Blackened Timber Reading Room Extends A Coastal Home In Northern France

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This blackened plywood box additional by architect Antonin Ziegler to one particular finish of a rural property on France’s northern coast provides a private library and garage for its inhabitants .

Parisian architect Antonin Ziegler added the 60-square-metre reading through area to an old stone house in Senneville-sur-Fécamp, a region on the coast of the English Channel in northern France.

Cliffs Impasse by Antonin Ziegler

Ziegler was commissioned to style the extension – named Cliffs Impasse after the property’s clifftop area – to supply a property for the owner’s expanding book collection.

The library walls are clad inside and outside in plywood boards and three of its four sides attribute big windows.

Cliffs Impasse by Antonin Ziegler

The pale ply was left untreated on the interior but the exterior is blackened with pine tar – a sticky preservative used to weatherproof maritime structures – as a contrast to the pale grey stonework of the unique property.


Associated story: House in Normandy with blackened timber walls by Beckmann-N’Thépé Architectes


The black cladding folds away from the front of the framework to give an entrance to a garage that is concealed in the base of the construction.

Cliffs Impasse by Antonin Ziegler

“On the final path just before the earth falls away into the sea, a tiny nation home is tucked into an embankment,” said Ziegler.

“Within, piles of books are stacked in each and every corner and recess. The rhythm of the day is marked by the turning of pages and punctuated by the comings and goings of the property cats.”

Cliffs Impasse by Antonin Ziegler

“At the end of an impasse, on best of a cliff, at the finish of the globe. What better spot to escape from the planet, to produce a space that allows ideas to run wild?” he additional.

Cliffs Impasse by Antonin Ziegler

A narrow passageway with glazed walls connects the timber-clad volume to the stone gable of the existing home.

The passage leads via from the kitchen, and arrives at the foot of a new staircase top up to the initial-floor library.

Cliffs Impasse by Antonin Ziegler

Books are shelved on floor-to-ceiling units constructed from pale plywood. The timber ribs of the building’s construction slot amongst the shelves and extend across the ceiling, supporting another strip of shelving that hangs from the ceiling. The ribs also run in between a series of windows on the opposite wall.

Cliffs Impasse by Antonin Ziegler

These form component of an L-shaped area of glazing that wraps 1 corner of the extension, supplying views above the close by village and the steeple of a church, even though a smaller window is set into the rear wall to supply a see via the structure.

Cliffs Impasse by Antonin Ziegler

“Open on three sides, it is like a book opened onto the landscape,” explained the architect. “From it, we can perceive the village and the horizon along the sea beneath.”

Cliffs Impasse by Antonin Ziegler

Rows of strip and pendant lighting hang from the timber ceiling, illuminating the huge window at evening – a attribute the architect says draws attention into the extension and away from the property.

Cliffs Impasse by Antonin Ziegler

“Beyond simply offering a see for its inhabitants and providing a place for evasion, the space also produces a new picture inside the landscape,” he said.

“The target on this newly unveiled space produces a relationship that tends to make the present residence disappear.”

Cliffs Impasse by Antonin Ziegler

Photography is by Antonin Ziegler.

Cliffs Impasse by Antonin ZieglerLocation strategy Cliffs Impasse by Antonin ZieglerGround floor strategy Cliffs Impasse by Antonin ZieglerInitial floor prepare Cliffs Impasse by Antonin ZieglerArea Dezeen

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