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Maison l’Estelle by François Primault architecte

By Magaly Grosso


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Maison l’Estelle is a private residence located in Moirax, France.

It was designed in 2013 by François Primault architecte.

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (1)

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (2)

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (3)

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (4)

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (5)

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (6)

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (7)

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (8)

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (9)

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (10)

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (11)

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (12)

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (13)

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (14)

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (15)

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Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (17)

Maison l’Estelle by François Primault architecte:

“Preamble :

It is rare to meet a client that gives you a free hand (in the respect of a given budget) to draw everything, even interior design. And that is really appreciable when you consider, as I do, that the architect must be to build, and she of the size of the project, the tailor is sewing: a custom maker, guaranteeing overall control: the initial design, the general idea until the realization of details. If I work on my own behalf, I have nevertheless taken a domain name that reflects this desire.

Das-MA stands for Design Architecture Studio “Ma”. “Ma” is a Japanese word to multiple meanings. Architectural culture of Japan has greatly enriched the modern movement of the 20′s in his free plans, relations between interior / exterior, and further enriched by architects such as T. Ando, in their simplicity, minimalism and their materiality. MA in Japanese means “pure, true, just,” but also refers to the space between things and / or people: not a space between but a space that creates the link, like the process between a project owner and architect.


Customers, a childless couple, were quite decided on a plan form: they wanted their house on two levels, with an angled plane forming an L. Their brief was that of the house as it is: 1 double volume open living room – dining kitchen, in the spirit of a loft, a master suite with bathroom and dressing room, and upstairs 2 bedrooms + 1 office with bathroom. They also wanted an attached garage, a swimming lane accessible by a large terrace. For now there is only room upstairs (in addition to the office), but this large room is designed and thought to be able to be cut in half to create two separate rooms (hence the two doors and the large number of windows) They wanted a wooden house with a slatted siding and contemporary aesthetics “as one can see in the magazines”

A place – A implantation

Located on the heights of a valley, the sloping plot offers a clear view of all recent buildings, only a farmhouse in the distance, nestled between two wood punctuates the landscape visible from the south field. The site had very qualitative characteristics: an exhibition, a location and a truly rare sight for such plots. It soon became obvious to locate the house on top of land, along the way to enjoy the flattest area of the land and the promontory in sight.

The entire construction is therefore moved along the wayside on the upper part of the plot, occupying its entire width: the full and empty construction succeed to offer vistas of the landscape since the way, while allowing to live out of sight. Construction plays and plays with the natural topography: it fits next to it west to take off and float above the east side grass.

Trafficable all levels of the house, pedestrian, vehicular, adapt to the topography and benefit levels and games to bring a wealth of space without torturing the natural terrain. The house, in its apparent simplicity, is directed and designed with special attention to its environment: low in the west to avoid the prevailing winds and shelter in back of the Pilgrim’s Way of trees, little open to the north protect bad weather, frost and passers eyes widely open to the south and east to enjoy the scenery, the view and the sun profits. The cantilevered, advanced roof and sliding screen walls allow to protect when necessary.

Simple but not simplistic

In response to the request of the project owner, the project founder architecture is deliberately simple and uncluttered, made of wood volumes such caskets to live. Avoiding to adorn superfluous ornamentation mimetic and sufficient if an orientation game of the masses, these caskets welcome habitable areas. Schedule a volume, garage, fence in the same architectural treatment the overall composition. Stripped of all artifice construction is constructive challenges to push to the extreme deleting items that would have altered the legibility of its sober and simple writing: to the overhang of 5.50 m (18 ft) without any apparent structural column in is the most important expression.

The legacy revisited

Architectural break with traditional regional frame is only volumetric: facade materials and their layout were inspired by the local vernacular architecture: the masonry is raw (concrete) and wood cladding slatted happening in guidance horizontal and vertical, like siding and ventilation lamella of the regional tobacco drying’s building. Zinc banks crown the volumes and close them in an envelope folding, sometimes roof, wall and floor.

Constructive truth

“A good project is limited to 3 materials” was the advice of one of my professors of architecture. The House Maison l’Estelle tries to respond to this. The project owners had, from the beginning of their order, expected very consistent with what I like. Their willingness to use raw materials, let the wood drunk, fits perfectly with the architecture which I trying to live: an architecture without artifice, materials jobs for what they are and their materiality: From my point of view, It’s the strongest connection between vernacular architecture employing raw materials and modern architecture: if the architectural style has evolved, the truth of the construct is perpetuated: the antithesis of a full dummy architecture, cornices and false things “who pretend to be, without being really”

Thus, the project consists of shuttered concrete, wood, and zinc. All that is anchored in the floor is concrete, to form the solid base and inertia of the house. The retaining walls are poured concrete (wood formwork to read the veins) covered with limewash old, outdoor pavements swept concrete. Only the lower slab of the house is made of insulated slab + compression slab.

