La Mira Ra

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La Mira Ra house, located in the South of France, is the fruit of a long reflection about the marriage of the wild nature of the Mediterranean and the minimalist purity of contemporary architecture - a marriage resulting in a unique architectural project. Realized between 2015 and 2017 by Pierre Minassian and his team of architects, today the house offers its inhabitants an intimate opening towards the sea.

The integration of the project in its environment and their cohabitation were the two key elements in the design of the project. Located in a classified site, this private domain is under the obligation to include the use of the local stone in all its constructions. This requirement coupled with the love of the architect for the peacefulness of the raw concrete give birth to a poetic embrace of the two materials.

The stone finds its place by wrapping the house from the outside so as to melt it in its rocky environment. This is done so not only thanks to the rocks’ palette of colors close to that of the soil it lays upon but also by reflecting the sun's rays with a warm glow.

The inner shell is made of raw concrete aiming to create a sober and calm atmosphere. At the same time its’ smooth skin reflects perfectly the light rays penetrating into the house at sunset.By leaving the walls and ceiling naked the architect lets the raw concrete reveal its quirks - each surface proudly carries its own peculiarities and irregularities.

The project distributes the program in two levels following the natural slope of the site so as not to hide the view for the villagers and at the same time to completely turn the house towards the breathtaking view. For this reason the upper volume, including the bedrooms, protrudes only by half a level from the ground. It splits up in the middle so that a discreet flight of stairs can descend and arrive in a patio marking the entrance of the house. The positioning of the latter - below eye level, ensures a first filtration of the gaze of the passerby and a first step towards the intimacy of the house.

The lower volume, including the master and the living room and kitchen, is completely hidden from the outside eye. Its simple box shape made out of raw concrete opens to the sea with its fully glazed facade. The floor of the box is pulled outward to extend the interior space towards the view - the living room and kitchen can be opened entirely to the terrace thanks to the sliding glass panes. The living spaces thus transform into a summer living room - away from the burning sun but at the same time in the open air. Coupled with the openings of the entrance patio and resulting in a series of natural drafts, a natural cooling system takes place.

The solar protection of the house is ensured by the way the openings are treated. Full-height wooden louvers that adapt to their location and orientation are installed. In the upper volume, along the corridor overlooking the forecourt oriented south, the louvers are fixed so as to provide permanent filtration not only of sunlight but also of the strangers’ gaze. As for the rooms, oriented towards the view and therefore to the northeast, the protection is assured by the sliding shutters. Same idea for the lower volume - the louvers can also be hidden away in order to disappear from view. What’s more, the green roof allows a complementary thermal insulation and simultaneously contributes to the integration of the house in its natural site looking below from the top of the site.

The outdoor spaces of the project push further the insertion of the construction in its site by creating a walk that begins at the forecourt and then develops around the house and the pool facing towards the sea. This walk finally disperses in the desert garden exposing with great pride a beautiful collection of different species characterizing the floral diversity of the place.

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Modern home with Exterior, Stone Siding Material, Flat RoofLine, Metal Siding Material, Green Roof Material, Concrete Siding Material, House Building Type, and Glass Siding Material. A shell of concrete in the desert Photo  of La Mira RaView Photos

A shell of concrete in the desert

Modern home with Living Room, Sofa, Ceiling Lighting, Concrete Floor, Recessed Lighting, Pendant Lighting, Console Tables, End Tables, and Table Lighting. Entering the house. Photo 2 of La Mira RaView Photos

Entering the house.

Modern home with Outdoor, Desert, Hardscapes, and Back Yard. Glazing facing the sea. Photo 3 of La Mira RaView Photos

Glazing facing the sea.

Modern home with Living Room, Ceiling Lighting, Coffee Tables, Concrete Floor, Wood Burning Fireplace, Standard Layout Fireplace, Sofa, Bench, Console Tables, and Recessed Lighting. The living room. Photo 4 of La Mira RaView Photos

The living room.

Modern home with Outdoor, Hardscapes, Concrete Patio, Porch, Deck, and Back Yard. At dusk. Photo 5 of La Mira RaView Photos

At dusk.

Modern home with Bedroom, Concrete Floor, Chair, Ceiling Lighting, Bed, and Recessed Lighting. A peek at the bedroom. Photo 6 of La Mira RaView Photos

A peek at the bedroom.

Modern home with Hallway and Concrete Floor. Entering the house. Photo 7 of La Mira RaView Photos

Entering the house.

Modern home with Kitchen, Range, Concrete Counter, Ceiling Lighting, Refrigerator, Wall Oven, Concrete Floor, White Cabinet, Cooktops, and Pedestal Sink. The kitchen. Photo 8 of La Mira RaView Photos

The kitchen.

Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Concrete Siding Material, Stone Siding Material, Flat RoofLine, and Green Roof Material. Desertic . Photo 9 of La Mira RaView Photos

Desertic .

Modern home with Exterior, Concrete Siding Material, Flat RoofLine, Green Roof Material, Wood Siding Material, Stone Siding Material, House Building Type, and Beach House Building Type. Stone and concrete. Photo 10 of La Mira RaView Photos

Stone and concrete.

Modern home with Exterior, Flat RoofLine, Green Roof Material, Stone Siding Material, Concrete Siding Material, Beach House Building Type, House Building Type, and Wood Siding Material. Stone and concrete. Photo 11 of La Mira RaView Photos

Stone and concrete.

Modern home with Exterior, Flat RoofLine, Beach House Building Type, Wood Siding Material, House Building Type, Stone Siding Material, Concrete Siding Material, and Green Roof Material. A sneak peak. Photo 12 of La Mira RaView Photos

A sneak peak.

Modern home with Exterior, Flat RoofLine, House Building Type, Beach House Building Type, Concrete Siding Material, Green Roof Material, Stone Siding Material, and Wood Siding Material. Overlooking the sea. Photo 13 of La Mira RaView Photos

Overlooking the sea.

Modern home with Outdoor, Back Yard, and Hardscapes. Louvers protecting from the burning sun. Photo 14 of La Mira RaView Photos

Louvers protecting from the burning sun.

Modern home with Exterior, Concrete Siding Material, Stone Siding Material, House Building Type, Flat RoofLine, Green Roof Material, and Glass Siding Material. A concrete box. Photo 15 of La Mira RaView Photos

A concrete box.

Modern home with Outdoor, Hardscapes, Concrete Patio, Porch, Deck, and Back Yard. The terrasse. Photo 16 of La Mira RaView Photos

The terrasse.

Modern home with Concrete Floor and Ceiling Lighting. The bathroom. Photo 17 of La Mira RaView Photos

The bathroom.

Modern home with Living Room, Bench, Ceiling Lighting, Sofa, Concrete Floor, Chair, and Coffee Tables. The living room. Photo 18 of La Mira RaView Photos

The living room.

Modern home with Outdoor, Hardscapes, Concrete Patio, Porch, Deck, and Back Yard. A pause. Photo 19 of La Mira RaView Photos

A pause.

Credits

Posted By
Architect
  • AUM Pierre Minassian
Interior Design
  • AUM Pierre Minassian
Photographer
  • Erick Saillet

Overview

Location
  • Bedrooms
  • 4
  • Full Baths
  • 4
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2017
  • Square Feet
  • 3775