CAB Architectes : Centre d’hébergement de l’observatoire

Located at the foot of a limestone cliff in Villefranche-sur-Mer (06), the Observatory's accommodation center has given its designers a hard time. A complex site that has not discouraged CAB Architects agency that delivers a raw building offering researchers who live a breathtaking view of the sea.

Nestled under the low ledge linking Nice and Monaco, concealed and partly enclosed, the project fits right into an unwelcoming plot. Spatial constraints that push the architects to redouble their imagination, creating a cloister deformed by the slope to volumetric appearance simple, but concealing many secrets ...


The set consists of two equivalent geometries arranged in opposite directions. The first square forms a base embedded in the ground and houses the common areas while the second, inverted, is placed on its neighbor, integrating 42 penates available - single or double. This unusual layout also forms a patio accessible to all residents. The whole is designed in raw concrete, as an echo to the minerality of the cliffs on which it rests. The boxes of metal shutters bring lightness and contemporaneity to this almost brutalist work.

A group that has been able to take advantage of its numerous constraints.

The project is selected for the ADC Awards 2019 in the category Housing / University Residence

To learn more, visit the ADC Awards website et of CAB Architects

Photos: Aldo Amoretti

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