The Lighthouse

Text description provided by the architects. The Lighthouse is the result of the division into several apartments of an emblematic villa of the Basque architecture of the 30s built by the Gomez brothers. The former villa faces the lighthouse of Biarritz and the Atlantic Ocean and the accompanying vista heavily influenced the development’s design.



The waves and the sinuous coast immediately set the tone for the project, entirely drawn in curves. The layout as a matter of fact is directly inspired by them. The entire Duplex apartment faces the window. It is the main protagonist of the project.

It was designed in steel and as a pocket window, to disappear completely into the walls, thus making a place for a painting in eternal movement. The strength of the wind at this location so close to the coast also dictated a thorough study of the resistance of the bay window. The Basque coast is well known for its violent storms.

Regarding the structure, the hall rested on 4 poles and the façade, the walls having been made at the time of the division, and not being bearing. It was therefore necessary to create an independent metal structure for the gallery floor.

The project was designed using 3 main materials, oak wood, coming from the French forests, stainless steel as well as brushed aluminum panels, and travertine in the bathroom.

The original herringbone parquet has been preserved and restored. The stainless steel, on all the ground floor and the stairs reflects the light coming from the bay while the wood and the travertine on the gallery give a warm tone to the room and the bathroom, the most intimate spaces. Downstairs, the kitchen is retractable. It completely disappears to create a more abstract space that allows for a communion with the infinity of the ocean. On the Gallery, a bedroom, an office, and a bathroom are the private spaces of the Duplex. The bathroom is designed as a boat cabin, with a porthole overlooking the bay.

A 4 metre high wooden bookcase frames the bay window, creating a showcase for the photographs of the owner of which he is a collector. Last but not least, a 5-meter-long bench is allowed to inhabit the wall.


Location Biarritz, France

Architect Toledano+ Architects

Manufacturers Fritz HansenICONICOLotisOberSurfacesQuerkusSUPER MODULARSemihTroneV-ZugVarela Design and Vola

Photography Simone Bossi

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