Odile Decq’s stunning new ‘Maison de Verre’ in Brittany redefines domestic architecture with rugged zest, courage and a soothing interior with a sci-fi approach

Carantec, Brittany, France

Odile Decq unveiled her latest residence in Carantec, Brittany, for a client with a degenerative eye disease that was progressively depriving her of sight.

At his request, “the light had to be perfect, homogeneous and glare-free,” explains the architect.

La Maison de Verre de Decq echoes Pierre Chareau’s famous 1928 dwelling for Dr. Jean Dalsace which became the archetype of proto-industrial domestic modernism.

This modern iteration is an all-glass structure: “a box of natural light.”

Located in a suburban area at the entrance to the town of Carantec, the glass house is an atypical object, but its construction takes into account the regulatory setbacks in relation to the separating limits while offering a service area and additional parking nearby. .

Glass House by Odile Decq

The complete translucency of the walls, facades and roof, creates a singular phenomenon inside: a homogeneous and identical light in all respects, an impression of cocoon, which isolates it from the rest of the world.

Decq ensured the site was hidden away and private, with new hedges and fruit trees added to the plot to increase the home’s sense of dramatic seclusion.

The unusual façade was designed to create a light but not overly dazzling interior space, which the architect describes as a “cocoon… isolated from the rest of the world”.

Glass House by Odile Decq

White and black, the house is an opalescent, inclined parallelepiped.

It is pierced by two longitudinal volumes of black glass in which the utilitarian functions of the house are installed (bathrooms, storage, kitchen, etc.).

You enter the house through a sheltered patio that protects you from the wind and view, and you can still see the sky: it is a transitional space between the outside and the inside.

From there, you access a double-height living space which hosts a living room, an open kitchen, and a dining room.

Two bedrooms, one of which is double height, complete the first floor.

On the first floor, accessible by an all-glass staircase, there is a large bedroom and a bathroom.

Glass House by Odile Decq

Decq worked with a specialist glazing supplier, Okalux, to fabricate the walls from insulated panels of translucent glazing, set in a hidden structural steel grid.

This glass material is perfectly insulating and offers many advantages: The textile panels included in its cavity allow shadow-free lighting, with daylight penetrating deep into the spaces.

The panels sandwich a thin sheet of insulating textile between the panes, ensuring that the light that filters through is diffused and even, without casting strong shadows.

The result is a comfortable and homogeneous lighting atmosphere that offers the greatest comfort in the apprehension of interior spaces.

These panels, which give the house a milky white and translucent appearance, also ensure perfect solar protection and limitation against glare, their thermal insulation is excellent, thus helping to qualify the operation of high environmental quality.

Glass House by Odile Decq

Natural light is maximized while ensuring privacy.

Only a few low transparent windows allow a close view of the garden.

A handful of conventional windows are set into the walls to provide garden views from the double-height main living space, which includes an open-plan kitchen, lounge and dining area, plus a glass staircase that leads to the master bedroom. (two other bedrooms are located on the ground floor).

The interior lighting has been designed to reflect the homogeneity of natural daylight.

The approach was to think about the design of the lighting from an interior point of view, taking into account the life inside the house and trying to make the space pleasant to live in and practical.

When night falls, the house lights up like a lantern, emitting a soft, diffused light.

From the garden, the house appears like a glowing lantern at night, decidedly different but also far more private than its earlier namesake.

Particular care has been taken in the landscaping of the site, in harmony with the plant species present on the site: the existing hedges have been completed; the car parks at the entrance were hidden by hedges; fruit trees have been planted.

Project: Glass House
Architects: Studio Odile Decq
Main architect: Odile Decq
Customer: Private
Photographers: Philippe Ruault


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