Located less than ten minutes’ walk north-west of Biot’s historic center, perched on a hill, this site is rich, wild and complex.
Rich for its topography on the one hand, the plot extends over two hundred and thirty-five meters long by one hundred and thirty meters wide, and features a consequent thirty-seven meter drop from the high point along the road to Valbonne to the low point in the wooded valley. More than just a slope, the Saint Eloi site develops in a circular arc around the valley below, reminiscent of ancient Roman amphitheaters.
This analogy is reinforced by the presence of restanques on the northern half of the site. These former cultivated terraces, now overgrown with brambles, were of particular interest to us.
Wild, on the other hand, thanks to the exceptional flora that makes up the majority of the landscape. Located less than six hundred meters from the Natura 2000 protected “Massif de Biot”, the Saint Eloi site is home to almost eight types of natural or semi-natural environment, and a wide variety of trees ranging from oak to mandarin, cypress, laurel, ash and olive. All of which give the site an exceptional Mediterranean character.
Complex, finally, because of the duality between the imposed program and the beauty of the site. During our first visit to the site, it seemed obvious to us to limit the architectural impact in such a place in favor of a subtle, concealed, almost invisible project. A project that integrates the program while restoring the existing landscape, a project that remains friendly with this exceptional site, an architecture that blends into the landscape as if to disappear.