Solar Villa

Pied de la Plagne


Morzine, Francia


Jeremie Koempgen Arcitecture
91 rue d'Allonville 44000 Nantes
+33 6 76 73 36 42


Contact Details

Charlotte Beneteau
Sites et Cités remarquables de France

Other Information

via airbnb for exemple

Related publications
Solar House : from the Savoyard farmhouse to the contemporary villa
Solar Villa
This old farmhouse from 1826 built in the hamlet of Pied de la Plagne, in Morzine, is made up of large volumes, a historic frame and wood facades. The municipality had already recognized the remarkable character of the building, the designers and the owner, wanted a restructuring allowing to keep the "spirit" of the original building. The living area represented a very small area (40 m²). The alignment of traditional aspects with new uses has made it possible to transform the former farm into contemporary luxury accommodation, capable of accommodating up to 14 people. The approach was to keep the volumes and the old framework and to transcribe the old codes (skylight decking, thickness of the walls, amplitude of the volumes of the barn) in order to create a vast and warm space. This house is composed of multiple rooms, meeting the needs of its occupants, while being in harmony with its external environment.
Energy performance
29,95 kWh/y

Climate Zone H1c

Altitude 1000 s.l.m.

HDD 1948

CDD 643

Protection level Listed

Conservation Area:

Level of Protection:
spotted as representing a heritage interest

Building age 1800-1849

Year of last renovation:

Building use Hotel/Restaurant

Secondary use:

Building occupancy:
Discontinuous occupancy (i.e. holiday home)

Number of occupants/users:

Building area Net floor area [m²]: 620,0

Building typology:
Detached house

Number of floors:

Basement yes/no:

Number of heated floors:

Gross floor area [m²]:

NFA calculation method:
SHON (fr)

Construction type
Timber frame

External finish:
Exposed woodwork

Internal finish:
Wood panelling

Roof type:
Pitched roof

Solar Villa
Solar Villa
living room with wood stove
living room with wood stove
wood cladding test
wood cladding test
wood cladding
wood cladding
winter conditions
winter conditions
wood cladding
wood cladding
duplex construction
duplex construction
before / after
before / after




This old farmhouse, converted into a luxury rental villa, is wrapped in a uniform wooden cladding. One of the challenges of the project was to preserve the exterior appearance of the building, while letting light filter through the heart of the farm. A device, which uses the traditional technique of decorative cutting of wooden slats, is implemented over the entire facade, in the form of openings in the decking. The contemporary design is simple, matching the local craftsman's spruce slat cutting tools. This openwork recalls the disjointed slats of traditional farms, which once allowed hay ventilation. Today, these slits bring light into the interior of the building. The glazed parts, located inside the facade, are partially hidden by the joint covers. They are not perceived from the outside and do not interfere with the uniformity of the siding.
Urban context
The project is located in Morzine, in the historic district of Pied de la Plagne. Morzine is a village of 3000 inhabitants located in the heart of the Alps in the department of Haute-Savoie, France. The town is classified as a tourist resort, it has 2 tourist sites: the village and the Morzine ski resort located at 1,000 meters above sea level, then the Avoriaz ski resort at 1,800 meters above sea level.


Preservation of the old wooden frame.The existing cladding were brushed and delineated to be reconverted into the walls and the inner envelope.
Heritage Value Assesment
The Villa Solaire is an old farmhouse listed by the town hall as having a heritage interest. The aim of the renovation is to keep the traditional architecture of the building, while adding a more contemporary aesthetic. A reinterpretation of uses made it possible to modernize the building. The cultural and aesthetic importance of this place is part of the communal landscape.

State of repair

Conditions of the envelope
The building brings together under one roof dwelling and spaces for different farming activities related to livestock. The residential part represented a very small area (40 m2).

Aim of retrofit

The goal of modernization is to keep the building envelope and work with its original materials or materials from the loacal area. The modernization of the building brings light. The facade of the house functions as a system of skylights more or less oriented according to the orientation of the facade. Each room is illuminated according to the course of the sun.
Was there any change of use?
The original building had an agricultural destination with only 40 m² dedicated to housing. The redevelopment project changes the destination of the agricultural building and luxury rental villa.
Was the intervention planned following a step-by-step approach?
-concertation with the mayor and elected officials on the type of renovation possible -Specific request for wood in carpentry -creation of the project and the building permit - meeting with the mayor regarding the building permit -
Lessons learned
Three lessons have been learned from this project: - The strength of teamwork approached horizontally - The discovery of a local constructive culture, and the contribution to develop a contemporary project. - The deepening of knowledge on the material wood, thanks to a close collaboration with a carpenter.
Stakeholders Involvement
Jeremie Koempgen Arcitecture
91 rue d'Allonville 44000 Nantes
Tel.+33 6 76 73 36 42
FUGA – J.Aich & M.Recordon
Tools used
Was the renovation process done following a specific methodology? - Global design (Exterior / Buildings / Atmospheres / Furniture / Object) - Strong party on the massive use of wood - Installation of a complex facade “device”, union of the old and the new, the interior and the exterior. - Establishment of a strong Architect + Designer team -Specific request for wood in carpentry -Creation of the project and the building permit -Meeting with the mayor regarding the building permit


External Walls

wood siding

wood siding

Intensive use of wood has allowed the traditional appearance of the chalet to be preserved. The wood from the facade was reused inside the building. A new wooden facade has been installed, with large pine boards that are not cut

The fermacell plates and the old exterior cladding were brushed and rested inside on cleats, then semi-rigid 20 cm wood fiber plates, which were inserted into wooden boxes, themselves arranged in the existing frame. The exterior cladding was made from mountain spruce.

