the design

Tiny, towards infinity.

The Light House is a finely-crafted micro-home, designed for maximal use of light and minimal impact on its environment.  Why so small? Because leaving more space for nature is the most ecological of all building principles. And also, because the luxury of less is an art worth learning. 

"A house of six distinct spaces, each with its own ambiance of light."
 

guided tour

Enter the Light House through a semi-enclosed foyer, like a buffer between the open exterior and the enclosed interior. The initial ambiance is that of a small interior courtyard, set between an outside wall and the pivoting glass doors leading to the living room.

 

From here, you enter the fully enclosed interior, with a vista through the living room onto the long terrace that stretches out before your eyes like a bridge. On the left side is a wall of glass, making the room seem semi-transparent within the surrounding landscape. On the right side, a fully-closed wall supports all of the kitchen equipment, cabinets, and shelves.  

 

A minimal Japanese-style staircase leads up to the upper floor. You walk up the staircase in the direction of the light pouring in from a large skylight. Reaching the staircase landing, pivoting to the left, you access three separate spaces. Straight ahead, the fully-enclosed private bedroom. With its narrow slit windows, it offers a coziness in contrast to the transparent lower-level.  A bathroom in the same intimate style provides a walk-in shower or bathtub (depending on the option selected) and a WC. Finally, a small study area offers a desk with shelves. A second sleeping space is suspended above the study and part of the stairwell. Its happy sleepers, with heads near the skylight, can scan the stars before closing their eyes at night.

 

Beneath the house, there is additional space the use of which will depend on the slope of the terrain. It can be a shady spot to relax on a hot summer day, maybe with a hammock strung from side to side. It may also serve as a parking spot to recharge your electric vehicle. Or how about a sauna, and a place to store wood?

"The terrace extends the living room like a bridge toward the horizon."
 

blueprint

Interior floor space : 40m2

Exterior terrace space : 30m2

Combined living / dining / kitchen area

1 bedroom

1 bathroom (bathtub or shower options)

1 study space convertible to extra sleeping space

Construction materials:

European-sourced renewable timber

Steel support beams

Triple-paned glass

Finishings:

Natural lime plaster for light-colored model

Dark wood cladding for dark model

Furnishings & Amenities:

Wood-burning stove

Three-burner stovetop 

Refrigerator

Dishwasher (optional)

Washing machine (optional)

Built-in cabinets, closets, and shelves

Kitchen table/bar

High-speed internet

Shared facilities :

Washing machine

Deep freezer

Wine and food preserve cellar

Electric docking station

Auxiliary dry toilets (outhouse)

Bikes

"What if a house were like a boat,
With a cabin and a deck,
Only what’s required
To sail sturdily upon the land?"
 

the place

Between its oceans and seas, mountains and fertile plains, woodlands and vineyards, what land could better host a Light House than France?

Soon enough, there will be scenes here of an actual place, but until then let us describe it.

Here are the basics:

  • 3 acres (1.2 hectares), preferably more than less. The parcel will be shared by three Light Houses that occupy no more than 1/6 of the total area. The rest will be used for growing food and natural habitat.

  • Located close enough to a village for convenience but not "too close for comfort".

  • Open views (no obstructing buildings or electrical lines), preferably a south-facing slope.

  • An existing ruin on the land would be ideal, as this may facilitate further construction and also serve as a shared building.

  • Located near water: a stream, a river, a lake, or the ocean.

  • Within 3 hrs of Paris by train (unless some paradise in the Pyrenees shows up to change that game)

Do you know of a parcel of land for sale that meets these requirements?

 

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Reflection in a Pond