Throughout the centuries, the Côte d’Azur has only reinforced it’s identity in terms of luxurious property, created by the prestigious residents it accommodates. Located between Nice and Monaco, the peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a town apart. Indeed, crowned heads of state and people from the entire world rush there to acquire properties vying in splendour.
Among hundreds of remarkable villas built in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, one stands proudly out : Villa La Voile.
Lord Norman Foster, architect of Villa La Voile
Norman Foster’s name commands respect in the world of high-tech architecture. Born in Manchester in 1935, this great man leaves school aged just 16 and decides to start working. After his military service, Norman Foster turns towards architecture. He begins his studies in architecture and town planning at the University of Manchester. With a diploma in his pocket he then goes to Yale and obtains his Masters in 1962.
The architectural office of Foster + Partners has over 500 employees.
A string of prestigious achievements begins then. The head-office of Willis Faber and Dumas, a classified building in Ipswich is one of Foster’s first achievements (1974). The imposing HSBC Main Building in Hong Kong (1985) equally demonstrates the architect’s talent. The Century Tower of Tokyo, the Reichstag Palace in Berlin, the Zénith in Saint-Etienne and The Index in Dubaï are all designed by Norman Foster. He is the only architect to have been rewarded twice by the Emporis Skyscraper Awards for his unique skyscrapers.
They say the architect has left his imprint almost everywhere in the world, overseeing that his projects reflect a certain know-how. And it is to this same man that we owe the extraordinary Villa La Voile in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
Villa la Voile : a hidden jewel of luxurious property in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Generally, the term “villa de luxe” evokes the image of a somptuous residence equipped with high-tech material, located in a dream decor.
With regard to La Voile, this luxurious aspect is measured by it’s very particular style. And while high-tech is very present inside, the outside is amazing.
Overhanging the Mediterranean, this exceptional house was Lord Foster’s personal holiday home. The sea stretching as far as the eye can see at the foot of this construction is visible through an immense bay window…..To admire the building you simply wander through the streets of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
Architecture, style and features of Villa la Voile
For this very contemporary villa, the ingenuity of Lord Foster and his team has built a somptuous private home in a specifically steep place.
La Voile villa, built in 2002, draws it’s name from it’s very strange design. From a distance, the residence resembles a boat tied up at the old walls of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. In particular, it displays a sail remarkably similar to sailing ships, with the slight difference that Foster chose a dominance of pure and transparent white and not an opaque fabric.
The marine ambiance is very present since La Voile offers a stunning view of the horizon creating a real connection with nature.
A vertical opening in the structure of the home guarantees a spectacular panorama, blurring the interior and exterior limits.
Library, lounge, several spacious terraces, a swimming-pool on the roof….. the villa is built over 4 levels and has a surface-area of 2,015m2. The main materials used are stone and glass. Immaculate in white both outside and inside, with the idea of best reflecting the sun, La Voile gives off an aura of luxury and modernity.
It is a sure bet for the architect.
But Norman Foster did not think only about the interior design. We can especially admire the fresco by Richard Long covering the wall at double height of the central room using the MudWork technique.
After building La Voile villa, Norman Foster’s name is added to the list of famous architects contributing to the prestige of the peninsula.