The Domaine de l’Anse Sauvage uses abundant outdoor green space in conjunction with a residential housing and apartment hotel development to blur the lines between the natural and indoor worlds.

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Two white box-like structures surrounded by plants, with a pool in front of each structure.

Located in northern Tunisia, the complex set out to counter the overdevelopment up and down the surrounding coastline and protect the endangered forest to the south. Planners put vegetation at the center of the overall project, both for the benefit of residents and the environment. Botanical gardens, green annexes, nurseries of native species and planted roofs look to bolster the area so it doesn’t replicate the destruction around the project site. 

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A side angle of white box-like structures surrounded by plants, with pools in front.

With a central focus on green space, the team then developed 164 housing units and included green roofs on half of those. In addition to improving air quality and ground support, the copious gardens create a circular ecology between residents and nature, where each is dependent on the other.  

An overhead angle of white box-like structures surrounded by plants, with pools in front.

The Domaine de l’Anse Sauvage sits on a hillside overlooking the Baie des Singes on the Gammarth coast. To support the eroding coastline and restore balance to the soil, the project ensured 70% of the property would be vegetative, including 16% taking form as private gardens and 54% as a botanical garden. 

A ground view of the pool in front of the buildings.

The remaining 30% of the property is occupied by the housing units, which were carefully situated to take in the views. 75% of the apartments offer direct water views with the others looking towards the Forest of Gammarth or the marina. The surrounding horizon can be seen from the private rooftop gardens. Designers refused to block the bay with concrete, which left the development as a free-flowing living space without boundaries. 

A close-up of the white panels covering the building's facade.

The project team reports, “The design echoes the Byzantine and Islamic Persian gardens that made it possible to create places of social gathering, mediation, and amplification in a symbiotic environment that is “second nature.” The “interior-exterior” limit no longer serves as a closure, but rather as a spatial unit, both as the “subject” of the different functions it fulfills, and the attributes of the architecture that it defines.”

+ Philippe Barriere Collective

Images via Philippe Barriere Collective (Mamary Coulibaly, Farouk Dine, Mohamed Yahmadi, Philippe Barriere)