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D house by Lode Architecture


Beached on the estuary’s banks, where fresh waters meet rising tides, the D house cultivates contradictions. It can be either a shelter or a reception place, an intimate space or the place for partying. It is driven by opposite currents and its character varies depending on its occupants’ moods and natural cycles.

When discovering the house, the first thing we catch sight of is the overhanging section. Thanks to a retaining wall, a hollow space appears below. Life is organised here around the hearth, the stairs and a central cooking island. All around you, panoramic views of the undergrowth and beyond the river are offered by the upstairs floor. Wells of light passing through the upstairs floor invite the sky into this blended landscape. On the ground, the stone disappears, the windowed angles fade. We live inside the wood.

Upstairs, a succession of small spaces creates a completely different hushed atmosphere. We cross a series of adjoining rooms, lit through wooden trellises which filter the view and dim the light. From the bedrooms, you can access outside closed‐in spaces to get fresh air or sunbathe above the living‐room. Nature is all around and envelopes you.

The contrasting façades reflect the duality of these spaces. In very different ways they both adopt the same strategy of camouflage : the reflections of the leaves on the glazed surfaces, or the cladding made of untreated planks which imitate the surrounding nature and whose texture merges in the woody environment. Sophistication and rusticity, abstraction and materiality, the architecture of the house plays with dialectical sets, just like a landscape drawing its strength from the confrontation of the elements.


Completion date: 2012
Area: Brittany, France
Dimensions: L 16.10m x l 9.20m x h 6.00m
Living area: 250 m²
Structure: concrete walls, steel frame, crosswise laminated timber panels
Façade materials: high insulation glass surfaces, chestnut cladding
Flooring materials: stone, cork
Furniture materials: chestnut, laminated veneered lumber (stairs)
Heating system: geothermal heat pump with vertical collectors
Collaborators : Arnaud Lacoste / Jérôme Vinçon
Photography: Daniel Moulinet
Words: Courtesy of Lode Architecture