Projects

Private Villa - Le Rheu (France)

Around the patio

In a detached villa in Le Rheu, France, the geometric rigour of the project is mitigated by a dialogue between interior and exterior and the expressive power of the chosen materials
Author
Katrin Cosseta
Photos
Benoît Gilbert
Architect
Jean-Pierre Meignan
Surfaces
CASALGRANDE PADANA
Distributor
Bretagne Matériaux
Year of completion
2007

Designed by architect Jean-Pierre Meignan, the building reinterprets the characteristics of large modernist private homes, a triumph of perpendicularity and clean forms, a fluid and open space that achieves a perfect balance between solids and voids and where light and nature are treated as key themes in the design narrative. The single-level villa has a floor plan of 179 square metres and is made up of three volumes arranged in a U-shaped layout around a central patio. The volume forming the base of the U is used for the daytime spaces (living room, kitchen, study). The left wing houses the entrance and incorporates a small office, a garage and a storeroom; the right wing is devoted to the sleeping area, consisting of the master bedroom, guestroom, two children’s bedrooms and bathrooms.
The strongly horizontal layout of the building is enlivened by the slightly greater height of the central volume, allowing the other two volumes to project below it. This creates an interesting overlapping effect on the terraced roof. The large roof overhangs not only shade the perimeter of the patio but also cast strong shadows onto the facades, the exteriors of which are intentionally hard and opaque due to the use of raw concrete while the interiors are more transparent and articulated, featuring an alternation of glass, ceramic and concrete. The heart of the villa consists of the cuboid housing the daytime area, which is fully glazed towards the patio to create continuity between the inside and outside spaces. In the white, luminous interior, the functional spaces are allowed to flow seamlessly into one another by the absence of doors and the essential linear furnishings, low units that do not disrupt the clean lines of the walls. A bridge-like structure, a kind of open room-within-a-room, leads from the living room to the kitchen, while a panel surrounding the fireplace separates the living room from the study, illuminated by a side window. The kitchen, with its island layout, extends onto a wooden, bamboo-fenced terrace complete with a small herb garden, a carré des senteurs. Just as the daytime area is extroverted, open and brightly lit, the sleeping area is introverted, facing onto the patio through narrow vertical windows, almost slits of light that seem to protect the family’s intimacy. The villa’s interior elevation extending around the courtyard is articulated by rhythmic graphic elements and different material effects, varying degrees of permeability that make the various functional areas of the house instantly identifiable. A strong communicative role is also given to the ceramic tiles, which are laid continuously both indoors and outdoors. The project can be considered as a modern, sophisticated interpretation of the porcelain tile supplied by Casalgrande Padana and used as a compositional and functional element of consistency between the interior living space and he open-air patio.
The chosen ceramic floor tile (Pietre Native collection, Meteor series), with its characteristic veins and colours of stone, lends personality and material depth to the domestic interior. But it also serves as a visual and physical link between the interior and exterior. After crossing the seamless, transparent threshold of the living space, the same porcelain floor tile is transformed into a perimeter walkway (marked by embedded lights) around the patio with its central wooden area and outdoor dining table. The ceramic tiles are also used on the walls, where they are differentiated by the choice of a varied shade texture (Granitogres Natural Slate) whose surface shimmers as the light changes.
This material, created using advanced industrial processes, combines structural and aesthetic
qualities and provides a versatile response to the various needs of a project.

Tiles
Casalgrande Padana, Granitogres Natural Slate and Pietre Native Meteor
Type
porcelain stoneware
Sizes
15x30, 15x45, 30x45, 60x60 cm
Colours
Slate Black, Meteor Brown
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): < 0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): nessuna alterazione
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): illimitata
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): N/mm2 45÷60
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10 (A+B), R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
Certifications and awards
LEED
EMAS
ISO 14001
NF UPEC
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