Villa Arson, using tumbled stones during the construction

Villa Arson

The tumbled stones were used only for the exterior facing of the buildings. Initially they were calibrated and placed by hand on the walls, one by one. This technique proving too time-consuming, during the construction they started being assembled on large panels on the floor. The panels were then glued directly onto the walls. Towards the end of the construction, there not being enough stones, some of the walls of the Villa Arson were covered with smaller stones, sometimes more spaced out. “these stones were supposed to become like the pointillism of leaves, because the idea was to make the façades disappear… All this was the result of my research on skin and color. […] The promontory of the Villa Arson was a green mass that had to be saved in the face of rampant urban densification. Therefore the walls and the greenery had to blend into one another. By using stones from the Var river, the idea was also to remain faithful to the area, to its mineral history, and to create a place where architecture would not encroach on the urban space. I would have preferred somewhat less gray stones but I must say that they have warmed up with the dust of time” (Michel Marot). The resulting motif reminds us of the stone streets of Provençal villages.

Stones from the river Var. Because at the end of the construction there were not enough stones, some of the walls of the Villa Arson were covered with smaller stones, sometimes more spaced out.

The panels were made by hand on the floor in a wooden form, then they were raised and placed onto the structure.

A typical example of the visual assemblage of stone facing and rough concrete facing.

A worker is placing the stones by hand. In spite of the scope of the construction site, a handmade aspect remains.

This test wall was the first one made using the technique selected for the veneer of the entire domain.
The flat side of the stones looks outwards. When one looks at the wall from the side, none of the stones stick out.
The assemblage was made directly on the wall by hand by placing the stones one by one inside a frame. This technique was abandoned during construction because it was too time-consuming.
Initially the stones were calibrated. Because at the end of the construction there were not enough stones, some of the walls of the Villa Arson were covered with smaller stones, sometimes more spaced out.

This test wall was the first one made using the technique selected for the veneer of the entire domain.
The flat side of the stones looks outwards. When one looks at the wall from the side, none of the stones stick out. The assemblage was made directly on the wall by hand by placing the stones one by one inside a frame.
This technique was abandoned during construction because it was too time-consuming. Initially the stones were calibrated. Because at the end of the construction there were not enough stones, some of the walls of the Villa Arson were covered with smaller stones, sometimes more spaced out.

On the left, over the sloping street, a footbridge allows for the passage between two terraces. There is an openwork railing at the end.
This detail shows how Michel Marot constantly played with the interpenetration of volumes and voids and how he mastered light. The interlinking of textures is typical of the rest of the domain: stones, rough concrete, Veronico tiles and marble tiles on the floor, concrete or wrought iron railings that give rhythm to the proportions, mahogany windows and doors.
These combinations always stimulate observation.

Presented in the collective exhibition Le principe de réalité, Villa Arson, July 4 - October 3 1993
All rights reserved Anya Gallaccio and Villa Arson for the photography

Credits: Story

Direction
Jean-Pierre Simon

In charge of the project
Cédric Moris Kelly

Legal issues
Alain Avena

Digitalization
Under the guidance of Patrick Aubouin

Editorial staff
Patrick Aubouin
Cédric Moris Kelly

Translation
Claire Bernstein

Data entry in Google Cultural Institute interface
Cédric Moris Kelly

Digitalization of spaces by Google Street View team was made possible thanks to the mobilization of Villa Arson technical teams:

Reception, monitoring and maintenance
Joël Jauny

Reception, monitoring & accommodation
Isabelle Clausse
Dave Dhurmajee
Marlène Lebrusq
Jean-Pierre Vitry

Technical / Buildings staff
Jean-Paul Carpentier
Gérard Maria
Pascal Rigaux
Michel Serve

Gardens
Patrice Lorho
Pascal Pujol
Kévin Serviole

Thanks to Michel Marot for the graceful authorization to use the archives collection Marot Tremblot Architecture (MTA)

With the support of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Google Street View and Google Cultural Institute teams

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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