Contemporary house

Jacques Moussafir architect
Suresnes (92)

180 sqm
3 bedrooms
Japanese garden


Jacques Moussafir, a major figure in French architectural design and a member of the French Touch collective, is responsible for this contemporary house with its dynamic, assertive style. He designed it in 1998 for a couple who were keen on architecture and new materials, and who were attracted by the work of Zumthor, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Kahn for their mastery of light and space.

With a floor area of 180 m², the house, set back from the street, combines light, views, privacy, conviviality, openness to the outdoors and practicality. It comprises two volumes, each treated differently and each with its own function.

The main volume rises from a compact base, like a jewel box pierced by four large full-height windows. The first floor comprises a large living area with 4 m high ceilings, extending onto a vast terrace and a kitchen. The ground floor has two children’s bedrooms with bathrooms, a master bedroom and a workshop. The latter benefits from double lighting (lateral and zenithal) and opens onto a small Japanese-style garden.

A second sculptural volume, luminous and suspended, provides access to the house. It consists of an entrance and a staircase along the north side façade. It provides a link between the levels, the interior and the exterior. Its underside provides access to the cellar.

The house is located in the hills above Suresnes in the Hauts-de-Seine department, in the heart of a quiet, residential area.

The house features a series of sequences and transitions between the different spaces, and aims to create a link between the interior and its surroundings, with a landscaped garden offering different atmospheres.

In the living room, a glazed façade lined with a bookcase filtre the light. The classic tradition of opening and closing is reversed here: it is the iroko solids that open outwards to their full height. The glass panels, assembled with a silicone seal, are fixed.

Representative of the 1990s, partly through its choice of materials (resin and concrete floors, translucent polycarbonate panels) and its assertive style, this architectural achievement remains a striking urban landmark in the suburban landscape of the Suresnes heights. Innovative in its sculptural form, technical choices and attention to detail, it has been the subject of several articles in the specialist press.

The Hauts-de-Seine, a sought-after suburb because of its proximity to Paris and its quality of life, is a sought-after testing ground for architects. As in Boulogne-Billancourt, the architects of the Mouvement Moderne, Le Corbusier, Robert Mallet-Stevens and Auguste Perret, built exceptional villas in Suresnes. It was in this town that architects Eugène Beaudoin and Marcel Lods built the “open-air school” (1935), listed as a historic monument and a manifesto of the hygienic theories of the 1930s, with classrooms set in a tree-lined garden that opened onto three sides through glass walls. More recently, contemporary architects such as Jean-Pierre Caillères and Jacques Moussafir have designed houses in Suresnes that are unanimously recognised for their architectural value.

A leading figure in French architecture, Jacques Moussafir is also vice-president of the French Touch collective, represented at the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008. French Touch was founded in 2007 by architects who wanted to get together to discuss current and completed projects. Jacques Moussafir, Beckman & N’Thépé, Hamonic + Masson, Pangalos et Dugasse, Périphériques Architectes, Plan01(KOZ, atelier du pont, BP architecture, Philéas) joined the group from the outset. Marrec et Combarel, Philippe Gazeau, Xavier Gonzalez, RH+, Olivier Fassio and Emmanuel Saadi subsequently joined them.

The “maison A et studio B” project developed by the magazine Architectures à vivre in 2006 enabled the general public to discover the work of Jacques Mousafir. By enlarging and restructuring a 19th-century house, the architect designed a modern, intelligent and environmentally-friendly home in Paris.

Additional information


Jacques Moussafir


Suresnes (92)