Oct 21, 2020

Boatman's spirit between city & countryside

Magazine " Living in Annecy and around the lake " Text Laurent Gannaz - Photos Eric Bergoend

Located in Sevrier, this post and beam villa signed Axe&D, a brand of the Dunoyer group, was built in 2010. It makes the most of a narrow plot of land to stretch vertically in order to offer plunging views towards the lake, and on the side towards the foliage. The house is distinguished by its clear lines, its shady alcoves or niches that take advantage of the different structural elements, and its large bay windows that open out toward the Lake Annecy landscape. Behind these strong lines, this villa also stands out for its quest for precision, which is reflected in the smallest of spaces, from the semi-open kitchen with storage space to the custom-built library. The program was the result of a fruitful dialogue between the owner, the architect and the builder.


The main entrance is located upstream of the city and out of sight: exit the garage in favor of a generous porch that closes at its end on a storage space (bicycles). This shelter is lined with curtains that can be unfolded to convert it into an intimate festive space in the summer: a way to enjoy the outdoors without the need for a garden! Under the porch and behind a square of plantation, is the main access, on the same level. This reception area would be one-eyed if it were not illuminated by two glass transoms located on either side of the door. "All that is here are pieces of our life," says the owner.


Clearly, we are in an artist's house, at least a place that breathes creation. Here, the brass intermingled chairs are next to various works created by Madame, painted glasses, papier-mâché vases, a few canvases... Along the monumental iron staircase, made to measure, other works are displayed, for the pleasure of the eyes, a dreamlike and colorful journey. One of these, a papier-mâché painting by the Spanish artist Rippolès, has found its perfect place at the halfway point, with its "frame" painted on the wall by the owners. "You can express yourself in this house," he says.


With its mahogany parquet flooring - which covers all the floors of the house - and its furniture made of a lamp and a coffee table borrowed from the language of the navy, the second floor lounge necessarily distils a perfume of a boat trip. A language that is reinforced by a generous pontoon-shaped terrace and a bow-window (projecting window) on the side overlooking nature. By expanding the room, the generous bay windows also enhance the decorative and furnishing effects without overloading them: bronze sculptures blend perfectly with the orange-brown leather sofas and armchairs, a pretty Directoire-style chest of drawers and a custom-made bookcase filled with books of all kinds. At the back of the living room, a small integrated kitchen is both set apart and connected with a column unit at the interface: the chef can enjoy a certain intimacy at mealtime made on the black stone worktop, while remaining in contact with the guests.


On the second floor there is also a guest room, which serves as a secondary office. Guests will appreciate the second daylight that enters through a horizontal glass line at the top of the wall, right above the headboard embedded in the mahogany bookcase, with red walls and dark beams. A small adjoining bathroom can be "privatized" for the needs of the room or remain open for daily domestic use.


There is still one last floor to go to the initial staircase: halfway up, a round window invites you to contemplate, standing, the landscape of the lake.... Marin, when you have us! Up there, the "red" wood continues to run on the floors and facades. Here is a new guest room with two small sofas that can be converted into fabric: the bookcase has been custom-made to perfectly fit the size of the sofas. A small stylish desk and a "zebra" armchair complete the layout.


At the front, in the northeast corner, is the master bedroom. With its two glass sides, this particularly luminous room takes advantage of both the spectacle of the greenery and the trees, the latter practically coming to lick the glass, for an intimate and contemplative retreat, as well as the lake, to enjoy the changing reflections of the rising sun. A shelf at half height allows to enhance some precious objects without altering the feeling of breathing. In addition, the decor is also made up of a few paintings and miniature sketches that surmount a magnificent headboard designed by the architect and made by the cabinetmakers of the Dunoyer group: ceramics and wood are skillfully combined to ennoble the room. A chic and warm spirit to which two bedside tables decorated with mosaics contribute.

To perfect the vision of this floor, there remains a pretty bathroom enhanced by mirror fronts that create a play of mise en abyme that dilates and deepens the space. One can observe oneself from every angle before plunging into a generous oval bathtub, the perfect setting for relaxation in warm water. A beautiful way to end this artistic, chic and exotic trip!

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