BATHROOM & KITCHEN TODAY11 Sep 2022
Project Feature | An Extension on the Vineyard
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Architects: Mahos architectes

Masonry, rough work, plastering, painting, electrical: Promazur

Metal structure: Bernabeu ferronnerie

Roofing/weatherproofing: Histoire de toit

Plumbing: Energie PCS

Structural engineering: I2C structure

Photos: Studio Module & David Maurel

The addition to this family home was designed for the owners, who wanted more living space and panoramic views of sunsets over the vineyard.

The existing structure, a contemporary local-style villa, is an H-shaped house. Since its construction in 1998, the owners’ space requirements have changed. The goal of the project was to add more rooms, and to showcase the surrounding landscape.

Site integration

The existing house overlooks vineyards dotted with training wires strung on steel stakes with a rusty patina. The contemporary structure of the addition is directly inspired by that landscape, characterized by strong vertical and horizontal lines.

The addition’s geometry is grounded in the proportions of the house in the extension of its existing façades. The flat roof is a line of force in the landscape.

The metal structure containing the new rooms is framed by the existing house and the load-bearing wall that braces it.

Metal and glass are intended to make the project disappear into the surrounding landscape. Moreover, the brownish-red colour coordinates with the house’s cornice and red shutters.

Interior/exterior

A versatile, fully glassed-in living area benefits from its dual east/west orientation. A bedroom and a shower room complete the floor. The view through the windows is unaffected when the bedroom door is open. The bathroom is both well-lit and private, thanks to its frosted glass.

When the windows are wide open, the breeze wafts through, as in a hilltop cabin, and a cantilevered deck further extends the interior space. The boundary between inside and outside is thus obscured.

Music room

A basement music room was built for rehearsals and private concerts. It is accessed through the existing house, making it possible to keep the addition independent, like a small dwelling unit.

The main room is a very well-lit space, thanks to picture windows that admit abundant natural light and create a powerful link with the outdoors.

The music room, measuring 30m2 (323 sq. ft.), was designed according to an acoustic study, and includes plywood bench seating, matching the adjacent floor. A wall of cabinets gives the room a variable geometry that absorbs sound, while also providing everyday storage space. Carpets and fabrics are also used to improve the room’s acoustics.

The tiered benches in the music room are the result of an interesting technical constraint: the foundations of the addition had to be offset from the existing façade. To avoid losing space, the architects decided to create seats that fulfill that structural requirement, while enhancing the interior space.

This versatile room can be transformed into a home theatre, bedroom, rehearsal space, recording studio, or intimate concert hall.

Technical challenges

Coordination with the contractors and engineers throughout the design and construction phases changed and enriched the project in both its structural features and finishing work.

The project had a mixed framework, and the junctions between metal elements and masonry were handled with special care. The use of recessed joints, with U-shaped metal pieces, made it possible to forego the parge coat and highlight the normal-profile I-beams.

Rather than adding a new element to the project, the architects used the same structural modules to create downspouts, with rainwater flowing along the I-beams.

The security grates over the windows were replaced with a terracotta lattice, a very common feature in the region. This mashrabiya system mutes direct sunlight and enables continuous airflow.

About Mahos

Mahos is an architectural studio co-founded by Lucile Maurel and Camille Hours in 2018. Both women are graduates of the Saint-Etienne school of architecture (École d’architecture nationale supérieure), and they share an optimistic and enthusiastic vision of their profession. With great sensitivity to heritage and local history, they consider existing structures to be true project material. The studio is active in a variety of locations.

For more information, visit mahos.fr