François Pécard: an accomplished architect
Designed by the firm Pécard Architecture, the three villas AN1, AN2 and AN3, in the Lotissement Andres, reflect the architectural principles of François Pécard: residences with resolutely contemporary lines and generous volumes, that are completely integrated into the environment and designed to match the art living in St Barts.
Francois Pecard was amongst the first graduate architects to establish himself on the island. His role has been decisive in rediscovering the traditional St Barth architecture and its evolution towards a more contemporary style. Seduced by the ‘case à vent’ – the small traditional building, typical of the island, with thick stone walls and whitewashed coral – on his arrival on the island, he built his first small house of 13m², which he used as his office, before building his first “case” house at Pointe Milou, on the side exposed to the wind. Designed to demonstrate the possibility of comfortable living with the strong breeze, the house has become a reference on the island. Convinced by the concept of modernity, François Pécard draws his inspiration to adapt to ever-changing requirements, in line with the wishes of his customers.
“Do not let yourself be influenced by passing trends but go instead to the origins! Visit Italy, Greece, Egypt! Go back to the roots! This advice was given to him by his mentor, Othello Zavaroni, “Grand Prix de Rome”, whose teachings he followed at the ‘Beaux Arts de Paris’ and which he never forgot. In search of the basics, he followed history, firstly in Italy, then Greece and finally in Egypt, where he became an archeologist for two years in the temple of Amon Harnak. A journey of initiation that marked both the spirit and the soul of a man! Moreover, he uses the remarkable proportions in all of his buildings and especially those of the cube, the geometric shapes with perfect proportions, the golden rectangle and controlled lines. "Architecture is the art of proportion» confides the architect, who is always in search of the perfect harmony of a house that is completely integrated into its site with balanced dimensions.
The gamble paid off with these three villas with their resolutely modern lines that are immerged into the island’s landscape. Overlooking the ocean and the hills, the three houses, situated in the heights of Gouverneur, enjoy a breathtakingly unique panorama. Thick walls, simple, set back roofs, controlled natural ventilation, an admired location and essential yet discreet references to traditional island architecture. With a timeless classic chic, these comfortable ultra- modern homes enjoy large, open living spaces with superb views. The high quality materials blend with the natural surrounding stones to bring together the charm of the flora and warmth of the native rocks. The spacious covered terraces with their soft light invite you to relax in the outdoor seating areas. The paths that lead to the bungalows and bedrooms wind through a garden filled with exotic shrubs, cacti and limestone. In each villa, the mirrored pools, tiled with lava stone provide an essential touch of freshness with the element of water.
Interview by Cécile Lucot.
Pictures of Villas AN1, AN2 and AN3 by Abigail Leese, a.leeseimage.