Villas – PL SI by Atelier Stéphane Fernandez
Villas – PL SI is a minimalist concrete house located in Aix-en-Provence, France, designed in 2021 by Atelier Stéphane Fernandez.
The villas are in line with the landscape, with its abundant foliage and scents crushed by the light. Nestled on a wooded hill, this inhabited limestone spur emerges; floating. The houses draw their strength from the exhilarating confrontation with this powerful and sensitive nature. From the Villa Rotonda they draw the geometry and the cardinal orientations. From the material, the soft and fresh mineral Provence, they reveal their power. From the ground, the concrete emerges like a natural rock in the middle of a landscape planted with several thousand endemic subjects. Beyond a lived-in place, the villas speak of the territory, of the geography and of a tradition, the Provence of Giono, arid, difficult to access, discreet and which discovers itself generous.
From simplicity they carry the rusticity of the XVIIIth century bastides, nestled in the garrigue. The obviousness of the relationship of architecture with the body and the climate. The simple and obvious constructive intelligence of the oldest constructions.
The project proposes three superimposed relationships to the territory.
The house of the ground, illuminated by light wells, dark, dug in the thickness of the ground.
A house of the landscape made of large frames initiated by the structure eliminating the horizontal limit between inside and outside.
A house of the sky centered on a patio, a vertical link like the Roman villas, creates an indescribable relationship in perpetual change with the clouds, the wind, the rain.
The material is a tool for understanding the landscape. Silky and soft site concrete, the touch reveals its complexity ranging from gray to delicate white. The natural stone that covers the floors is softened and reflects the shadows and light passing through the plants. The wood, sanded oak, with its amber color, releases its woody smell and is found in the elements in first carnal contact with Man. The work of the material thickens the relationship we have with the atmosphere and the passage of time. Thus the mosses, the wear, the alteration are stakeholders of this tectonic force which thus binds the Man to his territory by evoking here the thousand-year-old rocks of the mountain of Sainte Victoire immortalized by the sensitive eye of the painter.
Photography by Wearecontents