House and Home Design - Realestate Passion
Frere is a minimalist residence located in Bordeaux, France, designed by André Guiraud. Constructed over three levels, complete with a garden, this home once showcased a layout characteristic of its era, but its design had become inadequate for modern family needs, particularly for a household with three children. Previously, the main living spaces were allocated to the uppermost floor, offering vistas of the garden. In contrast, the lower two levels served primarily utilitarian roles, housing the garage, utility room, laundry facilities, storage cellar, and boiler. A notable feature was the expansive terrace, linked to the garden by a broad masonry staircase, which paradoxically was disproportionately large for the garden’s modest size and cast substantial shade on the two lower levels. Internally, a load-bearing wall running the length of the house imposed on each floor’s design. The revamp sought to introduce a fresh connection to the North-East facing garden, shifting the brighter children’s bedrooms to the ground floor and constructing more spacious apertures. Faced with a tight budget, the solution was a clever one: to increase the light ingress and visually open up the house to the garden, the window spandrels were removed to create large glass panes without expanding their dimensions – a measure that could have resulted in costly structural alterations. Consequently, the garden facade appeared airier and adorned with a composition of screening elements. To maximize light penetration into the rooms, the oversized terrace was supplanted with a slimmer, less deep steel walkway. In turn, this allowed the garden to command a larger footprint, further complemented by a newly-introduced, compact spiral staircase that runs along the facade, adding a touch of light sculpture to the rooms’ internal landscape.