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All images via Charles-Henri De La Grandiere
Location: Théoule-sur-Mer, France
Price: Available upon request
It doesn't take any particular language proficiency to appreciate the French listing for this extraterrestrial home: "ce palais extrordinaire .. compse de bulles," or "an extraordinary palace … consisting of bubbles." As spotted by The Spaces, this singular seaside retreat designed by Hungarian architect Antti Lovag and previously owned by fashion icon Pierre Cardin, has hit the market for an undisclosed sum. Reportedly inspired by Inuit villages, the concrete mesh structure seems not merely free from straight lines, but free from precedent. Lovag's philosophy of "habitology"—since the body was made from curves, right angles were "an attack on nature"—found its truest expression amid the bulbous exterior and porthole windows of this building overlooking the Mediterranean. His work wasn't more widely appreciated, or commissioned, due perhaps, in part, to his particular philosophy of client relations: "I don't know what it's going to be like, I don't know when it's going to be finished, and I don't know how much it's going to cost."
Surrounded by gardens, the building, which features waterfalls, ponds, and pools spilling over its bubblegum-colored façade, was created with a sense of play in mind. Lovag and his assistants literally created large spheres of wire and mesh by hand, forming the right shapes to cover in concrete (this may explain why the 15-bedroom, 13,000-square-foot home took 14 years to complete). The interior, filled with sensuous, curving entryways and 5,382-square-foot reception room, offers just as eccentric a take on design conventions as the exterior. Located down the coast from ad-industry mecca Cannes, the palace has been the site of numerous parties, as well as fashion shows staged on the property's 500-seat pavilion facing the Mediterranean. While the asking price is available upon request, it's likely to be stratospheric; the home used to be available for rent for $13,499 per day. That steep price wouldn't interest Lovag, who considered his work a passion more than anything else. A 2008 interview found him squatting in one of his old case study homes, still working on his next design.
∙ Listing [Charles-Henri De La Grandiere]
∙ Tour Pierre Cardin's Palais Bulles, 1989's Ultimate Summer Pad [Curbed]
∙ All House of the Day posts [Curbed]