aurelien chen hybridizes a dwelling and barn with the ‘sentinel house,’ to harmonize with and contrast its traditional context. situated along a narrow and irregular plot, the compact house expresses an atypical organization in plan. the project is divided between three volumes, each angled parallel to one of the site’s boundary lines. the main house, a barn house-like wooden structure, is situated to the south while two secondary blocks occupy the northern part of the land. 

sentinel house aurelien chen
images © chantal andro | @aurelien_chen_architecture



architect aurelien chen forms the sentinel house with a faceted, three-slope roof, a contemporary interpretation of the typical barn-type. more than just a reimagination of the traditional style of its context, the project resolves an irregular piece of land. the project is dynamic, and its perspectives are constantly changing. seen from its south side, the house echoes with the traditional barn houses, while from the north side, it shows very contemporary lines.

sentinel house aurelien chen



aurelien chen designs the sentinel house with a material palette which echoes the diversity of the surrounding colors and elements — western red cedar cladding, a combined slate and zinc roofing. the garage generates with an acoustic and climatic screen, ahead of the main spaces facing the ocean toward south, along with the bedrooms facing the east. a large skylight illuminates the middle of the house, and steel mesh along the stairs creates a transparency that changes continually with the motion of the clouds above. this very specific steel mesh is used by local fishermen to catch local seashells.

sentinel house aurelien chen



the team comments on the origin of the project and its clients: ‘once upon a time in audierne lived a local fisherman nicknamed ‘sentinel.’ he observed the sea from the hills towering the village harbor. one century later, his descendants bought a piece of land in audierne, up on a hill and facing the same ocean horizon their ancestor used to gaze at.’

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G:dwg midifiedP13-P-masse.2 Model (1)
G:dwg midifiedP13-elev-E.3 Model (1)
G:dwg midifiedP13-elev-E.3 Model (1)
G:dwg midifiedP13-elev-N.2 DCE FAC-N.1 A3 1-50 (1)
G:dwg midifiedP13-elev-O.2 Model (1)

project info:


project title: sentinel house

architecture: aurelien chen | @aurelien_chen_architecture

location: audierne, brittany, france

completion: 2015

photography: © chantal andro, courtesy of aurelien chen