Villa Arson, Building 1

Villa Arson

Building 1 marks the north – west end of the domain, bordering on Avenue Stéphen Liégeard. On the south – east it leads to the Bosco or entrance garden. Levels -1 and -2 house the parking spaces. Level 0 has housed the studios for the artists in residence from the beginning. Currently a cafeteria, a bookshop and the reception occupy the east end of the building. The first three studios were replaced by the cafeteria. Level +1, called “exam rooms”, provide small bedrooms for students or visitors for a short stay. On the outside, the diagonal walls separating the terraces of the studios soften the general line of the building.

Excavating for foundations and beginning the construction of the parking spaces in the second basement.

Form-work for the pillars supporting the upper levels and separating the parking spaces.

View of building 1 from the Avenue Stéphen Liégeard, with the entrance to the parking spaces and the beginning of the construction of the studios.

The studios for the artists in residence on the lower level, before placing the roof on the sloping side. Above is the concrete slab for the “contest rooms”, small rooms used for short stays.

Terrace of a housing accommodations for artists in residence

From left to right: planters crowning the building on the street side and overhanging the terraces, the sloping roofs of the studios used for the artists in residence, level +1 currently housing the small bedrooms called “cells”.

Small bedroom called “cell” for the students or the teachers.

Entrance to the Villa Arson domain, with the reception on the ground level and the official accommodations on the first floor.
The stone facing has not been done yet. At the bottom of the overhanging walls, the concrete surround has the imprint of the veins and knots in the wooden planks used for the form-work. This distinctive architectural sign is found in the entire building.

Reception building of the Villa Arson at the north of the domain

In the foreground, from left to right, buildings 2 and 1.
In the background is the entrance garden called the “Bosco”. Further back is building 3 with the old Villa towering over the domain.

The sloping walls and the recessed upper floor, invisible from the street, soften the massive aspect of the building. The planters overhanging the terraces and the entrance of the parking space assert from the first the characteristic form-work motif of the building.

Seen from the street, the sloping walls separating the terraces of the studios makes the construction look less massive.
This design asserts one of the main concepts of the architecture of the Villa Arson, deployed horizontally “like a lizard in the sun” (Michel Marot).
The concrete surfaces will be veneered with tumbled stones, planters will be filled, creating a visual vibration which also makes the volumes look less massive.

The rough concrete, the vibration of light on the stones and the greenery, are emblematic aspects of the architecture of the Villa Arson.

On the right are the housing accommodations for artists in residence notably, on one level with the garden.

The overhanging construction of the entrance building allows for a sheltered passageway and makes the volume look lighter, the volume itself including vertical recesses sheltering the windows from the sun.

An asphalt alley runs around the Bosco. On the ground a circle of Veronico tiles around a tree encroaches on the asphalt.
This detail illustrates the process of interrupting and decompartmentalizing shapes and volumes found in all of the Villa Arson.

In accordance with the architect's wishes, the buildings remain lower than the surrounding buildings in the neighborhood, and lower than the vegetation that was preserved in the original garden. The roof gardens and the stone façades soften the massive aspect of the volumes.

Presented in the collective exhibition Juste en dessous 6, Villa Arson, from June 21 1991
All rights reserved Felice Varini and Villa Arson for the photography

Parking spaces, level -2 of building 1. The black line is a trace of a Felice Varini artwork.

Credits: Story

Jean-Pierre Simon

In charge of the project
Cédric Moris Kelly

Legal issues
Alain Avena

Under the guidance of Patrick Aubouin

Editorial staff
Patrick Aubouin
Cédric Moris Kelly

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

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
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