MONTPELLIER – Surrounded by pine trees on a steep hill north of Montpellier, the most important task facing the architects from the office NBJ Architectes was how to take advantage of the slope and the surrounding vistas, as well as making the difficult site a whole lot more habitable.
In order to achieve this, the programme was split into three discreet, small-scale units resembling archetypal sheds that are thrust out into the terraced landscape, connected by a simple, continuous corridor. ‘Rather than revealing the entire surrounding landscape, we develop the house as a scenario that consists of several stories, where each sequence presents a new discovery,’ the architects explain.
To protect the house from the harsh Mediterranean sun, as well as integrate it into its surroundings and give it a feeling of mass, the building has been clad in pale stone. Large areas of glazing at either end of each element have been protected with shutters – the ones facing sun positioned in order to block solar radiation, the ones on the north side providing privacy for the inhabitants.
Image: NBJ Architectes