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Villa Varoise by NADAAA


Architect: NADAAA

Principal: Nader Tehrani

Project Managers: Harry Lowd & Lisa LaCharité

Project Team: Rawan Alsane, Tom Beresford, Craig Chapple, Katie Faulkner, Dan Gallagher, John Houser, Ellee Lee, Kevin Lee, Parke MacDowell, Ryan Murphy, Jonathan Palazzolo, Joana Rafael, Caitlin Scott, Tim Wong

Architecte Associé And Interiors: BIDARD & RAISSI (Paris, France)

Principals: Shirin Raissi & Marie-Eve Bidard

Project Manager: Majed Katir

Project team: Xavier Arrighi, Elsa Calcavino, Noam Carmi, Dani Haz, Jennifer Kandel, Eugénie Pellissier


Mechanical Engineer: TPFI

Structural Engineer: ECI (Nice, France), Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger

Electrical Engineer: TPFI

General Contractor: MAURO

Landscape Architect: JEAN MUS

Lighting Designer: INEDIT

Furniture Consultants: CORSO EUROPA (Milan, Italy)

Home automation (Music & Cinema): LIVEWIRE (UK)


Photography: John Horner Photography

In the South of France, sited on a hill of olive trees, pinus pinea, and a vineyard, a family retreat was designed with a mission of maintaining the vitality of the site. An agricultural plot, the family’s mission was to cultivate the landscape as part of their stewardship. The house also needed to respect strict zoning guidelines for regional vernacular materials and construction processes, while leveraging the sloping terrain. This resulted in the integration of landscape and house through the production of a monumental vaulted threshold to a central courtyard.

For centuries, the enclosed courtyard has been overlaid on various geographic settings—each time transformed according to the climate, rituals, and construction practices of the place. A vehicle to capture the outdoors within the building, the courtyard is defined by its interiority. The slipped court of this project provides simultaneous interiority and exteriority—protected as well as engaged. The resulting vault is a ruled surface that mediates between the geometry of a stair, the pool, and living areas above.

Structurally, the roof is a series of surface-active vaults that produce strong lateral stability. The slope of the vault maximizes the zoning envelope in order to bring in southern light.  Beneath the roof are the primary living, eating, and sleeping spaces. The lower wing is conceived as a street-corridor, activated by a reading room and bedrooms that open directly onto the landscape. Many of the living spaces of this house are outdoors, taking advantage of varying views, times of the day and public vs. private moments. For this reason, the architecture of the house extends into the landscape, retains it, and frames spaces in between.

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