The house is located along the cliffs of Plouha in the department of the Cotes d'Armor, in Brittany, France, on a tree-lined site at the mouth of the Corzic valley where it overlooks the Bay of Saint-Brieuc. Prior to its renovation, the house was
typical of 1970s neo-Breton residential architecture: characterized by its off-white stucco and gabled-roof pavilion, with small windows that opened timidly onto the surrounding environment. For the renovation, two central design orientations transform the home: (1) the volume is opened onto the neighboring bay via the creation of large bay windows in the East façade and (2), an efficient and homogenous thermal envelope is created, around a more functional and pleasant interior layout.
The renovated house has a contemporary architectural language. The pavilion volume is simplified and given a homogeneous reading by removing the small openings and windowsills, shutters, and chimney. A complex of exterior thermal
insulation and burnt Douglas wood cladding ensures the overall insulation of the volume. This black cladding, coupled with black exterior joinery, gives the house a unified appearance and blends it into the forested site.
Large openings on the North and West façades afford views of the wooded valley. To the East, generous fixed bay windows offer a spectacular view on the horizon and the Bay of Saint-Brieuc. These interventions are sober and discreet, so as to
not detract from the beauty of the overall landscape.
The home interior is redesigned to organize living spaces around a single core, which concentrate mechanical and vertical circulation elements and serves a functional purpose by allowing users to transition between day and night zones. The core also serves as a conduit for natural ventilation, as it draws fresh air from the valley, allowing it to circulate throughout the interior to offset heatwaves that are becoming more frequent in the area. The ledges of the bay windows are generous enough to provide for comfortable seating, so users may advantage of views to the exterior. Particular attention is given to material treatment. The flooring is poured in-place uniform concrete that has then been sanded. Custom carpentry is in oak, lending the rooms a warm and inviting feel. The home is composed of five suites – two on the entry floor and three on the upper level, with
each space offering a unique view on the valley, bay, or forest.
On the exterior, the project incorporates terraces that are arranged thematically depending on their orientation to the surrounding landscape. To the Norh, there is a “suspended” terrace amongst the canopy of trees, with views of the bay that
continue from the kitchen area, conceived as a sheltered winter garden. At the back of the house, to the South and West, several, more secluded terraces blend into the trees.