A Holiday Home in Southwestern France Captures the Essence of Country Living

Riffing on the Landes region’s agricultural vernacular, Lesgourgues designs a voluminous, airy retreat capped with a shed roof.

In designing this vacation home in the Landes countryside, Emmanuelle Lesgourgues simply looked around at what was already built. "It was particularly enjoyable to study the different forms of, and take inspiration from, agricultural habitats in area," says the architect. "Like barns with black wood cladding, wide openings, and large sliding shutters."

All those elements are accounted for in AER House, a dwelling with soaring, double-height interiors, a shed roof, and Douglas fir cladding that’s been treated with black tar. On the ground floor is an open kitchen, dining, and living space, as well as the primary bedroom, a bathroom, dressing room, and utility room. A timber stair positioned against an interior wall holds ample storage and leads to a guest bedroom and bath on the second level.

To keep the house cool in the summer, Lesgourgues positioned two large sliders on either side of the living space, allowing for maximal airflow. Latticed shutters can be positioned over the doors to filter light while still allowing for a breeze.

Overhanging eaves mirror the edges of the home’s concrete slab, which extends beyond the perimeter walls to create a kind of outdoor pathway. "It can be considered as a corridor of the house on which all the doors of the ground floor can be opened," explains Lesgourgues.

Though her clients built the home as a holiday retreat, they’ve been spending more and more time here to make the most of the beautiful French countryside. "In the bedrooms, the windows are square and frame the landscape and the forest to the east," says Lesgourgues. "Much like with a photograph."


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