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Architectural Digest France

Small space: a warm cocoon of 50 m2 near Ajaccio

It is a series of two-story junior suites built in the 1980s, in a seaside residence, in Tiuccia, north of Ajaccio. The apartment is 50 square meters on the top floor, overlooking the bay. “It was in the eighties, and the idea was to renew and purify it as much as possible, and to highlight this wonderful view facing the sea and the mountains.” says Agath Lavude, founder of Volta Architecture. So this will be your starting point with working on folders. The kitchen is small and separated from the living rooms, open to meet contemporary use. In the large space created in this way, a row of lower units accommodates the functions of the kitchen but also the wardrobe, TV cabinet and various storage and extends the entire length of the room. On top, a reflective splash creates visible fading lines that enlarge the space. The load-bearing wall is preserved with the window opening on the loggia but the external opening moved to the level of the arch, a large sliding window opening onto the beach bay. Thus, this space reintegrated into the apartment complements the design of a spacious sitting room that wraps around the supporting column and the ideally located central island. The empty space opens onto the balcony and overlooks the sea.

From the lobby part of the large acquired living room to an old loggia, the sliding bay plunges us into the blue waters and green mountains of Corsica. The supporting column is used to accommodate a central island around which traffic is smooth. We visually perceive the ripples of beige concrete, reminiscent of the wet sand of the beach below. Furniture and decoration (Maison Gabriel).© Agathe Lavude

To unify the space, the floor is saturated beige concrete, in a sensual reminder of the beach sand below. “We asked the craftsman to pour it with a certain gesture in order to get a very woven result. There are the movements of the waves that evoke the sea and its ripples…” We find this pleasant and comfortable floor on which we walk barefoot to the bedroom and bathroom, windowless, and treat it like a little cave, “A concrete shell into which we have inserted wood and quartzite stone, Patagonia, in very soft colors, of chocolate and sand …”. The walls are decorated in luminous white, accentuated by one tone, the solar yellow of the large curtains interacting with the color of the sea blue and its reflections in the mirror. The fabrics for the pillows, the sofa, and a range of accessories evoke shades of straw, gold, and natural hues that respond to wood, ceramic, braided fibers, and the simple materials of the furniture pieces. Small black metallic accents like Zangra brand lights permeate the space and add modern touches. “All the furniture and accessories are found in Ajaccio, I really wanted to discover and attract artisans, suppliers and shops in the area, it’s an important step for me”, The architect concludes.

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Low white units with mirrored cranza tops occupy the entire wall on the kitchen side. The worktop and wooden shelf, like the top of the island, form a mixture of raw simplicity when the mirror reflects the sea and plays with perspectives.© Agathe Lavude
Low storage and a rear sprinkler continue along the living room wall, reflecting the central island and, in the background, the living room sofa. Wall light (Zangra).© Agathe Lavude
Natural colors blend with white walls, wicker bedspreads, straw hats, and dried flowers in Mediterranean simplicity (all Maison Gabriel). Commentary (Zangra).© Agathe Lavude
In the bedroom, raw simplicity is awakened by large yellow curtains and a woven straw pendant light (Maison Gabriel).© Agathe Lavude
The bathroom, all in beige saturated concrete, is like a cozy little cocoon where everything is in place. The chest of drawers accommodates a Patagonian stone counter top with a beautiful textured look.© Agathe Lavude
Flat plan before works.© Agathe Lavude
The plan of the apartment after the works.© Agathe Lavude