Fobe House

by | 09. Nov 2012

Feature | Residential

Photo © Jean Marie Monthiers

Stark white buildings against the bare brown earth, flowing and open spaces – the house spans the landscape. 

The Fobe House is located about ten kilometers south of Marrakech. The flat site, surrounded by clay walls, is mostly drowned under a heat veil  that hides the horizon with the snowy Atlas Mountains only visible from December to March. The wildness of the land has been preserved although more than 500 trees have been planted.

My desire was to establish a close dialogue with the land, the vegetation and the Atlas Mountains to the horizon.
/ Guilhem Eustache

Photo © Jean Marie Monthiers


Photo © Jean Marie Monthiers

We played with light and shadow to enhance and strengthen the volumes and used local materials and techniques like clay, tadelack, Pierre de Ourika.
/ Guilhem Eustache

Photo © Jean Marie Monthiers


Photo © Jean Marie Monthiers


Photo © Jean Marie Monthiers


Photo © Jean Marie Monthiers


Photo © Jean Marie Monthiers


Photo © Jean Marie Monthiers


Photo © Jean Marie Monthiers


Photo © Jean Marie Monthiers

Simple volumes, a totem fireplace, a guard house consisting of two cubes, a double garage, punched with small openings, define the void and focus the eye towards the house.
Two parallel concrete walls create a visual barrier to the west and, like the sails on a sailboat, make the house seem to move on the land – it crosses the desert….

A steep stairway between the two walls leads to a rooftop terrace with spectacular views to the south and the Atlas Mountains on a clear day.
From the interior views of the landscape are framed through tall windows and geometric cutouts, and towards the Atlas Mountains from the livingroom across the pool and the ascending steps at the end of the pool.

With the Atlas behind them, you really have this feeling that, when you walk up the steps, you are genuinely walking up into the mountains. I’m always reminded of Stairway to Heaven.
/ The owner

Photo © Jean Marie Monthiers

Photo courtesy Guilhem Eustache
Three white concrete slabs dramatize the entrance to the land and, at the same time, marks the longitudinal axis of the main house in the center of the land.

Photo © Jean Marie Monthiers
Photo © Jean Marie Monthiers

There is a narrow link that exists between architecture and cinema, I have to remind you that the client is a Belgian film producer and director. The perception of architecture is mainly achieved through  movement. The eye in movement, when the perspective opens, reveals little by little the various elements which constitute the house. In the distance, a white square – when getting closer – becomes a cube, a white wall a tube, then we discover openings… But another white rectangle is finally only a simple wall, a small triangle a pyramid.

It is quite exciting to captivate the visitor, to suggest to him (her) a vertiginous rise of steps, a plunging view into space or a panoramic view on the horizon. It is a real scenario which must be worked out with dynamic sequences, such as travelings, then rotations, fixed framings which can finally transform into a zoom towards the infinite during a slow frontal movement.

/ Guilhem Eustache

Drawing courtesy Guilhem Eustache Site Plan


Drawing courtesy Guilhem Eustache House Floor Plan


Drawing courtesy Guilhem Eustache Longitudinal Section


Drawing courtesy Guilhem Eustache Cross Section


Drawing courtesy Guilhem Eustache Guard House and Garage Section


Photo courtesy Guilhem Eustache The Builders


CITY Marrakech