U-value (pre-intervention) [W/m2K]: 0,0 W/m²K U-value (post-intervention) [W/m2K]: 0,36 W/m²K
More Details
Original wall build-up
Retrofitted wall build-up
Other - Spruce joint cover:
Other - Rough sawn spruce siding:
27 mm
Other - Cleat:
40 mm
Other - Rain barrier:
20 mm
Other - Wood fiber insulation panel:
200 mm
Other - OSB panel:
19 mm
Other - Crenellated paneling in natural red cedar:
20 mm


Joinery Paul Frossard: Rekord 68mm Solid wood

Joinery Paul Frossard: Rekord 68mm Solid wood

Windows have been added and others have been changed in order to have more light inside the chalet.

The windows have been changed but they are integrated into the architectural style of the region.

New window U-value Glass[W/m2K]: 1,1 New window U-value Frame [W/m2K]: 1,4
More Details
Existing window type Fixed window
Existing glazing type Single
Existing shading type NA
Approximate installation year 1970
New glazing type double glazing
New shading type Joinery Paul Frossard: Rekord 68mm Solid wood
New window solar factor g [-] 1,2

Other interventions




Initially, the roof was a broken saddleback, with an exceptional solid wood frame. The roof was insulated from the outside with 200mm of wood fiber insulation. The exposed beams have been kept, a vapor barrier, rigid wood fiber plates, a rain screen, cleats with decking have been added to which the tavaillons are stapled.

The initial roof was slate. The new roof is made of red-Cedar wood shears: these roofing elements are present in the region. Gradually, the wood tiles take on a gray tint, similar to the appearance of the existing slate.

U-value (post-intervention) [W/m2K] 0.20
More Details
Original roof build-up
Slate :
8 mm
Other - sheer:
22 mm
Retrofitted roof build-up
Other - :
20 mm
Other :
60 mm
Other :
60 mm
Other :
20 mm
Other :
200 mm
Other :
20 mm
Other :
40 mm

The ground floor rests on a concrete slab with 10 cm polyurethane.

The restructuring required creating foundations that were originally non-existent. Longrines on pedestals were installed under the existing wooden frames. Strip footings were installed as underpinnings under the existing stone walls at the level of the intermediate spans. The exterior soil has been changed very little (removal of an access ramp for hay from the original barn).

More Details
Original groundfloor build-up
Concrete slab - concrete slab with 10 cm polyurethane.:
10 mm
Retrofitted groundfloor build-up







The heating works by geothermal energy, with a vertical borehole, a heat pump and a heated floor. The villa is also equipped with an auxiliary electric heater. The energy is drawn 100 meters deep by sounding in the garden: for 20 kW of energy, 13.8 kW are drawn from the groundwater table. There is a 3-way valve with low T ° outlet for heated floors on all levels (ground floor slab or floor floors). The sanitary water outlet includes a 200-liter buffer tank, there is also an outlet for the water from the indoor swimming pool. In the living room there is a Filio Focus 6 kW fireplace.

Diffusion by underfloor heating makes it possible to leave the re-used wooden decking of the original facade indoors.

More Details
New primary heating system New secondary heating system
New system type Heat pump radiateurs électriques
Fuel forage vertical Electricity
Distribuition system Radiating floor Radiators
Nominal power 24 kW kW kW

The ventilation system is mixed: - Simple flow for the villa - Double flow for the indoor pool Single flow ventilation system. Except in the cellar which hosts a swimming pool, there is therefore a system of double flow with recovery of heat.

The choice of simple flow is linked to the constraints of existing volumes, and to the complexity of centralizing air flows. The choice of double flow is linked to the large volume of air to be stirred, and the stake energy related to this volume of air renewal.

More Details
Original roof build-up New ventilation system
Type ventilation system Centralized
Type flow regime double flux
Heat recovery Si
Humitidy recovery No
Nominal power 3 kW
Electric power 0,0 kW
Control system

Heated floors can be used reversibly.

More Details
New cooling system
Distribuition system
Nominal power kW
Electric power kW

A change has been made to the hot water system, there is now a sanitary water outlet with a 200 liter buffer tank, and an outlet for the water from the indoor swimming pool.

It is compatible with the CAP; the villa must be able to function in two independent "parts".

More Details
New DHW system
Hot_water_tank Si
With heat recovery Si




There is an energy recovery system for heating: a 300ml geothermal borehole.

More Details
Geothermal System

Energy Efficiency

Energy Performance
Energy performance certificate: No
Energy Use
Consumption_estimation_After: 29,95 kWh/y

Primary Energy
Measured Parameters
Internal Climate
Type_of_monitoring: Continuous
Description: - Room thermostat - Regulator incorporated in the heat pump - (including DHW circuit) - Control for remote regulation + connecting cable - Outdoor sensor - DHW sensor - Buffer probe

Type_of_monitoring: Punctual
Description: The building is rented, the rental company therefore ensures the regulation inside the chalet.
Chalet LE GUELLAUT - Etude thermique RT2005 - 20052010.pdf
Thermal study before

Internal Climate

Acoustic Comfort

Particular attention has been paid to acoustic comfort. Gypsum-cellulose sheets were applied as a finishing touch, their partitions are lined with high-performance rock wool soundproofing.


Financial Aspects

The total cost of the operation is 1 500 000 € including taxes

Running Costs
Lifecycle cost


Water Management

The rainwater is treated thanks to a soaker well on site

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