Paris-based Nem Architectes has renovated a villa in Grasse, France, transforming it into a bright pink tourist destination named Domaine de la Rose for beauty company Lancôme.
The villa contains lounge and meeting spaces that can host perfume-making workshops, events and exhibitions, designed as a place where visitors can learn about the Lancôme brand and perfumery. Nem Architectes also added a perfume distillery and warehouse underground.
Surrounded by floral gardens used to make perfume, Domaine de la Rose is located on the Lancôme estate in Grasse, which is known as the world’s perfume capital.
“The purpose of this design is to create a functional, practical, and sustainable building that can be both beautiful, contemporary and exemplary while showcasing the brand’s luxurious and exceptional heritage and artistry,” Nem Architectes told Dezeen.
The studio removed all buildings on the estate except for Domaine de la Rose, which was painted striking pink and reroofed with locally-made pink glazed canal tiles.
The villa is comprised of a pair of two-storey wings connected by a single-storey lobby. The upper levels of both wings open onto the roof of the lobby below, creating a terrace with views of the surrounding hills.
A path cuts through the centre of the building. One side features a circular tunnel entrance to the lobby, while the other entrance is sheltered by the terrace above, propped up by a column that appears like a stack of rocks.
Nem Architectes described its overhaul of the villa as a monolith, with a vibrant pink interior and exterior that stands out against the lush green landscape.
“It is a bold and striking sight, and it gives a tangible and unique form to the Lancôme brand,” said Nem Architectes.
“The estate can also be seen as a living and sensorial experience for the visitors and guests,” it continued. “Their visual, olfactive and acoustic senses are stimulated throughout the house and the garden, as they would be when using a Lancôme perfume.”
Nem Architectes chose to renovate the existing building rather than build a new one for sustainability reasons.
The studio added lavender and rice straw in timber frames to the exterior, which was closed off with rigid wood fibre insulation boards to improve insulation.
“It was decided early on that the building should be rehabilitated as opposed to completely levelled and replaced with a new one,” said Nem Architectes.
“This decision is in compliance with Nem Architectes and Lancôme’s concern for sustainability, as it saves resources and energy while paying homage to the local architectural heritage.”
Nem Architectes was founded in 2008 by Lucie Niney and Thibault Marca.
Other pink buildings that have been featured on Dezeen include a cultural institution in Lima that was renovated to have pink walls and an apartment renovation in Mexico with arched openings.
The photography is by Cyrille Weiner unless stated.