This wooden house stands on the sand a stone’s throw from a dune lined with pine trees. Atelier DC architect Delphine Carrère designed it for a holiday that blends indoors and outdoors.
A cottage in the middle of the pines…
Lhe District of Chiberta, in Anglet (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), is known for its Art Deco residences built in the Roaring Twenties after its golf course. Back then, in this wild pine forest outside of Biarritz, the architects had found a “garden without borders” in which to set up some architectural follies.
Today classified forest area, The Chiberta forest, also called the Pignada forest, remains one of the best places to spend a peaceful holiday at the edge of the ocean. The country there is vast and the planning restrictions much more flexible than in the neighboring Basque villages: we are on the border of the Landes, as evidenced by the long beach that starts here and stretches for more than 100 km along the Girondin coast.
Ten years ago, A few expats from the region asked Biarritz-based architect Delphine Carrère to design a wooden house amidst the pine trees for their vacation. An extension was recently added, and in this cathedral forest landscape, Atelier DC is once again writing the rest of the story. “Chiberta is a dream location for architects, confirms Delphine Carrère. We are not subject to the moldings of Basque houses and can really build contemporary. »
… like a hut
The spirit of the second construction is that of the wooden hut that predominates in the Landes and up to Cap Ferret… “on a slightly larger scale”, smiled the architect. Here is Marjolaine, a clever assemblage of wood paneled cubes with bay windows opening onto nature. In order to turn the house to the sea and isolate it from the street, the architects designed a green mound to the entrance where the garage is placed. Access to the house is via an underground gallery lit by a skylight, then on wooden sleepers in the garden to the swinging door of the outside staircase.
The spaces are rhythmic Due to the country’s topography, it’s down a few mArches giving access to the living rooms. The ceiling heights also vary, giving the whole thing its sculptural side. The decor is bare, concrete floors and wood paneling. Atelier DC architects have played with these two materials to the point of marrying them, as certain concrete walls are printed as if with relief veins, the result of applying boards before drying.
Craftsmanship in the spotlight
works and furniture by the Landes sculptor Lucas Castex underline the decor with tribal, natural and refined accents. In the middle, the kitchen, which is open to the dining room, invites you to socialise. It is also concrete, notably due to its very thick countertop, the edges of which are polished and rounded. It responds to the monumental fireplace that separates the room from the large living room. “We wanted generous volumes, but noFreedom, explains the architect. Everyone should be able to find their place on vacation” explains Delphine Carrère. The wooden dice game offers cozy landscaped terraces and a summery dining room with outdoor kitchen, sheltered from the wind under an arbor on the south side.
A dive into the vegetation
The bay window are open to the garden like paintings. “We played with the orientations because in a contemporary project we live with light. Some coves are exposed to receive the sun, others to offer the view – this is the case of the living room, which gives on several sides to the swimming pool terrace or to the pine trees » adds Delphine Carrère. Retractable windows accentuate the inside-out effect, as does the exterior paneling on certain ceilings that extends inward. Atmosphere & Bois, a specialist in old paneling, makes these barn wood floorboards, specifically using logs from burned forests.
Fire, an element that nature always plays with: on July 30, 2020, a huge fire devastated the Pignada forest, sparse the cathedral with maritime pines but spared the house, which continues to flow calm days by the sea.