Hi-Finity Apartment Nice

Hi-Finity Apartment Nice

A futuristic combination of the Egyptian pyramids and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, this ambitious apartment development runs along the Mediterranean coast near the city of Nice. In total the complex covers approximately 16 acres and includes nearly 1,600 apartments. Originally completed in the 1970’s, many of these apartments, have been renovated to spectacular effect using today’s latest modern solutions in order to take advantage of expansive outdoor terraces and breathtaking sea views.

The concept for this apartment complex emerged in the 1970’s when city authorities approached famed architect André Minangoy to develop an ambitious real estate scheme that would help enhance the suburban area. The resulting scheme includes a landscaped park with four pyramid shaped buildings arranged in an amphitheatre type formation. The pyramids rise up to more than 70 meters in height. The development also includes a world class marina, spa centre and swimming pool, alongside numerous shops and restaurants.

In total, construction took nearly 25 years. The first of the four pyramid buildings was completed in 1970. The second building was completed in 1972, the third in 1976 and the final building in 1993.

The apartments contained within the pyramids are connected with shared exterior stairs and corridors, resulting in savings in both materials and construction time. Each apartment also features a very large balcony or terrace, a spatial concept considered radical at the time of the project’s conception. 

One of these apartments was recently renovated by Architect Jan Nedved. This particular suite consists of a living room with a kitchen, corridor and three bedrooms - each with its own amenities. What is particularly remarkable about the apartment is the ratio of the internal and terrace areas, with the terrace area measuring about 25% larger than the interior area. Nedved remarks that blending the two areas together was a key design concept. The border between indoors and outdoors is only apparent in the case of bad weather, when the glass walls are closed.

It was important to create maximum interconnection between the interior and the terrace, which is actually almost the same size in area as the actual apartment and forms and essential part of the living space. As such, we selected the Hi-Finity sliding system from Reynaers Aluminium as the hidden frame and wide spans ensure views are always clear and open,’ Nedved says.

In particular, a 490 cm wide fixed window from Reynaers Aluminium was specified for the living room/terrace area. Because of its hidden frame and lack of opening apparatus, the system appears in some senses virtually invisible, a quality that could not be more desired in such a context.

As the apartment is located on a high level floor, transport and installation were a particular challenge. Nedved mentions a special mechanism, developed together with the manufacturer, was used in order to lift the window systems.

Inside, Nedved’s layout respects the original concept of the organic construction. The system of radial load bearing walls is preserved and supplemented by new partitions, which are mostly diagonal, thus creating room with a trapezoidal floor plan. The standard orthogonal partition system was almost entirely unused here. 

The choice of materials used in the interior is characteristic of the Mediterranean. The colour of surfaces ranges from white and creamy to refracted hues of light grey to make the interior look light, pure and airy. Dominant materials are travertine and bleached wood. The use of polished mirror stainless steel on suspended ceilings (i.e. above the coast) help to maximize connections between the interior and exterior and promote view towards the sea. The mirror effect makes it possible to perceive the sea even from places where it would otherwise not be possible - for example, from beds in port-oriented bedrooms.

The result of the renovation opens up the apartment to views of the Mediterranean in a way that could previously not be technically achieved and shows that relatively simple interventions can be used to great effect. 

The success of this renovation further helps to ensure that the  project remains a shining example of luxury living in an exceptional location. 

Nice, France