Fifteen years after the original design for several textile and landscape interventions in the celebrated Maison Bordeaux by OMA, Inside Outside was asked to revisit the spaces and reassess their qualities.

The house is made up of three stacked volumes, each with their own characteristics. The bottom floor is sunk into the landscape, with an interior courtyard, facing the caretaker’s residence and guest house. Here Inside Outside introduces a brown and silver, double layered, silk curtain, enhancing the light quality when closed.

The middle floor is the most transparent, boasting a huge glass facade. The client wanted to be able to shut out the light coming in from changing angles during the day. A white cotton curtain with a horizontal slit reflects the bright light of southern France outwards and diffuses it inwards. A strategically placed circular window allows the owner to choose the views out to the garden, courtyard and the city as she moves around the space. The exterior track on the southern façade is inhabited by a grey net at present, whereas, in its early years, the house was accompanied by a jute curtain .The large net filters the view and the harsh sunlight, creating an extra in-between space on the terrace.

The top floor is semi-transparent, covered on both sides by a large facade punctured with portholes that light up the bedrooms. These round windows created an opportunity for Inside Outside to fabricate curtains that respond to the specific architectural conditions. White lacquer patches, lined with gold faux leather floating on a canvas of white voile cover the windows and softly reflect a golden glow on the interior wall. A horizontal slit in light blue and grey lacquer curtains provide a delicate view outwards while the penetrating daylight bounces on the curtain’s oily reflective surface. Thus the three different curtains for three different bedrooms answer to different demands for daylight entry and colour.

The element that connects the three volumes is the impressive hydraulic lift that provides a moving ‘room’ through the house. To accentuate the presence of this room, Inside Outside implemented a bright red woollen carpet, that partially covers the platform, and partially lays in the living room, only showing itself in 'complete' form when the lift is on the living room level. A second red carpet, with a higher pile, is placed against the curved wall in the media room, as a prelude to the other vertical element in the house, the tube stairwell.

Inside Outside studio
Petra Blaisse with Peter Niessen, Barbara Pais and Francesca Sartori