The challenge of the project was the renovation of an old-farm-building located in Preaux, France, without upsetting its shape and characteristics. The goal was to create a comfortable and beautiful home to live and the right balance between public and private areas, through a careful study of the relation with the external spaces.
The two main project proposals are the greenhouse (Jardin d'Hiver) and the well of light (Tour Lumière). These two real “wellness” spaces which allow the light to dearly enter, are climatic systems that use a controlled “greenhouse effect” to heat the interior.
The greenhouse is placed in the same place of the old porch. This structure, once in poor conditions, becomes a place to enjoy the surroundings while drinking a tea, eating, reading, and even grown plants. A greenhouse is very suitable to recover plants as lemons, that particularly suffer from cold in winter. Near the greenhouse entrance is the Tour Lumière. Located in a side protrusion and cleaned from the old floors, becomes the true protagonist of the project.
On the south-west side of the house is the outdoor relaxation area. This is connected to the dining room through a large door which has the task to illuminate the interior, also. All the outside is dominated by a private swimming pool, installed without making any excavations. A retaining wall at the end of the property act as a barrier, holding the backfill in which is the swimming pool.
The pool ideally complete all the southern spaces which are dedicated to relaxation and light. The entire area then becomes a large place for leisure and flexible enough to allow different uses over the time.
A key part of the entire project is the structural aspect, with a few but significant actions such as the realization of new roofing, using steel, wood and glass, and the big opening of the Tour Lumière.
A significant effort has been to maintain almost all of the original openings to keep the sides without changing too much of the original appearance, but ensuring the necessary amount of light.
A decisive choice was taken in the creation of the new floor levels (made in steel and wood with a concrete finish) avoiding, as required by the Client, uncomfortable changes of plan.
Special attention was directed to the location of bathrooms, all located in the south-east, in order to concentrate the sewer hook-ups in one unique area.
Particular attention was given to the interior comfort through the insulation of the walls from the inside to leave the exposed stone outside. For this, insulation wood fibre panels finished with clay plaster were selected. They have characteristics soft and iridescent colours toward the exterior.
The external insulation was chosen on the side which hosts the large structure of the chimney, in order to leave the inner stone exposed. This outer wall is covered with lime plaster with natural paste-colored. An underfloor ventilation ensure the proper insulation from moisture coming from the soil. The greenhouse and the tower, are important regulators of the inner temperature, helping to gain sun's heat during the winter and providing the right ventilation in the summer.
Architetto Giuseppe Saponara website: www.architettosaponara.blogspot.it