The walls and woodwork are white fir North, 3 or Class 4 Class treated depending on the location and needs. Even the cantilever holder is made of wood structure: each floor of the stage (low floor and high-floor) is increased from both sides of their long side by glulam beams, combined and placed on 4 wooden posts securely anchored to the foundation. These sets are secured by the timber frame panels forming a structural truss bracing and which then run the entire floor just like a huge beam pierced with windows.

Siding, opaque exterior cladding spans are twinkling larch posed slatted walls to create naturally ventilated. The openings spans are siding Tilly © crude left (to form lintels, sills and frames) The terrace roof edges are natural zinc. Roofing EPDM seal (for home) and steel pan to the garage.

Enjoy Mother Nature

Without claiming to be a low energy house certification, and without being at that time subject to the new French thermal regulation “RT 2012″, construction has nonetheless been achieved with a particular concern for efficient insulation, sealing in efficient air (to save energy by limiting losses) and renewable energy use. Foundations and low slab aside, the house is only frame and timber frame.

The embedding of the construction in the natural soil in the West, as well as masonry sub crass and low floor provide inertia that is lacking in the wood frame. This allows for efficient heat being against minimizing thermal bridges and ensure their own sites and limited in time. The building, with its architecture (the cantilever, advanced roof and sliding screen walls to terrace) and orientation, benefits from solar gain (light and heat) generous in winter, while limiting the summer by shadows and creating a ventilated buffer zone between the screen walls and home.

Customers wanted to produce an air fresh air: I insisted that they live in the house one year before the install to know the life of the house: they then realized that the design their home possible to ventilate naturally, thanks to its multiple openings for enjoying the providential Venturi effect. Heat production, whether for underfloor heating or hot water, use of renewable energy: heat pump heats the house and thermodynamic balloon produces hot water. Water from the swimming lap is heated by means of natural heat accumulation, favored by the use of a deep sealing.

Loft spirit

Inside, the house is thought and designed like a loft, open space and reasonably generous volumes, largely facing south / south-east, directly linked to a lookout terrace with the landscape everyday fabric.

The ground floor consists of a complete unity of life, with spaces to live naturally, their servants spaces (laundry, health) and the master suite with dressing room and bathroom.

The rest of the program is on the floor, in order to separate places and to make possible a life of independence: 1 room can become 2, 1 office and a bathroom with toilet.

The first floor also offers, in the hopper of the double height living room, a catamaran net, giant hammock to the delight of the small and the adults pleasure.

The furniture participating in these spaces is functionalist: hammock replace inevitable railings on the corridor of the stage, providing a usable extra space: the space thus released railings seem larger, offsetting the low height ceilings.

The staircase to the first floor serves as a storage unit and TV / stereo support.

Interior design

The furniture has been conceived and designed for the home. The kitchen was designated Special in partnership with a cabinetmaker (Atelier Dabos) and the staircase piece is a unique creation. By drawing this furniture stairs, I wanted to give the illusion that it is composed of huge blocks of wood (bleached oak) of different sizes, placed on each other. This gives rise to a furniture front to alternative niches and overhangs, vibrating the monolith, both in that clings to the light.

In fact, each step has a different width (even if the furniture is reflected Cartesian manner and is made up of modules of 4 different widths)

I also wanted it to appear really more like furniture than a staircase and the 3 last steps are carried out by the monolith, so as not to crush the door leading to the master suite. They are suspended in vacuum by stainless steel supports in the visual continuity of the cables forming railings. It was also clean up, which is why it is composed of stainless steel cables stretched purposes, to avoid playing a massive railing that would parasitized reading the cabinet block.”

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (18)
First Level
Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (19)
Second Level

Maison l'Estelle by François Primault architecte (20)

Photos courtesy of François Primault architecte

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About Magaly Grosso

Magaly Grosso was born in Venezuela where she grew up and studied Advertising and Marketing. With time, she realized that what she truly wanted to dedicate herself to was Interior Design, which is why she decided to study it and devote herself to it. Learn more about HomeDSGN's Editorial Process.

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