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Home of the Week: This $49 Million Glass Villa in France’s Côte d’Azur Is Like Living in a Luxury Greenhouse

Built by renowned French architect Jean Nouvel in 2021, this villa has a self-contained bedroom in a cave, two 40-foot pools and a garage straight out of James Bond.

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Jean Nouvel Home John D. Wood and Co.

The Côte d’Azur region in the South of France conjures images of charming villages, centuries-old architecture, see-and-be-seen beaches and rocky promontories lined with turquoise water. While all of this is true, tucked within the sought-after area of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a one-of-a-kind contemporary home that sets itself apart from the nearby historic palatial mansions and estates.

This stunning $48.9 million villa is a rare gem finished in 2020 and designed by renowned French architect Jean Nouvel. Nouvel’s impressive résumé includes projects such as 53W53, 40 Mercer and 100 11th Avenue in New York; the National Museum of Qatar in Doha; and many more. He’s known for creating buildings that contrast with the surrounding style and landscape, which is precisely the case with this 6,024-square-foot residence. The long villa has multiple stories and is seamlessly built along the natural topography of the land, its structures rising and falling along the natural hills.

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Jean Nouvel Home
There are six sumptuous bedrooms, each with incredible sea views. John D. Wood and Co.

“This terraced glass house is modern perfection, where art, nature, design and functionality are transported to new levels,” Alasdair Hedley, head of international at John D. Wood and Co., tells Robb Report. “Jean Nouvel designs buildings to create a visual landscape befitting their context, and here he triumphs. The Glass House is stylish, sophisticated, spacious and full of the ‘wow’ factor, especially for any car enthusiast, as the garage is integrated as a room. This masterpiece really must be seen and anyone who does will experience its incredible flow. The impression is lasting.”

The west-facing abode is nestled high on a hill and overlooks Villefranche-sur-Mer, considered one of the world’s most spectacular bays. In the summer, this bay is sprinkled with superyachts and catamarans. Luckily, future residents will have a front-row view of the unique charm of the South of France boating world from nearly every room within the house. It’s constructed from a stainless-steel frame with walls of windows and glass doors, as well as a green glass roof. Both functional and aesthetically pleasing, there are views of the surrounding landscape and ocean by day. By night, you can stargaze from the comfort of your living room. 

The stunning view from the property’s pool.

There’s an open floor plan with expansive, free-flowing spaces that make the home feel even larger than it is, as well as high ceilings throughout. There are six bedrooms, five bathrooms and many living areas designed for indoor-outdoor living. These living spaces connect in many areas to grassy lawns and terraces. The bedrooms in particular feel as though you’re sleeping outside, as they’re also covered with glass roofs and lined with floor-to-ceiling windows and doors. One bedroom in particular is built into a luxurious cave-like structure with a double-height vaulted ceiling. The self-contained room has sea views, as well as its own private 40-foot private pool and deck, and it’s shrouded in bright native flowers and lush greenery.

There’s another 40-foot swimming pool, accessed via a short plant-lined walkway from the house, with ample seating area and unobstructed views. It is built for entertaining, and there’s room to comfortably accommodate up to six cars, as there’s a 753-square-foot garage with access to the villa. The James Bond–style garage, with stone flooring and glass doors, is nestled under the primary bedroom with direct villa access. Those with a green thumb will also appreciate the two-bed vegetable garden, perfect for Mediterranean herbs, tomatoes or lettuce. There’s also a guest house, security quarters and additional outdoor parking.

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Jean Nouvel Home
The open-plan kitchen and dining area. John D. Wood and Co.

The property is being sold fully furnished and has high-end furniture and decor from leading brands including B&B Italia, Cassina, Cappellini, Porro and Living Divani. The gourmet kitchen is outfitted with Gaggenau appliances, while the sound system is by Yamaha. Every modern comfort has been considered, like underfloor heating and reversible air conditioning. Because the space has so much natural light, the views and lighting changes at every hour of the day creating a dynamic space to live. It’s also surrounded by greenery and benefits from seclusion and privacy.

While you might never want to leave this slice of paradise, the home’s prime location is just a few miles from Monaco, Nice, Cannes and a few hours from the liveliness of Saint-Tropez. The area is filled with low-key rocky promontories and natural beaches, centuries-old castles, Michelin-star restaurants, five-star hotels, see-and-be-seen clubs, palaces and vineyards. The home is co-listed with Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty.

Check out more photos of the villa below:

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Jean Nouvel Home
The cave-like bedroom, with double-height vaulted ceilings. John D. Wood and Co.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Jean Nouvel Home
An aerial view of the villa. John D. Wood and Co.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Jean Nouvel Home
The villa (seen at the bottom of the image) overlooks this stunning bay. John D. Wood and Co.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Jean Nouvel Home
View of the home by night. John D. Wood and Co.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Jean Nouvel Home
Even the interiors incorporate nature in some way, like these indoor plants. John D. Wood and Co.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Jean Nouvel Home
The villa seamlessly blends indoors with the outdoors. John D. Wood and Co.

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