DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE
In the heart of Cap d’Antibes, a former neo-Provençal villa,
once outdated and adorned with old-fashioned balustrades,
has undergone a remarkable rejuvenation at the skilled hands
of Cannes-based architects Caprini & Pellerin.
Nestled majestically within the captivating embrace of Cap d’Antibes, where the azure sea tantalizingly flirts with the horizon, a neo-Provençal villa, once trapped in the clutches of outdated aesthetics and timeworn balustrades, has undergone a miraculous metamorphosis. Guided by the visionary brilliance of the Cannes-based architectural virtuosos, Caprini & Pellerin, this villa has transcended the realms of mere renovation to become an epitome of contemporary opulence infused with the timeless charm of Mediterranean architectural influences. Behold, the resplendent Villa Fidji—a phoenix reborn in the ethereal cocoon of architectural reincarnation.
The saga of transformation unfurls from the very foundations of the property. Today, it stands as a testament to architectural ingenuity, its form elegantly contoured by the angular poetry of a bare concrete envelope. This structure, adorned with an external passageway that gracefully navigates its periphery, lords over a subterranean realm that pays homage to the expansive bay with a sun-drenched stonework ensemble. Gone are the antiquated tiled roofs, replaced by an enchanting rooftop garden that beckons the Riviera’s legendary light to dance upon the multifaceted canvas of gray concrete—here, the material unveils its true grandeur.
Situated proximate to the villa’s entrance, the semi-circular pool itself has undergone a veritable renaissance. An ingenious sea-side overflow mechanism orchestrates a soft, melodious waterfall, conjuring a mirage-like mirror effect. This aquatic masterpiece is accentuated by an anthracite-tiled mosaic cloak that harmoniously melds with the natural surroundings. To bridge the structural expanse between the villa and the basin, the architects have sculpted a monumental stone staircase, flanked on either side by gracefully curved stone walls, thus crafting an intricate symphony of architectural harmony that seamlessly binds the property and the pool into a visual ode.
The villa’s exterior exteriorizes an architectural philosophy that synthesizes the essence of contemporary regional aesthetics. It is an ensemble that harmoniously weaves traditional elements such as venerable stone cladding and a quintessentially Mediterranean tiered garden with contemporary materials, embodied in minimalist windows, concrete structures, and the chic elegance of contemporary wooden blinds.
The rear elevation of the villa, however, conjures a wholly contrasting tableau. Here, sun-drenched stone walls punctuated by strategically placed openings framed by gray concrete blocks of varying dimensions conjure an aura of enigmatic allure, evoking the artistic dialect of Land Art—a language dear to the architects’ creative souls. This aspect pays a reverent homage to the Southern architectural lexicon, replete with its limestone-coated walls, ancient ‘restanques’ (layered stone gardens), and an abundance of apertures that serenely filter the sun’s luminescent caresses through the Mashrabiyya-inspired blinds. One’s entry into the villa is a captivating experience, facilitated through a minimalist portal that bisects the passage between the garage and the villa itself. This corridor, sculpted by a low concrete ceiling artfully carved at its center to form a halo, conjures memories of the celestial-inspired Skylight Series by the renowned artist James Turrell.
Upon traversing the threshold, one cannot help but marvel at the harmonious convergence of the outdoor and indoor materials. It is a palette that showcases myriad variations, offering an architectural symphony of harmony, where disparate elements coalesce in perfect unison. The villa stands as a testament to a unifying vision, where brutalism and warmth intertwine, unifying spaces in a seamless flow of materials. These spaces, as they unfurl, occasionally offer glimpses through large apertures onto the serene expanse of the sea or frame sections of the landscape within monumental architectural boxes, creating a theatrical landscape that undulates in harmony with the ever-shifting reflections of the sun.
The ground floor opens up to an expansive space that graciously extends its gaze to the meticulously manicured garden and the captivating sea beyond. Here, an artfully sculpted fireplace takes center stage, its contours a sculptural marvel that beckons admiration. The floor, graced with a solid oak parquet, adds warmth to the ambience. The fireplace itself is a testament to exquisite craftsmanship, hewn from luxurious marble stone, crowned with a bronze hood cunningly mimicking wood, concealing within its bosom an array of discreet closets, televisions, and technical paraphernalia. The living area gracefully segues into the dining space, gently demarcated by a series of bespoke bookshelves.
The transition between the dining room and the kitchen is marked by a lowered ceiling, and though the space embraces an open-plan layout, it can be discreetly sequestered by grand sliding wooden doors. This vast expanse boasts a retractable minimalist bay window, a marvel that gracefully dissolves into the walls to maximize the expansive views. Behind a door, artfully camouflaged as a wall, one encounters a ground-floor bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. The bedroom, replete with an awe-inspiring custom-built headboard set in travertine, acts as a subtle partition for the dressing area. In this room, the eye is seduced by a symphony of sumptuous finishes, from supple leather to the richly smoked oak, from the crystalline clarity of glass to the mesmerizing allure of mirrors and the opulent grandeur of patinated brass handles. The ensuite bathroom, a masterpiece in its own right, is a miniature reimagining of the materials employed in the villa’s exterior facade. It is a bespoke design boasting immaculate finishes, unveiling itself at an angle onto the enchanting garden beyond.
The journey to the first floor is an ascent guided by a vast, luminous staircase enveloped in a glass-clad cocoon that seemingly hovers in the passage. Here, on the upper level, three ensuite bedrooms each unfurl onto a shared concrete terrace adorned with a warm wooden finish. The terrace, enclosed by a transparent balcony railing, reveals uninterrupted vistas of the majestic sea. Each bedroom, a masterpiece in its own right, revels in its unique symphony of tones and materials, a meticulous composition executed with unparalleled finesse.
Finally, a sprawling basement, accessed via an elegantly appointed staircase that graces the stands, unveils a realm of indulgence. The basement unfolds onto an exquisite wine cellar that seamlessly extends into a home cinema, gymnasium, sauna, laundry facility, and staff quarters. Villa Fidji is a luxury abode that has been painstakingly honed to its minutest details. It represents a conceptual architectural narrative that defies convention, surprising the beholder with its warmth, and embracing the fluid simplicity of authenticity. Here, luxury intertwines with architectural artistry to create an abode that is as opulent as it is harmonious—a testament to the sublime fusion of timeless elegance and contemporary grandeur.