This plain but pretty country home is located in the small northeastern French commune of Hagenthal-le-Bas, right at the intersection of the German and Swiss borders. The town is set in a landscape of rolling pasture, streets lined with detached houses just like the one you can see in the first photo below – styled according to local convention – yet it's just half an hour from Basel and the sprawling French-Swiss conurbation surrounding the city.
Given the house's bucolic setting but its commuter-friendly distance to a bustling metropolitan center, the owners knew that though they wanted to inject a little of the modern urban landscape into their home extension, they had to keep the design understated and in context. The results are a fantastic blend of cutting edge contemporary design, natural textures and eye-pleasing – neighbor pacifying! – form.
There's more to this superb home extension than meets the eye, so it's a plus that French architectural and home renovation firm A. Fuke-Prigent Architecte have allowed homify to publish their final plans. The side elevation seen here reveals the extension's two levels, plus the excellent use of the rooftop as terrace. Note the inset image showing the innovative and entirely practical transformation of the country home's cellar into a basement carpark, accessed by a sloping driveway.
Just a short time into the construction of the home extension, the entirety of the original house is still visible. Breaking ground in the cold winter is no mean feat, but it meant that the retrofit was ready to be enjoyed by the family once summer rolled around. It helped that the firm contracted could manage everything from the blueprints above to laying in the concrete for the driveway to the finishing touches on the facade.
Two levels of the extension are almost complete, and you can begin to see how the extension is cleverly scaffolded – pun intended – to the original house.
This view shows the home in the context of the street. It's a striking addition to the town, yet it isn't too ostentatious to cause offence. Here you can see a crane lowering the elegant conical cap of the internal stairwell into place. The spiral staircase beneath grants access to the rooftop terrace.
It's the excellent choice of materials that really carries the design. Blond wooden slats have been chosen to bring a natural texture and coloration to the house, itself already a ray of sunshine with its cheerful exterior paint job.
Installing the extension greatly increased the home's interior footprint, but it also introduced a flat surface jutting out from the steeply pitched roof. What better use for an otherwise redundant space than to use it for a rooftop terrace – it's probably the highest point in the hamlet!
Replicating that first glimpse of the original structure just about to undergo its radical renovation, this view shows how integrated the extension is with the rest of the house, and how many more square feet the bolted-on structure affords the residents.
Four levels from an additional two. This is what the happy homeowners received when they commissioned this extension. Two extra interior spaces beneath the striking wooden cladding, a built-in carport for security and commuter-friendly easy access, and a lovely rooftop terrace for basking in the sun and entertaining.