If you work in Paris, you don’t necessarily need to live in the heart of the french capital. Good connections to outer suburbs make living outside of Paris a feasible option, particularly for those who are seeking more space or dream of a country house.
And there’s something else really important: Property tends to move fast in Paris: sometimes a property is sold the same day it goes on the market. That’s exactly what Dominique Jacquot found out. She didn’t have many parameters in mind when she started imagining her house in the countryside, 45 minutes outside Paris.
One requirement, however, was plenty of wood. She ran across architect Jean-Baptiste Barache’s wooden A-frame house in Normandy and liked that it was “pure and poetic.” So she enlisted his firm, Arba, to “create and invent” — as long as an open living plan and a space to practice yoga were part of the deal. Following Jacquot’s basic brief, the architects chose northern pine to frame the two-bedroom structure, untreated larch wood for the cladding and window framing, ash for the ground floor, and spruce for the attic.
The modest structure is heated by a wood stove, uses a solar vacuum tube for hot water, and recycles rainwater to run the washing machine and toilet. Consequently, the house is low-emission, and for its remaining energy needs, it’s linked to a 100 percent renewable grid supplied by the French company Enercoop.
“Our attitude integrates humility, compactness, smoothness, reduced scales, and respect for the existing vegetation,” Barache’s partner, Sihem Lamine, says of the design. “Our process is to create buildings while stripping the architecture from every arrogant gesture toward its environment.”