Villa Arson, Alley of Cypresses

By Villa Arson

Michel Marot kept intact the entire alley of cypresses which starts at the entrance garden and runs the whole length of the west side of the building following a gentle slope. At the bottom of the property it turns east around building 5 up to an ancient portal. At the bottom of the walls, niches have been created for neoclassic statues, some of which have been there since the 19th century. The alley, the longest cypress alley in the region, was a walk conceived in a romantic spirit. Here we can see how Michel Marot favored the site and the landscaping rather than the old buildings.

The old Villa, western façade (August 1968) by Michel MarotVilla Arson

The modern buildings are beginning to surround the old Villa (western side of the galerie des Cyprès).

The old Villa, south – west façades seen from Cypress Alley (August 1968) by Michel MarotVilla Arson

Cypress Alley follows the west side of building 3, the old Villa, and buildings 4 and 5. It has been entirely preserved.

North part of Cypress Alley, looking to the south (1972) by Michel MarotVilla Arson

The beginning of Cypress Alley runs along the north – west part of building 3, which houses the exhibition spaces of the current National Center for Contemporary Art.

Northern part of Cypress Alley, looking to the north (1972) by Michel MarotVilla Arson

The alley runs along the west side of the domain, it is the longest Cypress Alley of the region. A stairway leads back to Auditorium Alley, which runs across the building perpendicularly.

Cypress Alley follows the west side of building 3, the old Villa, and buildings 4 and 5. It has been entirely preserved. It is the longest Cypress Alley of the region.

Northern part of Cypress Alley, looking towards the south (May 1969) by Michel MarotVilla Arson

The beginning of Cypress Alley runs along the north – west part of building 3, which houses the exhibition spaces of the current National Center for Contemporary Art.

North part of Cypress Alley, looking to the south (1972) by Michel MarotVilla Arson

Facing the row of cypresses, niches have been created to house the reproductions of antique statues belonging to the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Nice.

Cypress Alley, going up towards the north on the west side of the property (March 1970) by Michel MarotVilla Arson

In this part of the alley the foundation wall has niches with modern plaster reproductions of ancient sculptures. With this layout the architect has brought together figurative and pointillist elements.

Building 5, south – west façades seen from Cypress Alley (1972) by Michel MarotVilla Arson

In numerous spaces the upper levels are overhanging. This makes the fortress-like architecture look lighter, it increases the floor area and creates circulation spaces sheltered from the rain and sun.

Statues of the four seasons (December 1968) by Michel MarotVilla Arson

These statues come from the gardens of the old estate. They look towards the south, along the path that continues Cypress Alley and indicates the end of the property.

These statues come from the gardens of the old estate. They look towards the south, along the path that continues Cypress Alley and indicates the end of the property.

Overall view of the domain from a hill on the west side (April 1970) by Michel MarotVilla Arson

Before one even distinguishes the architecture underneath, one can see how, in accordance with Michel Marot's project, the greenery determines the layout of the buildings.

View of buildings 4 and 5 from an apartment building situated on the south – west side (1972) by Michel MarotVilla Arson

The end of the domain, with buildings 4 and 5 surrounded by greenery. One can see the end of the alley of cypresses and the passage that prolongs it where three neoclassical statues have been placed inside niches. The ensemble looks like a fortress paradoxically trying to be discreet.

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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