A full refurbishment and reconfiguration of two World Heritage Site apartments in the French Alps into a single property for a young family to enjoy this extraordinary ski resort with friends.
Marcel Breuer, the mid-20th Century designer of the ‘Kandinsky’ chair and brutalist concrete architectural structures was commissioned in the 1960s to design a new ski resort in the French Alps. His studio designed everything - from the buildings and landscaping through to the fitted furniture and lighting. If you ‘get it’ you simply love it. The juxtaposition of alpine nature with faceted concrete forms is startling.
Our clients are open minded and discerning and purchased two apartments with the view to co-join. The best way to describe these gems were that they looked ‘exhausted’- well used for two generations. So although we were constantly reminded of their world heritage site history we were given free rein to internally reconfigure. This required us to obtain planning and landlord consent through the local district and coordinate resident engineers and contractors to puncture a concrete spine wall and party wall.
With the shell gutted we designed a spacious and generous yet efficient apartment. The brief was to provide beds for 8, two bathrooms and a large open plan kitchen, dining and reception with a balcony overlooking the valley. This was achieved by designing a double bunk bed room in the centre of one side of the overall space. This bedroom had secret doors into the adjoining guest bedroom thus allowing light to flood in and open up the area for children to play in and around the bunk beds.
On the occasions guests with children stay over, these secret doors close as panels and sit within a run of wardrobes and the bunk room uses just one rather than two entrances/exits. By squeezing in every conceivable space available for storage for washing facilities, linen, ski equipment and drying clothes and the efficient utilisation of the guest bedroom with its bespoke bed(s) on wheels and this double bunk room in the central core space allowed us to design a generous and spacious open plan living area in the remainder of the apartment.
The reception enjoyed wonderful lateral and medial views. The sight lines were thus uninterrupted but still we designed subtle low level joinery that delineated the utilisations of the space. From here we had great fun off-setting different 20th century period pieces within a contemporary interior.
RVN organised the UK contractors to come out in early summer ’14 and deliver the project, negotiating contracts and contract administrating. RVN supplied, delivered, fitted and styled all fixtures, furniture and soft furnishings to complete the project in the autumn.
All designs and specifications were agreed in good time and the contractor completed quality work within an extraordinary speedy time frame.