Contemporary architecture in France showcases both the creativity of talented architects and the country’s rich architectural heritage. This becomes evident in the countryside as well as in city centers. Regarding the former, think modern takes on traditional farmhouses and barns. For the latter, stylish and minimalist houses or apartments that provide a contemporary counterpoint to iconic landmarks and buildings. On this page, you can see some of the most innovative and beautifully designed architectural projects completed in France, from compact cabins to hotels.
More often than not, houses built in the French countryside draw inspiration from vernacular architecture. However, some of these projects use this source of inspiration in creative ways. For example, a compact retreat clad in wood but designed with an innovative fenestration that curates the views while also pushing the design away from the barn typology. Similarly to other countries, contemporary architecture in France uses the local context as a foundation for ingenious designs. One concrete house becomes a part of a natural landscape as the architects cleverly positioned the volume between rock formations on the island of Corsica.
Not all of these projects use traditional designs as a source of inspiration. One house clearly references one-story American villas while a cluster of minimalist cabins – part of a hotel – take inspiration from the Norwegian hytte. Here, you can also discover impressive restoration projects. After all, like Italy, France has a lot of traditional farmhouses that date back to the 1800s. Not all of these projects are residential homes or hotels, however. If you like artistic installations, you’ll love a project that uses sculptural Corten steel elements on a reclaimed railway to offer hikers and cyclists a creative way to enjoy a hilly landscape.