nicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern france
 

nicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern france

french architect nicolas dahan has completed a 250 sqm family house in soulac sur mer, southwestern france, blending it with its pine forest surroundings by using wood throughout the construction. redefining the idea of the threshold, the project does not feature a traditional front entrance. instead, to enter the house, one strides right into the 130 sqm living space, or directly into one of the five rooms sitting within the 4000 sqm forest site. inside, the residence’s floor and ceiling are designed to mirror each other’s dimensions, breaking down all notions of hierarchy.nicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern franceimages by vincent leroux and jean-luc guérin

 

 

‘to enter the pine forest is to enter the house,’ explains nicolas dahan. ‘the site itself is integral to the architecture. the pine and oak trees provide shelter from strong winds. the ocean, though not visible, is so close that the sound of the surf rhythms the day. nature runs through the bedrooms and the living room. the house is built where the air flows.’ the see-through residence invites the surrounding environment within its interior through floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and windows, allowing eyesight to glide between pine trees and interior perspectives. its roof is comprised of 136 larch caissons, while the floor is made of 136 okoume wood panels, resulting in a perfectly symmetric construction. nicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern france

 

 

dahan’s main source of reference for the house has been the single-story american villa, while the floor and ceiling required engineering skills developed by john lautner’s vision for open architecture. designed to catch as much sunlight as possible, the project features sliding glass doors that reach beyond three meters in height (the standard height is 2,20m)  ‘the magic offered by brazilian villas that we see in magazines, relies on large-scale made to measure glass surfaces,’ explains the french architect. ‘only five contractors in the world are able to offer such large volumes of glass, capable of the lightness of gliding. the result, invisible to the uncultured eye, is unique. the shadows of the pine forest, projected onto the interior wooden surfaces, accompany the inhabitants with different degrees of intensity all throughout the day. the bedrooms and living room make the most of all four cardinal directions, north, east, south and west.’

nicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern france

 

 

two thirds of the house have been built using glass walls, and, as such, the entire construction has been weighted down with metal and anchored with cement walls to make sure the roof doesn’t fly off with the first storm. explaining more in detail the construction process, dahan says, ‘we had to install a depot on-site to shelter the construction, the level of precision required to build the roof did not allow for any humidity. the larch has been sanded down to acquire a finish usually reserved to furniture. there are no screws and no apparent nails. the use of shadow joints offers a unique sense of fluidity both inside and outside of the house. the central 16m long beam is worthy of a gymnasium, yet its finishes are done in such a way that it becomes part the domestic space.’

nicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern france

nicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern francenicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern france nicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern france nicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern france nicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern france nicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern france nicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern france nicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern france nicolas dahan constructs wooden family house within pine forest in southwestern france

 

project info:

 

 

name: the wooden house

architect: nicolas dahan

management: nicolas dahan, cyril magnier, amélie rémevier

technical engineering: actiom, benoit bufferand

wood engineering: cesma, nicolas dogniaux

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