Farmhouse in Provence

This house was completely remodelled and extended by more than 3 times the original area.  The original building is the main block where the living room, dining room and kitchen are now shown.  The rest of the buildings shown on the drawings – loggias, guest pavilion, ‘ruined’ tower, courtyard, fountain, swimming pool and landscaping – are all new proposals.  Even the facades of the original buildings have been changed.  Before producing the designs, research was done on vernacular buildings of Provence, which share a close relationship with all Mediterranean traditional farm buildings.  These proposals show what appear to be an organic growth of buildings around an open courtyard.

This organic growth tells a story: it displays the gradual architectural pretension commensurate with the farmer’s increasing wealth.  Later a romantic decay sets in and ultimately the building is ‘sensitively’ remodelled for present-day use.  While the proposals were being produced, I interviewed various local architects with the client.  I was responsible for all the aesthetic decisions, and produced appropriate drawings and details for the local architect to incorporate into the scheme.  The local architect obtained permissions and project-managed the building works.  You will also see furniture layouts on the drawing.  It is important when a building is designed it is not solely appropriate on the outside – the interiors have to work.

For the landscaping, the original approach road was eliminated near the house and a new drive formed at the far end of the site.  This starts by meandering through copses of fruit trees with verges of meadow grass seeded with wild flowers.  The drive then straightens and approaches the house down an avenue with fields of lavender planted each side.