Please note that the images in this article come from a photo-essay ordered by the Fonds de Dotation to the photographer Yves Gellie.
The architect is perhaps best known for the Pierre Cardin’s Palais Bulles (aka Bubble Palace), which went on the market for £300 million at the back end of last year. But the 1970s Antti Lovag-designed Maison Bernard in Théoule sur Mer, southern France is just as impressive, not least after its renovation.
Maison Bernard is a coastal property in the south of France. It has the distinction of being the first of the architect’s designs to be built, with industrialist Pierre Bernard and his family moving in back in 1971.
A brave move for the family, as this house doubtless looked like nothing else around at the tine. Organic, futuristic, space age, take your pick really. It looked almost alien back then and is still a bold piece of architecture over 40 years on. It was built using steel rods, with the curves and bubbles courtesy of some sprayed concrete and inspiration on-site. Uniform it most certainly wasn’t.
Inside is birthday coloured, with rooms merging into each other and furnishings integrated into the structure. No surprise there, you can’t imagine this place hosting furnishings designed for more traditional spaces.
If you want to see how that works for yourself, you can as the house is now offering tours after a lengthy renovation courtesy of Paris-based architect Odile Decq.
According to Wallpaper, the updated house mixes Lovag’s original sculptural space with the ‘contemporary sensuality of South France’s sun and sea’. Judging by the photos, one thing is for sure. The house looks absolutely stunning. As a bonus, an artist in residence produces art related to the surroundings too.
To examine the architecture, the finishes and the art, you will need to book in for a viewing. The house is open to the public ‘by appointment’ every Tuesday from October through April and every other Tuesday in May, June and September. Admission is €20, with discounts for students.
For more details, visit the Maison Bernard website.