5 min read
The SJ05 Villa is a modern villa project designed and on the course of execution by Joe Aoun Architecture and beautifully disrupting the traditional feel of the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat area with its flowy curves and modern attire.
First-time investors in the Côte d’Azur region, the owners enlisted the services of the studio to conceptualize and build their second home, and ever since, Joe Aoun Architecture’s multidisciplinary team has been working on this technically challenging project down to the most minor details.
A curvy challenge
The SJ05 project, consisting of 480m² in constructed space on 2700m² of land, includes a 3-story main residential unit. Starting with the underground story, it is equipped with a fully automated car elevator, a relaxing room with a cinema set up, and an elegant medium-tone wine cellar.
While the underground story is allocated for technical rooms, we can find the common areas on the ground floor whereas the 1st floor is dedicated to the family’s private rooms.
Moving on to the outdoor area of the property, we have a pool with its built-in jacuzzi and its own furnished pool house. Along there is an intimate outdoor corner with a pergola design as a shelter from the sun, rain, or wind, allowing the family to enjoy their outdoor space with comfort.
The project’s interior and exterior concepts are one, celebrating the comeback of curve design in modern architecture. The particularity of this design resides in the synchronized flow of its curving volumes, allowing the opening of the exterior space to the interior.
“The residence is a true icon in the zone of the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. It stands out with its 100% curve design, from the walls and the windows to the furniture. In this very aspect, the project is challenging”, explains Juan David Calero, the architect working on the SJ05 Villa.
Completely glazed facades with white bands separate the two totally identical volumes of the two floors.
“Initially we started with a different design, but soon realized how much space we’d lose if we went through with it. Besides, it wasn’t aesthetically appealing”, reveals Calero. He continues: “The current shape of the project came naturally and even spontaneously after that in the creative phase. A fully curved design with a uniform radius defining all the facades.”
When you step inside the villa, you can clearly feel how the interior design is an effortless extension of the region surrounding the residence.
The calmness and grace of the Côte d’Azur area are beautifully depicted inside the SJ05 Villa. Neutral colors are the masters of the scene, accompanied by large and numerous windows allowing daylight to flood in.
“Despite the non-rectangular, non-traditional shape of the design, we managed to make the space bright and beautifully lit by installing as many windows as we can”, mentions architect Calero.
He adds: “Not to forget the use of neutral, bright colors even on the ceilings to make the space even brighter, and the re-designed walls with high-quality material and paneling that take the project’s interior design to the next level.”
The team also designed custom-made furniture that follows the flow of the curves.
Finding a way around COVID-19
It’s important to note that, and similar to many industries all over the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on the work process of this project. Workers testing positive, construction material shortage, supply issues, all these factors had impactful repercussions on the job site. “We did our utmost best to stay organized and be proactive about solutions by finding alternative materials that match the standards we’re used to working with at the studio”, tells Calero.
Another challenge the team had to face since the beginning of the project was altered communication with the client. Due to several COVID-19 waves and lockdowns around the world, add to that the fact that the clients live abroad, it wasn’t always easy to set face-to-face meetings. Therefore, most communication was led virtually. “Luckily, we have a very detailed and clear work process at Joe Aoun Architecture that allows us to understand what the client needs and expects, even through remote meetings”, explains the SJ05 Villa architect.
Hopping on the green side of architecture, the house is equipped with electric car chargers. And since the construction process abides by the regulatory requirements for the construction of buildings (RT 2012), the team at Joe Aoun Architecture made sure that all insulation was installed from the outside, making the building airtight and thus able to retain heat and greatly reducing CO2 emissions and energy requirements.
The execution phase of the SJ05 project has not been a piece of cake. A nontraditional design definitely calls for nontraditional construction methods. Architect Juan David Calero provides further explanation: “The big challenge of this project was having to resort to non-traditional construction and building. On most architecture projects, we work with parallel axes where we can precisely find reference spots on the field and then build partitions and walls accordingly. However, with this project, it was almost impossible to go with these known methods to execute the units. We basically had to hire a geometrist who could identify the center of all the circles and with that draw parallel rays.”
It even came down to the millimeter with the execution. “Imagine having to build walls, insulation, paneling, windows, and facades that are entirely curved. All elements of the design are interrelated; if you make the tiniest mistake in one element, it affects all the others”, reveals Calero. “The process of building curved tilt-and-turn windows was extremely demanding on its own”, he says.
But the meticulous work and innovative technologies don’t stop here. JA Architecture’s team went even further, building cantilevered spaces, including an entire room with its amenities: bathroom and dressing room. “The house has more than 6 meters of roof overhang, which is a very rare detail in the region”, expresses Calero.
Given that the design was entirely based on curves, the team couldn’t provide floor plans with precise quotations for the builders, but with JA Architecture, nothing is impossible. “To execute the facades on the balconies, we had to print out the balconies in real size on more than 5 meters of large papers, to be able to put up the walls according to the outlines and measurements of our drawings”, reveals Calero.
With a timeline set to end in Autumn 2022, the project is on the verge of being completely done, with occurring modifications to authentically translate the client’s vision into a luxurious living space.
Check out more projects by JA Architecture and get inspired by eye-catching, innovative luxury and residential designs.