A French retreat by Maud Caubet stands between beach and forest

A French retreat by Maud Caubet stands between beach and forest

Landes is a well known and popular tourist destination in France’s west coast and a paradise for surfers; which is why a Paris based art collector and their family chose the spot for their holiday home. The project, brought to life by French architect Maud Caubet, has just completed and it epitomises the perfect balance between the simple life of a retreat and a contemporary family home. 

The structure, located on the sandy banks near the beach (just 500m from the water), sits in a sparsely built area, allowing it to blend in effortlessly with the surrounding nature was important for the architect. Caubet chose to work with a timber clad exterior in dark wood, which helps the building to merge as seamlessly as possible with its context. Meanwhile, a concrete structure underneath ensures a solid base for an all-mod-cons living.

The modest house sits on a sandy stretch near the beach. Photography: Julien Lanoo

Even though the architect was given, effectively, a carte blanche for the design, she and her team opted for a fairly modest approach; and one that highlights a connection with nature. ‘An assumed raw concrete, and the choice of a dark wood to ensure a complete immersion in the Landes forest,’ says Caubet. 

A simple, H-shaped floorplan creates ample options for openings and outdoors areas – large terraces and windows provide the owners with moments where they can sit, relax and take in the nearby pine forest and scenery beyond. After all, Caubet’s vision was ‘to create living and sustainable architecture’, she explains. A sculptural raw concrete staircase sits centrally and leads to the living spaces, garage and guest room, on the right wing of the house – with the more private areas, such as bedrooms and bathrooms nestled in the opposite end.

Discretion was important for the owners, so the open living spaces are raised on stilts to the first floor. This also helps with securing the best, long views out, making this bolthole a real luxury to live in. §

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