Want to live in a bubble? Consider Pierre Cardin’s French Riviera property

Fashion designer Pierre Cardin's bubble-inspired holiday home is now on the market for Dh1.4 billion, circular doors and all.
Bubble Palace comprises 10 interconnected domes, and is on the market now. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate
Bubble Palace comprises 10 interconnected domes, and is on the market now. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

Hot Property: Bubble Palace, Théoule-sur-Mer, Côte d’Azur, France

Asking price: Dh1.4 billion

The Italian-born, French fashion designer Pierre Cardin is credited with creating the bubble dress in 1954 and, taking his penchant for space-age design further, he bought Palais Bulles in the 1990s

From James Bond’s 40th birthday celebrations and Cannes festival after-parties, to Raf Simons’ 2016 resort show for Christian Dior, Bubble Palace has hosted many a high-profile event. The Dior show was particularly apt as the property’s current owner, Pierre Cardin, worked for Christian Dior as head tailor back in the 1940s. His holiday home, which can be best described as a bubble-inspired spaceship, is now on sale for €350 million.

The 13,000-square-foot property was designed by Hungarian architect Antti Lovag, who favoured spherical structures, doing away with straight lines and right angles. He developed a style of architecture called habitologie, which considers cube-like structures with their lines, angles and dead ends to be an “aggression against nature that break our harmony and impede our movement”. Accordingly, the orb-like Bubble Palace is meant to be reminiscent of prehistoric cave houses and Inuit villages.

The house was built between 1975 and 1989, and is made up of 10 giant pink-terracotta domes that contain 10 interconnected rooms with circular doorways. Contemporary artists including Daniel You, Patrice Breteau, Jérôme Tisserand and Gerard Cloarec were enlisted to decorate the rooms, rendering the structure unique from the inside out.

Bubble Palace is built amid the red cliffs of Massif de L’Esterel, a volcanic mountain range, and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. The complex is built over six undulating levels and features three swimming pools, a waterfront tanning pod and landscaped gardens. A 500-seater amphitheatre reaches out dramatically towards the water.

The interior has a reception room and lounge with porthole windows and panoramic views that extend to the Bay of Cannes. The master bathroom is equipped with an ocean-facing bathtub, while most of the other rooms have asymmetrical ceilings and irregular window frames.

Cardin oversaw the designing of some of the murals, brass paintings and furniture, including custom-shaped beds and sofas.

At once pioneering and primitive, Bubble Palace is “inspiring for its sensual shape, reminiscent of the female form”, according to Cardin, who used it as a holiday home and party pad that has hosted film stars such as Marion Cotillard, Pierce Brosnan, Dakota Fanning and Zoë Kravitz, musician Rhys Ifans, model Cressida Bona and socialite Jasmine Lennard.

The partially furnished property on the French Riviera has been featured in a coffee-table book published by luxury-book company Assouline. In it, French author Jean-Pascal Hesse explores “the incredible architectural achievement and adventurous decorative spirit that the legendary fashion designer has brought to life within its walls”.

Bubble Palace is listed through Christie’s International Real Estate. The property is also available to hire for Dh41,500 per day.

Read this and other stories in Luxury magazine, out with The National on Thursday, September 8.


Published: September 4, 2016 04:00 AM


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