Caprini & Pellerin’s Villa Fabriana is an amalgamation of opposites – traditional and contemporary, vintage and modern, raw and soft – perched conveniently atop a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean.

In the French resort town of Cannes, architects Caprini & Pellerin have reinvigorated a three-storey clifftop home with a rich history. Briefed with modernising the building and re-addressing its connection to the landscape, Villa Fabriana emerges as a picture of the French Riviera, its beautiful beaches, vibrant holidaying population and characterful architecture.

An Amalgamation of Opposites

Jerry Pellerin says the villa embodies a “design duality”, blending several opposites to create one seamless design. “This project combines the charm of the traditional, Neo-Provencal style building with the weight and warmth of the contemporary interventions,” he reflects. Typifying this is the building’s original round tower, which has been re-clad in stone both to elevate its design and signify the coming together of old and new.

“This design duality is also present in the interiors, where we wanted a soft, soothing atmosphere contrasted by strong colours and raw materials,” Jerry says. The team has paired vintage pieces with more modern pieces to achieve this “balanced narrative”.

Reigniting a Connection to the Outdoors

Given the villa’s site and convenient placement above the town, a connection to the outdoors was an obvious priority. “Our architectural response is both in keeping with tradition and resolutely modern to ensure a continuous dialogue with the landscape,” Kevin Caprini maintains. 

The team has erased the line between inside and outside by introducing fully retractable windows and doors around the living spaces. This way, the 180-degree views are always in sight and the garden is made to sing. The garden is designed in harmony with the traditional “restanques” of the area, which follow a sloped, tiered structure planted with native Mediterranean trees. 

The building’s original round tower has been re-clad in stone both to elevate its design and signify the coming together of old and new.

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