How an architect can build a house with such an intelligent integration.

Villa Dall’ava, Paris, France

The villa dall’ava, an individual house of 250 m² built for a family of three members, it has been inhabited since 1991, the villa is in saint Claud, a town in the west of Paris.

Villa Dall’ava is inspired by glass house of Mies Van Der Rohe and villa Savoye of le Corbusier

It is in a quiet neighborhood, two couples have bought a plot of land, a small sloping garden of 650 m², they don’t just want to build a house, they have a desire for architecture, they are looking for the designer able to achieve it, they end up choosing Rem Koolhaas, an architect who received Pritzker price in 2000.

This family wrote a letter to rem Koolhaas to define their order, obey the town planning regulations, preserve the site and build two autonomous housing blocks for themselves and for their daughter, a glasshouse to enjoy the garden, and a swimming pool.

For rem Koolhaas found a little bit of contradiction and difficulties to build the house, contradiction number one is that they wanted a glass house with a swimming pool on the roof, contradiction number two is that the building is quite large for a small surface.


To resolve this contradiction, the house will adapt to the direction of the land, it will be lengthwise, it will adapt to the slope, on the street side the building is on one level with the entrance path, but on the top of the ground towards the garden is below the surface.

Zenithal window

the most sunken space, the one we might expect to be a cellar, is a real room lit by a long zenithal window.


The basement is both living space, a cellar, a boiler room, and at the other end of the street side an entrance hall where a staircase provides access to the upper level.

The second level is a long glass box, 23 meters of a glazed facade in its longest part, the glasshouse with long sliding glasses can be opened completely without any partition between the garden and the living room.

On the upper level, there are two boxes, the first one is for the couple covered in red aluminum three meters above the grass, and the other box for the young lady covered in silver aluminum supported by column forest.

At each end of the building everyone at home, the entrance hall door, and the hall staircase continue to the parents’ apartment.

In the entrance hall, a gently sloping ramp provides access to the other end of the building and to the garden while avoiding crossing the dining room.

The architect thinks of putting a material refers to the colors of stone, tile and brick, the glass box by its transparency settles down like a volume that does not oppose its environment but it absorbs the environment.

A rooftop swimming pool arranged in the length of the building, between the two apartment boxes, the swimming pool weighs 40 tons, it is a difficult problem to solve how to rest the weight of the water and the concrete on the glass box.


The supporting structure is practically invisible, it is a row of columns placed in the base of the house and which supports the concrete shell of the swimming pool, the row of columns is hidden in a wooden wall contains storage cupboards.

Wall and ramp

The house has a direct view towards the Eiffel Tower, it was also unique opportunity to be in an intimate neighborhood but at the same time enjoy a view of the big city of Paris.