With an almost reticent air, the luxury Villa Magnolia nestles against the slope of the mountain above the Côte d’Azur. And yet, the luxury mansion near the small town of Mougins captivates the eye with the strong linearity of its architecture, reminiscent of the great masters of modernist art, and the discreet touches of the Far East which further accentuate the lightness of the building's structure. Both of these features are carried through to the interior of the mansion. The lucky owners took the “easy road” in choosing between classic pieces of modern design and pure luxury. On a floor space of 1,000 square metres, they cleverly combine the most diverse icons of modern living, designed by protagonists of international design, and in doing so they have created a unique ensemble. One element that remains constant throughout the interior design on the three floors of the mansion is that all nine bathrooms bear the hallmark of Axor, the designer brand of Hansgrohe SE. Inspired by the diversity of collections and the many different options for individualising the bathroom as a living space, the Polish architects Sotyrys and Aleksander Pantopulos selected products from the Axor collections designed by Philippe Starck, Patricia Urquiola, Jean-Marie Massaud, Antonio Citterio and the Bouroullec brothers.
Diversity in design
All the bathrooms are located between salons furnished and decorated with design classics ranging from Charles Eames to Arne Jacobsen. High quality in terms of design and materials is combined with sophisticated spatial concepts. The parental bathroom reflects the close connection between nature and comfort that is characteristic of the Axor Massaud collection. The organically shaped bathtub is enclosed in a timber platform, giving the impression of being in a small lake and looking out past the palm and pine trees and onto the medieval town of Mougins on the hill across the valley. The spacious platform is just one place inviting to rest awhile; others are the outdoor pool on the patio, or the large swimming pool in the landscaped gardens resplendent with the Mediterranean vegetation typical of the South of France.
High-quality timbers such as those used for the bathtub in the parental bathroom are a design feature carried right through the entire mansion. Similarly, walls of natural stone such as travertine marble and other kinds of limestone shape both interior and exterior areas of the building. In keeping with Patricia Urquiola’s vision of the bathroom, floor-level windows open out into nature from the bathroom featuring the Axor collection designed by her. An abundance of greenery, spaces bathed in light and a high degree of individuality at the wash basin play a prominent role in the bathroom concept developed by this Spanish designer together with Axor. At Villa Magnolia, the children’s bathroom furnished with colorful patterns harmoniously divides into a bathroom for two: each child is provided with a separate zone, looking through the light-filtering slatted blinds onto the park-like grounds of the property.
The value placed on design and state-of-the-art technology is evident not least in the salon bar in the basement, complete with home cinema and billiards, right next to the sauna, gym and the guest bedrooms. The adjoining bathrooms reproduce the spatial concepts developed in collaborations with Philippe Starck, Antonio Citterio as well as Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Revitalising pleasure is delivered by the showerheads from the Axor ShowerCollection, which in the master bathroom feature not once, but twice. Lush wall claddings of whole bamboo stems also take up the theme of nature in this bathroom – as does the illuminated Japanese garden elsewhere on the grounds.
Villa Magnolia, completed in 2011 and nestling amongst cypress and olive trees, discreetly conceals the luxury inside. The neighboring town of Mougins, by contrast, features in every Provence travel guide: it has served as a retreat for artists like Jean Cocteau, Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel and Pablo Picasso, the latter arriving in this town overlooking the Bay of Cannes in 1936, and staying on until his death in 1973.