Fashion world’s first avant-garde enthusiast and futurist Pierre Cardin also created the most unusual villa in Cannes, Palais Bulles which looks like a myriad bubbles or sea foam.
The couturier acquired the Bubbles house built in 1984 by Pierre Bernard and Antti Lovag. The two masters created ‘architectural madness’ which made headlines around the world. The maître himself said ‘this palace tied to Esterel cliff has become my paradise; its shape has always embodied my creations’.
The 1,200 sq.m. residence contains an amphitheatre for 500 spectators, a reception room, a panoramic living room, and 10 suites which are now available for short-term booking. The 8,500 sq.m. area surrounding the mansion houses gardens and swimming pools. Cardin and Lovag built the residence on a Jurassic karst plateau without changing its naturally uneven surface. The residence was supposed to mimic a primitive man’s cave while the swimming pools were made in natural craters. As opposed to the more traditional wood and metal Antti Lovag experimented with plastic, foam, and polyester. All of the spheres the house stands on were made of a light mesh and rods on which concrete was sprayed. The external side of the Bubble House is finished in pink and brown to harmonise with the surrounding flaming red cliffs.
The house contains 28 large rooms looking like soap bubbles and making it hard to tell where the floor ends and the ceiling begins. Round hatches let in a lot of natural light in each room. To Mr. Cardin himself the house is more of a museum: the furniture is mostly tailor-made, while the 10 bedrooms are decorated with paintings by Patrice Breteau, Jerome Tisserand, Daniel You, François Chauvin, and Gerard Cloarec.
Pierre Cardin wanted his guests to embrace their inner freedom once they are inside the house. There are only a few doors. The summer dining room has an exit to a swimming pool, a garden with fountains and a tennis court, and then to a sea beach. Palais Bulles is famous for housing iconic festivals, contests, conferences, and other major events. Many photoshoots and videos were made here. In 2017 Dior rented the entire mansion to show their resort collection.
Written by Polina Vorobyova
Translated by Tony Savosin