Bordeaux garage transformed by French architect, Matthieu de Marien

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you're well-aware that there’s certainly not a dearth of seemingly impossible-to-work-with, non-residential real estate out there that, thanks to plenty of creative thinking and a healthy dose of green-minded gumption, has been converted into comfortable, functional homes.
 
Joining these illustrious ranks is the stunning secondary home of French photographer Jérémie Buchholtz. Along with architect/conversion wizard Matthieu de Marien, Buchholtz transformed a dark, dank, junk-filled garage on a private historic alleyway on Bordeaux’s right bank into one of the more lovely small-sized (441 square feet) abodes I’ve seen in a while.
 
After failing to find a pied-à-terre in Bordeaux that worked within his budget, Buchholtz (he splits his time between Bordeaux and Paris) settled on said abandoned garage for €80,000 — about half the price of a similarly sized home. He enlisted buddy de Marien to help make the raw space a home, and then the Gauloises-fueled conversion magic began …
 
While preserving the bones of the structure, de Marien carved out a small patio to allow for natural light and ventilation, hidden (or not hidden) by a sliding wooden façade inspired by Passage Buhan’s stables. To free up space inside the former garage, de Marien created a giant cube — he calls it a "big piece of wooden furniture" — that contains numerous closets and cupboards, a sofa bed, workspace, and inside of it, a full bathroom and a water heater. Perched atop the box is a lofted sleeping area and more storage.

Says de Marien of the ingenious cube: "It’s like a landscape. That is, it’s not just furniture against the wall. It’s part of the life of the house. It’s something you see all the time. I think the structure is really a livable volume  … it’s a house within the house."
 
Tag along with the small(house)-minded folks at faircompanies for a guided tour of the home in the video below. 
 
 

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) reports on design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.