Dream Houses

Ecological logic for this new house

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This resolutely organic house marries wonderfully the ecology and the classic Provencal style.

Located on the hills of Luberon, this home with Provençal accents conjugates with perfection traditions and modernity of an ecological building. Jacques and Ghyslaine Gastini wanted a house similar to their convictions: resolutely organic. Surrounded by umbrella pines, cypresses and oaks, their farmhouse blends gently into the Luberon landscape. Marrying the slope of the land in terraces and old stones, it retains the special character of Provencal houses. New, this elegant building seems to have been there forever. Turned towards the future, entirely bioclimatic, it combines the forms and techniques of the eco-habitat with HQE (High environmental quality) standards with the use of renewable energies and natural and recyclable materials. "The most important thing for an eco-construction is to find suitable land, perfectly exposed to the sun, but also adapted to wind and weather," says Jacques Gastini, owner of the house and creator of La Rose des Sables, a company specialized in the construction of bioclimatic residences.

The choice of ecomaterials

"The design stage is crucial: here we choose the ecomaterials that will be used and the renewable energies to be put in place: horizontal or vertical geothermal energy, solar panels, biotic electricity, provençal wells ... And in the domain HQE, it still remains to interpret, analyze, test, the tracks are multiple, varied, and sometimes even a little obscure for the neophytes.The realization of an ecological house is a school of the compromises ", insists he . HQE, what is it? This label designates a new approach in the construction, in agreement with the nature and in an absolute respect of well defined criteria: an optimal relation of the building with the immediate environment; a construction site with low nuisances; a rational management of water ... Double advantage: energy savings and building rights greater than what is provided in the general framework of urban planning regulations. For the realization of this farmhouse perched on the hills of the country of Apt, Jacques Gastini has taken on several roles, from the designer to the master builder. Ghyslaine, for her part, took care of the interior decoration as usual.

Mixing vintage objects and contemporary touches

Leaving from L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue to Avignon, she finds beautiful old pieces that she mixes with more contemporary touches: light fixtures in stainless steel, sleek white cotton sofas, washbasins and faucets design and furniture from trendy garden. True to eco-housing, the couple is not in its infancy. Their first home, restored with accuracy and reasoning, already used ecological materials: hemp, lime, cork ... Today, their know-how goes beyond the borders of simple renovation to adapt to larger projects, radically "Eco-concerned", and the order book of their small company is full until 2009. The Gastini know it well, it is by testing by itself that one advances in its research of improvement. This is why they have long matured their project, surveying all the specialized fairs to better understand the evolutions of this exponential and complex market. On the land they chose for their home, the clay soil facilitated the five-fold drilling that feeds the heat pump of the reversible geothermal heating system (refreshing in summer). For hot water, absolute discretion, two large solar panels have been set below the pool.

Non-polluting and recyclable materials

Ecoconstruction therefore for this building erected with non-polluting and recyclable materials. New, naturally non-toxic and more efficient insulators, cork panels have been positioned between underfloor heating and smoothed concrete, wood wool (totally vegetal) has been fixed under the ceilings for optimal heat recovery ... To assemble the walls, Jacques opted for monomur bricks. At once supportive and lightweight, this new bio material plays thermal regulators and captures moisture. Covered with hydraulic lime plaster that lets "breathe", the walls take on mineral hues, ranging from gray to light ocher, passing through light blues like clouds. Lime still for the facade where some old stones come framing the ocher coating rose past the old. A successful integration! The Gastini have found the right tone to create from scratch this farm where the best ecomaterials mingle with authentic antique pieces? doors, fireplaces, stairs, beams and floors? found at Chabaud in Apt.

Two awnings to break the too long volumes of the house

Outside, two awnings, inspired by typical Provencal farmhouses, were raised in the extension of the house and the pool, to break the too long volumes of the whole. Shaded, these terraces, in rock of Espeil and walls of dry stone, dominate an exceptional panorama. It is here that meals and aperitifs are taken, among friends, far from the world. Designed in terraces, the garden goes down to the beautiful pool covered with white cement and surrounded by boxwood and deck chairs. Here there reigns an atmosphere of total freedom, accentuated by the whispering of the water poured out by three metal spouts arranged along the basin. The singing of birds, the sun and the water, as it is organic!

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