We've come a long way, architecturally speaking, since our early days as cave dwellers. Or have we? French architect Savin Couëlle may have found a way to take us back to our roots—all the way back to the Stone Age.
A self-proclaimed “instinctive architect,” Couëlle’s goal is to design homes that are so connected to the landscape that they are hardly distinguishable. And it seems to be working for him.
In awe of caves since he was a child, Couëlle found a massive tangle of rock in the Mediterranean off the shores of Corsica and set out to use the immobile formations to his advantage. Whereas other architects or builders would have made it their mission to blast through the rock and force some form of modern architecture on the scenic strip of land, Couëlle channeled the artist within and sculpted the unique home around the rock.
The result is an amazing luxury sea-cave home that is definitely reminiscent of cartoon Saturdays with Fred and Wilma, yet at the same time amazingly elegant. The rocks which have called the shores of Cavallo home for thousands of years are sealed together to form the shell of the house, while interior walls and openings are fashioned with artistic flair by using wood and plaster.
Large openings in the house face the sea and give the illusion that the saltwater may have eroded the façade in a natural way, making the house feel like an extension of the sea, rather than an intrusion.
Adding to the mystique of the cave house is the surrounding landscape, which is comprised of mostly massive rocks. The intentional way the house mirrors the backdrop lends to the illusion that it’s been there all along, a natural anomaly. Of course, the truth of the matter is that Couëlle used his creative style to build something so natural and beautiful. It’s amazing to see what inspiration can generate when ego is taken out of the equation.
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