These floating wood cabins or, Cabanes des Grands Cepages, offer a unique take on a Mediterranean-style wooden eco-hotel which is located in the fishing reserve of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a few kilometres away from Avignon, in the south-east of France.
Containing ten suites in total, the simplistic design which physically floats on the water like rafts and were designed by Paris-based architecture firm Atelier Lavit. The cabins, on the edge of La Lionne Lake, are a minimal yet elegant collection that has been carefully placed to provide privacy with spectacular views. Timber cladding blends effortlessly with the reeds surrounding the lake that they are designed to imitate.
The changing of the seasons has been carefully considered in the design process of these lush cabins. With the trees in bloom, the wood panelling blends seamlessly with the surroundings. In winter, when a blanket of snow coats the area, the location is encompassed by a startling reflection from the vertical lines of the battens on the water.
According to architects Atelier Lavit, “the architectural work perfectly matches with the lacustrine tubes from which it resumes and rationalizes the elegant vertical thrust. The different densities of the vertical wooden screens around the hut guarantee the privacy of its customers as well as repairing them from the sun and the wind.”
Inside, during daylight, the sun filters through the screens projecting a moving motif on the floor. The spaced gaps provide views of vegetation, lake and sky, producing an abstract piece of art in its own right. Later in the day, as the sun begins to set, Châteauneuf-du-Pape becomes immersed in darkness and the cabins—with its lanterns—become a beacon of radiating light across the lake.
“I grew up in Franche-Comté where, after studying Finance in Paris, I opened our first Coucoo Great Lakes eco-domain on land belonging to the family,” co-creator Gaspard de Moustier told The Socialite Family. “I wanted to promote this destination by offering a new kind of stay and an authentic experience in cabins perched high in the treetops. The first treehouses were built in 2009 with the utmost respect for the environment. This is how the eco-domain with cabins came into being and became a pioneer for a new, responsible form of tourism.”
“The experience is above all the opportunity to reconnect with those who count, with each other, with the family, and with oneself too,” Emmanuel de La Bédoyère added. “At the heart of each of the eco-domains, all very different, the notion of time is completely lost. We wanted to develop an experiential and alternative tourist offer located in exceptional natural areas and composed of accommodation wholly integrated into its environment.”