

The Col du Bel Homme, immediately behind, forms a natural barrier to the north and marks the limit of habitation before the commencement of the military zone. The design of the house responds directly to the site conditions of the man-made topography of stepped terraces formed by dry stonewalls, which for two thousand years had been used for the cultivation of olives.

This existing pattern of stonewalls forming terraces was an obvious clue. An early inspiration was the Italian villa/garden tradition, where the slope of the land intersected with precise terraces, where the discipline of the contour encouraged ideas of linearity. The plan of the Villa Gamberaia above Florence was noted.

Provence house Provence home Bargemon villa Provence
images © Morley von Sternberg

The relationship between house and garden has been a continuing fascination to us, particularly in the Mediterranean where, because of the climate, the relationship between inside and outside is ambiguous. The overused reference to ‘outside rooms’ becomes a reality here. Pergola, loggia, court, allé and lawn act as an entourage, extending the enclosure of the house into an enlarged composition.

Villa in the Var Provence Villa in the Var Villa in the Var
photo © Morley von Sternberg

Within this idea and the ever-presence of the south-facing view, the design of the house seemed almost inevitable. In plan, the sequence of the entrance salon, loggia, living room and swimming pool court are all connected ‘en enfilade’. The south side of all these spaces relates to a 60 metre long pergola which, apart from forming a promenade, acts as a frame to the garden and the view.

The section of the house with its one room depth, allowed for simple and effective cross ventilation, added to this the walls were built with 400mm thick terracotta hollow blocks, giving the house excellent insulation. The bedrooms are conventionally positioned above on the first floor connected by two stairs either directly to the swimming pool court outside or to the entrance hall and the principle living room inside.

Villa in the Var Villa in the Var Villa in the Var
photo © Morley von Sternberg

Le Corbusier declared that a house should be a ‘machine à hábiter’. This aphorism might be extended here whereby the house acts as a mechanism for viewing the landscape with some views accidental and others more considered.

Submission for European Award

Villa in the Var
photo © Morley von Sternberg

French house architect : Dixon Jones

French house French house
site photos by Dixon.Jones Architects

French property French villa

All Villa in the Var images from Dixon.Jones Architects by disk 090707

French house
image © Margot Jones

Morley von Sternberg, Architectural Photography:

Dixon Jones

Location: Bargemon, Provence, France

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Villa in the Var : RIBA European Award 2007

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