Located in Brittany, in the north coast of the Rhuys peninsula, the blackened timber house in Sarzeau is a small family holiday home overhanging the sea, providing a rural escape with the option of both indoor and outdoor living.
Built on a slope of a wooded hill and partially submerged in the hillside, the house allows its owners to live both inside and outside. The ground floor of the house is a free space undivided by walls where two mobile bedrooms on wheels can stay inside the house or be moved to the courtyard or onto a terrace to provide outdoor sleeping cabins. On the first floor, the main bedroom opens onto the exterior through a large rectangular window providing expansive views towards the Gulf of Morbihan and constant contact with nature.
The building provides several external spaces that offer different ways to experience the adjacent
forest and views towards the Gulf of Morbihan.
The exterior of the house is clad in vertical timber slats that were painted black to help the structure merge with its surroundings and to reference traditional farm buildings and salt stores found throughout the coastal area.
The ground floor is designed as a flexible space filled with freestanding furniture, including two mobile bedrooms for the children. These birch plywood cabins are mounted on wheels so they can be moved to a terrace accessed through glazed sliding doors or onto a fully enclosed patio at the rear of the property. The two wooden bedrooms also refers to traditional box-beds used at the beginning of the century in Brittany. Electrical extension cords can be plugged into external sockets to provide power to the bedroom units when they’re wheeled outside.
An entrance on the opposite side of the building leads into the open-plan living, dining and kitchen area, with a bathroom and toilet located at one end underneath the first floor. At the far end of the living room is a decked patio area with a built-in bench and white-painted walls, which provides a sheltered sun trap.
A simple plywood staircase leads to the master bedroom, where a large picture window frames views over the neighbouring rooftops.
On top of the building, a planted sedum roof covers the sloping surface and acts as stormwater retention reservoir. This planted roof affords better thermal insulation and also camouflages the overall form within the surrounding landscape. Local rot resistant soft wood species have been used to build the house (larch pine). The size of the house is 69 square meters.
Location: Sarzeau, gulf of Morbihan, France
Type: Residential – Houses
Photographs: Audrey Cerdan