Author(s): ARBA

The house in the garden

Arba – (Jean Baptiste Barache and Sihem Lamine) is devoted to developing new solutions for sustainable, affordable building in close relationship with the natural and built environment.

arba – designs functional, simple, and optimal architectures. The main goal: “to provide shelter” is inseparable from the second: “to create a display”. Such architectures are more closely related to instruments than buildings. As with musical instruments, the lines and shapes are pure and minimal, while allowing for optimal use. Naturally, the resident is involved in a set of uses and interactions with the garden, neighbours, landscape, sun, light, etc.

The projects are the outcome of a dialogue between the two architects, in a process to polish the subject. Here, budget and urban restrictions are not constraints but an integral part of the design. A continual effort is produced to ultimately banish any trace of intention, in the image of vernacular architecture. Instead, here, what is important are the users, landscape, site, materials, and the hand of the craftsman, etc.

The House in the Garden is arranged in an undisrupted way in a closed orchard of 12 concrete cubes. The compact volume is divided horizontally into two parts:

– On the bottom are prefabricated, clad modules, which are full or transparent, that organise the close relationship with the garden, and qualify the views. Screen-printed glass surfaces make up lighted frames on the four sides.

– On the top, long larch brackets carefully arranged comprise a homogeneous and fluid mass that answers the canopy. This cladding generates louvered lighting in the central area of the upper floor.

The kitchen, dining room, and living room continuously occupy the entire garden level space, and are surrounded by a ring layout doubling the walls, containing the bathroom, WC, stairwell, utility room, and various storage areas for the house.

This ring is interrupted to allow eight passageways (two per side) to the various parts of the garden.

On the upper floor, a full height common area serves two bedrooms isolated by frosted glass sliding walls. Two ladders provide access to the lofts, which are guest bedrooms.

Function : Private house