Villa in Bordeaux

A couple lived in a very old, beautiful house in Bordeaux. Eight years ago, they wanted a new house, maybe, a very ‘simple’ house. They were looking at different architects. Then, the husband had a car accident. He almost died, but he survived. Now he needs a wheelchair.
Two years later, the couple began to think about the house again. Now the new house could liberate the husband from the prison that their old house and the medieval city had become.
‘Contrary to what you would expect,’ he told the architect, ‘I do not want a simple house. I want a complex house, because the house will define my world... .’ They bought a mountain with a panoramic view over the city. The architect proposed a house - or actually three houses on top of each other. The lowest one was cave-like – a series of caverns carved out from the hill for the most intimate life of the family. The highest house was divided into a house for the couple and a house for the children.
The most important house was almost invisible, sandwiched in-between: a glass room – half inside, half outside – for living.
The man had his own ‘room’, or rather ‘station’. A lift, 3 by 3.5 metres that moved freely between the three houses; changing plan and performance when it ‘locked’ into one of the floors or floated above. A single ‘wall’ intersected each house, next to the elevator. It contained everything the husband might need ? books, artwork and in the cellar, wine...
The movement of the elevator changed each time the architecture of the house.
A machine was its heart.