On the hillside above Cannes, with an unbeatable view of the bay and its islands, architect Pierre Guidoni, designer Jean Rogliano and fabricator Menuiserie Bareau created a breathtaking villa, completed with a façade made of HI-MACS®. This ambitious project once again pushed the limits of creativity and, if it were not for HI-MACS®, both project manager and client say it would never have come to fruition. Thanks to its thermoforming capacity, its versatility and its resistance to weather and UV rays, HI-MACS® perfected this flagship creation.
Shaped by the gentle wind and anchored against the horizon, a vessel sails toward the sea. To imbue the villa’s architecture with a soul, the aesthetic process focused on interpretations of different architectural movements. Primarily representing a convergence between the Art Deco movement’s streamline style; in which smooth forms, horizontal lines and curved surfaces are borrowed from nautical elements; and the modernist style, transposed to a soothing imaginary future.
The villa has a total size of more than 300 m2, spread out over four levels, including a rooftop terrace. Its plot measures about 1,500 m2, nestled against the verdant setting of a hillside overlooking the Bay of Cannes.The gentle and harmonious shapes of the home are reminiscent of the waves lapping at the Mediterranean shores below. In line with its specifications, its simple, modern architecture melds with the landscape, inspired by the tranquility of its location.
What material other than HI-MACS® would be able to successfully combine modernity, technicality and flexibility? According to Jean Rogliano, HI-MACS® acrylic stone was the natural choice for this structure: “Its esthetics, its smoothness and its quality are able to simultaneously stand out from, and merge harmoniously with, the landscape of the Croix-des-Gardes district. It allowed us to create all sorts of rounded, arched and straight shapes and to envelop the villa in a gentle style, with an unparalleled quality of execution”.
A façade built like a prototype Because the link between nature and the home was crucial, the architect chose only top-of-the-range materials of great quality and durability, like HI-MACS®, to create this structure. “The entire exterior of the façade, along with the canopy, the terraces, the outer studs and the porthole windows bedecking the villa are all made of HI-MACS®. This is a first for the company in France and proof of real technical ability, with arched forms on two, and even three, axes hugging all types of contours.”
With a surface area of 550 m2, the façade is composed of a primary BWM 100 metal framework placed over the raw concrete façade, covered and insulated with polyurethane foam, into which 220 12-mm-thick HI-MACS® Cream panels are fitted using Keil sleeve anchors that are invisible from the exterior. The thermoformed panels follow the curves, pillars and porthole windows of the villa perfectly, collectively forming an outer facing in line with expectations.
As with any ambitious project, some problems only appeared on the construction site: in addition to the importance of form and aesthetics, the villa’s exposure, heat variations and the scale of the surface areas led to technical constraints on-site that required adjustments to the initial layout plan. Menuiserie Bareau, for whom the creation of a HI-MACS® façade was a first, proved – as did the entire project management team – to be both bold and ingenious in the customized production of the fasteners and finishing slabs, which allowed the firm to manufacture expansion joints for each of the different types of exposures, shapes and surfaces.
The risers and nosings on the stairways to each level, made of HI-MACS®, are coupled with a type of bamboo laminate hewn on-site. This use of wood, combined with the purity of the Solid Surface, imbues the entire staircase (jointly created by Menuiserie Bareau and SARL Acorrs) with fluidity and warmth.
This ambitious project would not have seen the light of day without Menuiserie Bareau, whose woodworking expertise dates back to 1946 and whose team was able to meet the challenge and circumvent the technical constraints to once again push the limits of creativity and the discipline. In the words of Laurent Bareau, the material’s versatility taught them a great deal: “HI-MACS® is a next-generation material of unlimited possibilities. It is worked just like wood, but its sturdiness is closer to that of stone. As woodworkers, we really appreciated those qualities, which allowed us to go so much further in terms of our fulfillment. Combined with other materials, particularly wood, which is the foundation of our trade, HI-MACS® yields results that clients love, such as the staircase in this villa. In addition to being a high-tech material with unrivaled thermoforming, maintenance and strength properties, HI-MACS® is revitalizing the woodworking trade, enabling us to take on projects that we would not have been able to fulfill using wood, or any other material, for that matter. HI-MACS® is the material for contemporary woodworkers”.
The project involved some 15 companies, who placed their professionalism and their passion in the service of this unique architectural design, constrained by the materials imposed by the project management team.
Because of its multiple areas of expertise, DIM Technologie was put at the helm and asked to advise the client, so that this “architectural and human journey” might come to life. As designer Jean Rogliano and State-certified architect put it, “this project, as it was run, enriched all of the participating companies with a meaningful experience that was both technical and technological but, above all, human, because it was, first and foremost, the team’s mentality and love for our trades and the result that influenced the work. DIM Technologie was able to meet this unique challenge, its role as captain and project manager, by generating osmosis, combining expertise and bringing hidden, complementary skills to light, without which this showcase would never have come into being. Every project is a learning experience. Especially this one, for its chosen architecture, specifications and the technicality demanded by HI-MACS®. We were able to grasp the real nature of the material, and we now understand its many possibilities, in terms of both its design and its implementation”.