The house of the Barak family in the south of France

The Barak House – France

The house of the Barak family in the south of France

The house of the Barak family in the south of France © R&Sie(n)

Stealth house

In southern France close to the village of Sommieres, a more traditional region of small individual houses, surprises the unusual appearance of the new house of M. Ami Barak.

In its outside form the building reflects the morphology of the surrounding landscape and its green fabric covering integrates into the natural environment. By shading the underneath concrete structure, it also helps to cool down the inside temperature in the hot and dry summer months.

Situated in the monument-protected zone of the nearby historic “Château Sommières”, it was important for the construction to harmonize with the surrounding landscape. The house had to be nearly invisible to get the permission to be built.

The tent-like construction method of the house

The tent-like construction method of the house © R&Sie(n)

Completed in December 2001 by the Paris-based architecture office of R&Sie…, the house offers seven rooms on 160 m2 and a 70 m2 terrace under the canopy, ready for a future construction of additional rooms. The tent-like covering is made of polyurethane fabric panels attached by plastic clips to carbon fiber wires and supported by 72 adjustable galvanized steel poles. The total costs for the construction were about 168 000 €.

It is the relationship between the free-formed envelope and the landscape, the tension between the light fabric and the heavy concrete structure that makes the Barak House an exceptional project in the French countryside.

Author: Christian Horn is leading the architecture and urban planning office Rethink

Text published in the magazine Frame, 10/02

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