Mini house: Renovation, extension and heightening of a small house

The will for an ecological project

Somewhere in Normandy, a couple fell in love with a stunning wooded site located near the sea, with a small bungalow used as a holiday home by the previous owners.

The site was perfect for the couple, close to the sea for surfing and a large garden to cultivate. What’s more, the price was attractive, because of local urban regulation: the land is part of a nature zone and no planning permits are given. In addition, the site is within a conservation area of the “bâtiments de France”.

Building rules are strict and no new construction is permitted. Nevertheless, the house – despite being damp and old – appeared as a real opportunity. The idea was to renovate the existing house and extend it by 30%. Taking into account the small size of the house, it seemed more judicious to include the extension in the renovation plan, rather than creating an additional building. The project would be aesthetically more coherent and more efficient from a thermal aspect.


As the existing roof fall doesn’t respect building regulation, any improvement necessitates compliance to building standards. The existing slight fall had to be modified to a gable roof with a fall of 45°, allowing for a considerable gain in volume.
To improve the energy performance of the building was essential, in order to make the project sustainable. External wall insulation, the use of natural materials (natural timber facings, woodwork, wood wool insulation, etc.) will permit to reach these objectives.
The real challenge was to take advantage of the space offered in order to give the occupants a living space of quality. The internal layout was totally rethought in function of the orientation of the house and its views on the garden.
The project stands out with its refined style, simple without excess, allowing this little architectural jewel to blend into this beautiful and natural environment.