“The architecture of Jacques Couëlle is a celebration of the earth. In the evening, when the day gradually slips out of our eyes and escapes, the houses of Jacques Couëlle again enter the earth to merge with it. And each morning when the sky lights up, they seem to emerge from the ground and be reborn - like a daily earthly fertilization."
— André Wogenscky
Villa Goupil was designed and built in 1967 by architect Jacques Couëlle for French industrialist Jean-Jacques Goupil. Located within a forest in Chevreuse, around 40kms west of Paris, it is a surrealist dream that co-exists with the surrounding landscape.
Self-taught architect Couëlle avoided mechanical and rigid architectural design, instead he featured organic structures and curving surfaces that resembled living form. This can also be seen in his work we have previously featured 'Les Maison's Sculptures'.
In Villa Goupil the surrounding forest lends shape and form to the exteriors of the house, a decision typical of Couëlle’s work. From within the house the breathtaking view can be seen through the organic shaped ‘portal’ like windows, allowing the inhabitants to immerse in the serenity of nature.
The swimming pool is the central ‘organ’ to this house. From both floors it takes precedence, and can be experienced through the glass windows.
Working in autonomy with its surroundings, his designs hinted at fluidity and movement, contradictory to the nature of the materials he worked with. While his work always serviced the imagination, it was at times regarded as rudimentary by critics of the time who likened them to caveman-like designs – despite the billionaire backers who invested in them.
In modern times his progressive designs are celebrated and recognised for their strength and formal beauty.
Photography — Etienne Revault and Brydie Mack
Design — Jacques Couëlle
Location — Chevreuse, France
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