Cap d’Antibes

Villa - France

When the client purchased the 1950s villa, little of its former glory remained. The house, on one of Cap d’Antibes most prestigious roads, had been converted into bedsits so our brief was to restore it to a single-family dwelling.

Cap d’Antibes is midway along the French Riveria, between Cannes and Nice, and from the villa’s sea-facing balconies both are visible. Antibes itself is a historic port town, smaller and more authentic than its neighbours and for this reason, planning is often difficult to achieve.

While the decision was taken to retain the structure, the building has been completely re-modeled to make the most of the spectacular location and sea views.

Five new bedrooms on the first floor, three sea-facing, are reached via the refurbished central stair and what had been a dingy corridor is now flooded with natural light via two new roof lights.

The ground floor is an open plan living space fitted with bespoke furniture including a curved sofa and concrete benches.

Externally, a new secondary skin on both the east and west elevations provide shade and privacy. The pierced aluminum louvres and panels operate as giant folding shutters, giving protection from direct sun while allowing air to circulate through.

This allows the house to be in open or closed mode, depending on the time of day. When ‘open’ the dominant material is glass: sliding glazed doors lead on balconies with spectacular sea views on the west elevation.

When the house is closed, the aluminum screen acts as a visual contrast to the solidity of the concrete structure.

Balconies were rebuilt retaining the original balcony line with the addition of new glazed balustrades.

We exploited the sloping west facing garden, which had been neglected.At garden level folding doors lead onto a series of terraces that step down to the decked pool area. Extensive new planting includes three palm trees, part of the client’s brief that the restored landscape should have a tropical feel.