This house is located in Théoule-sur-Mer, near Cannes, France. No, this house is not famous because of the personality who owns it nor for the price it commands in today’s market. But it is the design that makes all the difference. What inspired the architect to go for such a style? Do you know?
The house, 1,200-sq.m villa complex, was originally built for a French industrialist, Pierre Bernard. In 1992, the house was bought by the fashion designer Pierre Cardin as a holiday home which is now popularly known as “Bubble House”. Technically the house was not complete when Cardin bought it and it was completed thereafter. In other words, construction of the house which was started in 1975 extended till 1990s! In 2011, again the house was put under renovation. It took fives years for renovation to complete. In 2017, the house was put up for sale, with an asking price of 350 million pounds!
The house comprises a reception hall that can seat 350 people, panoramic lounge, 500-seat open-air amphitheatre, 10 bedrooms (suites), swimming pool with many smaller ponds and waterfalls in extensive landscaped grounds.
The house was designed by Hungarian architect, Antti Lovag who defined himself as a “habitologist”. His philosophy of ‘habitology’ included vague concepts like banning right angles and straight lines. Circles and curves, he thought, were closer to nature and closer, therefore, to the human body. He was not interested in architecture as such, but rather focused on man and his living space to create an envelope encompassing man’s needs.
The result was a unique house comprising multiple spherical modules, dotted with terraces and pools to create the illusion of “suspension between sea and sky” as one looks out of the porthole-style windows. In short, it was a home without edges, doors or roofs. The architect virtually took the occupant to the days when man used to live in caves. Its a “futuristic place, a labyrinth of modern times is an invitation to dream, with its large portholes where the sunlight engulfs, the reflection of the waves and the sails of the boats.” Its feminine forms extend into the decoration with furniture designed to measure by contemporary artists to harmoniously marry the walls of the numerous suites.
In fact, the inspiration for this house is Lovag’s first built project, farther down the slope, called Maison Bernard. Incidentally, that house too was built for Pierre Bernard in 1971. Bernard liked the concept and invited the architect to build the Bubble House.