St. Jean Du Cap Ferrat, Nizza
Villa La Serena
Guilhem & Guilhem
The villa, imposing and isolated, stands on a ridge in the most beautiful part of the Riviera. Overlooking the sea, surrounded by pine woods and the Mediterranean maquis, it is the epitome of luxury and exclusive privacy. Of the original twentieth-century building, which belonged to someone famous, there remains only the structure consisting of a central block flanked by a lower porticoed wing. The restoration project, entrusted to the Guilhem & Guilhem office in Cannes, was radical. The pink plaster facing of the exterior has been replaced by slabs of marble in the delicate Crema Marfil shade, which is also used for the columns of the portico, the steps outside and as a finish for the doors and windows. Also the facing of the interiors is in marble and granite throughout, with the exception of some areas where stone has been combined with warm wooden wainscoting. The most interesting aspect of the project is the almost exclusive use of stone to create a continuity between the interior and exterior spaces, relying also on the predominance of the color cream. The decoration and interior design play on fine chromatic details that range from pink to brown and black, passing through a gradation of shades that only natural stone possesses.
The lavish effect of the whole is offset by a care for detail that embellishes and at the same time characterizes the individual interiors, using the structural and aesthetic qualities of marble, granite and onyx. The skilful use of black, brown and pink marble, polished or sandblasted to create simple or more complex decorative intarsia patterns is accompanied by the far less predictable choice of Nero Zimbabwe granite, polished and flamed, for the lozenge-shaped paving of the kitchen floor.
A complex project, in which the quality of the stone materials, the cutting, working, the phases of prelaying, installation and polishing required Furrer to provide its engineering expertise and craftsmanship to achieve the desired results.