A modern escape made for viewing the sea

London architecture practice JaK Studio today unveils details of its latest private residential commission – a luxury contemporary villa in St. Tropez, South of France. The design and build for the property was commissioned by a British couple, both of whom work in the creative industries, looking to create a beautiful and tranquil retreat at this popular holiday destination.

Idyllically situated on a hillside overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in an exclusive address among a winding avenue of stunning properties, the villa has been specially set out so that every room overlooks the ocean.

The property, which took approximately three years to build comprises:

  • Four double ensuite bedrooms
  • Balcony
  • Spacious reception room / lounge
  • Open plan kitchen and dining room, larder and wine cellar
  • Utility room
  • Patio and sheltered outdoor eating / BBQ area with outdoor clay oven
  • Infinity swimming pool and landscaped garden

Although executed to a clean, linear and minimalist aesthetic, the villa has been constructed to complement the traditional Mediterranean rustic style properties that neighbour it. Ceramic tiles on the east side of the façade are randomly laid to produce a textured, almost handmade finish; steep brick steps that descend into the garden give a nod to the narrow streets of old Mediterranean villages, which is lined by young lemon trees – a harmonic juxtaposition of the manmade with nature.

The vast expanse of deep blue sea fringed by the bay and the undulating picturesque landscape of St Tropez nestled in the distance was, however, the single influential force that shaped the style and composition of the home.

Kenan Klico, partner and director at JaK Studio commented:

“The owners wanted a design that celebrated this postcard view from both the inside and out. An aesthetic with a subtle nautical theme inspired by the nostalgia of vintage cruisers soon emerged – crisp white against dark oakwood echo the look and feel of old fashioned cabins. Light, air and space are magnified to striking effect in the villa’s interior with the use of glass skylights across the entire length of the building; glass balustrades and sliding floor-to-ceiling patio doors create an almost seamless and uninterrupted division of space. Stone-effect white washed ceramic tiles (otherwise known as ‘Concrete Project’) throughout the main area not only helps regulate the warmth of the intense sun but contributes to the overall amplification of light.”

The north-facing façade overlooking the sea continues this vintage cruiser theme with a crisp, linear oakwood sunscreen framing the edge of the building and casting dramatic angular shadows on the interior space no matter what time of the day. With this play on light, the villa becomes akin to a habitable sundial, with residents able to ascertain the time of the day simply from the casting of the shadows. Meanwhile, rich wooden cladding on the west side gives a nod to the rambling thick forestry next to it, creating an aesthetic dialogue with nature.

The main living room space in particular really celebrates the view. Floor to ceiling double-height windows, extending up into the first storey, creates a concession of ‘frames’ – each one producing a real-life gallery of art using the sea view ‘canvas’ before it. Upon entering, visitors are instantly greeted by this vista, enabling them to immerse themselves in an interior space flooded by space and light. Clean lines and simple form untainted by the distraction of fussy details give a pure and unadultered view of the landscape in the distance – underscoring the message that this is a property made specially for appreciating the beauty of nature.

Outside, a decked sunken kitchen fitted out with a barbeque and Jamie Oliver clay oven completes the alfresco dining offering, while the infinity pool at sunlounger level melds seamlessly into the blue of the Mediterranean Sea.

Kenan Klico added:

“This is a great example of a property that fuses two different aesthetics together to striking effect. Everything about the build has been considered with the stunning view before it and the natural environment around it. Nature has had a real part to play in the design of this villa, with the true details and embellishments coming through with undulating play on light, tone and space. This is a luxury villa set in a highly desirable exclusive location, and we have been able to plan and construct a beautiful property pragmatically, and in a way that aesthetically respects the natural surrounding environment and other properties in the surrounding location.”