Black-painted timber contrasts with clean white window frames on the walls of this cube-shaped weekend home in Normandy, France, by Paris studio Beckmann-N'Thépé Architectes (+ slideshow).
Located on a quiet countryside plot in Bellavilliers, Beckmann-N'Thépé's House in Normandy is surrounded by little but woodland and fields.
The architects designed the house as a "minimalist object", with a simple geometric shape and only one pronounced opening on each side.
Horizontal timber panels clad each wall and are painted black, giving the facade the appearance of charcoal.
"A line diagram cube with a 50 square-metre base on the ground, [the house's] black-tinted wooden wall panelling responds to the woodland environment," said the architects.
Small square windows puncture three elevations, while the fourth has glazed doors that lead out to a small terrace.
There's also a fifth opening - a front door that is camouflaged within the cladding but revealed by a simple canopy.
A combined living room, dining area and kitchen takes up one half of the ground floor and features a double-height ceiling.
One bedroom is tucked away behind, alongside the bathroom, and a second occupies a mezzanine floor above.
The house was completed in 2009 and functions as the holiday home for a family of four.
Photography is by Stephan Lucas.
Read on for more information from Agence Beckmann-N'Thépé:
House in Normandy
The house is located in the Normandy Bocage, surrounded by hedgerows and looking out over Bellême Forest. Set on the first third of a plot of land 150 m long, it stands in an isolated residential area in the Perche countryside.
A minimalist object, a line diagram cube with 50 m2 base on the ground, its black tinted wooden wall panelling responds to the woodland environment. With just one opening on each side judiciously oriented and highlighted with white, the front is made up of a wooden frame lined with high performance thermal insulation.
The double height in the living-room, also lit through a large bay window opening onto the south side, tends to expand the space.
The strict comfort needed is provided – a living space comprising a living-room with fireplace, open-plan kitchen, bathroom and cupboard space; and a night-time area with two bedrooms, one treated as a large open loft space, and a bathroom.
A few trees decorate the driveway and create a filter between the house and the lane outside.
The dormant partners' requirement, the desired originality in the response, and the €120,000 budget together defined this simple volume, combining a good floor surface area to frontage ratio. The qualitative approach to the project in terms of materials and energy performance was the key here.
Program: Secondary residence for 4 people
Architects: Agence Beckmann-N'Thépé (Paris)
Area: 80 m2 net floor area
Cost: EUR 120 000 excl. VAT
Project manager: Nicolas Gaudard
Architect: Laura Giovannetti
Assistant architects: Mathilde Billet, Arthur Billaut, Thimothée Kazmierczak
Masonry, wood structure: GUILLET S.A. Excavation : ZUNINO
Plumbing, ventilation: Chardel