Most of the architects living and working in Europe today – arguably all – have been influenced by the legacy of Le Corbusier to some degree or other, even if only subconsciously or in almost imperceptible ways. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a truly contemporary building that does not owe a debt to his work. But amongst those architects who fully embrace this influence, there are of course both those who aim to closely replicate the familiar, cubist-inspired look of those iconic buildings and those who strive to take the basic aesthetic and make it their own.
Cléo Châtelet is an architect who falls squarely into the second category, at least based on her Maison Cubiste, a home located in Besançon, France. This simple building shows plenty of evidence of having been created by someone with a very solid grip on modern architectural history, but at the same time has no shortage of character that’s all its own.
Despite the straight, clean lines and use of cubes as a foundational form that reveal a clear faithfulness to Modernist aesthetic ideals, the light wooden tones that dominate this side of the exterior are evidence of a slight nostalgia for rustic design. This aspect of the house’s appearance is very much in keeping with its rural setting, the rich green of the surrounding countryside complementing the natural hue of the walls and working together to create a forest-like colour scheme.
Seen from the other side, there’s suddenly a lot more to look at. The majority of wall space here is coloured in a cooler, less rosy tone, while only the walls underneath the porch area use the bright shade of wood that we initially saw. This angle also reveals more of the multi-levelled design that makes the building so distinctively modern in its style.
This house is certainly not ostentatiously luxurious, but this swimming pool is a definite hint of an appreciation the finer things in life.
Well, there wouldn’t be any in this part of the world, anyway. But this perfectly integrated parking space makes doubly sure of that.
As with the exterior, the interior is extremely restrained, relying on simple shapes and strong but relatively sparingly used colours.
In the living room, once again, angles are everything – even the sofa is carefully designed around them. The fireplace, of course, is the focal point, heavily framed in a style that makes it impossible to ignore. Storage space built into the wall on either side continues the practical, understated look that has characterised the property throughout.