Low angle on the facade of buildings with modern architecture

Modern architecture on the French Riviera

The Côte d'Azur has been attracting vacationers and wealthy investors for more than two centuries, resulting in some of the finest architectural achievements. Emblematic towns such as Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Èze and Villefranche-sur-Mer bear witness to this history. A history that continues today with the construction of true jewels of modern architecture along the coast.

Contemporary architects: they designed the Côte d'Azur

Eileen Gray and Villa E-1027 at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin

It's uncompromising. Set against a backdrop of Mediterranean terraces and overlooking the coastline, its contrasting white and blue tones are a real eye-catcher. More than a creation, this villa is a manifesto for modern architecture. Designed by Eileen Gray and her partner Jean Badovici, whose initials give the villa its name, it is an uncompromising experiment in the application of the great principles of modern architecture. In particular, with its stilts, flat roof, mullioned windows and open façade, but with an extra soul that the two architects wanted to add.
And their approach goes beyond this emblematic building. Eileen and her partner also designed the furniture and interiors, following the same inspiration and thinking: modernism and functionality.

Le Corbusier and his Cabanon at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin

Le Corbusier is the founding father of modern architecture. He achieved this status by being the first to replace external load-bearing walls with internal reinforced concrete columns.
And the Cabanon is the culmination of his research into the concept of the minimal cell, reviving the myth of the primitive hut. The Cabanon is fascinating in its originality, with its rustic, hut-like feel, combining austere sobriety with minimalist functionality. This is modernism in contact with the wild nature and the Mediterranean that Le Corbusier loved so much. "I have a château on the Côte d'Azur measuring 3.66 metres by 3.66 metres. It's for my wife and it's extravagant in its comfort and friendliness." 

Jean Nouvel and his mark on the French Riviera

He is the leading architect of his time: Jean Nouvel shines, Jean Nouvel invents, Jean Nouvel wins the most prestigious awards and asserts a luminous and ecological vision in his buildings. An innovator and star architect since the 1970s, he uses the context and his surroundings to create unique buildings. His style and signature can be found on the Côte d'Azur, as demonstrated by these two exceptional properties. 

This villa on the Cap de Nice is a work of contemporary architecture in symbiosis with nature. 

This unique property benefits from maximum sunlight thanks to its glass structure, in particular the exceptionally high ceiling.

Main principles of modern architecture

Modern architecture is characterised by simplicity of form and design. It plays with concepts of abstraction, using curved, clean lines and simple, basic geometric shapes.

Curved forms
With the development of building materials and techniques, architects can imagine crazy, extravagant, limitless curves. A technical virtuosity that sometimes seems to defy the laws of weightlessness.

Space
Luxury is space. And modern architecture has taken this philosophy and brought it to life in three dimensions. Interiors with imposing volumes that open onto meticulously designed and landscaped exteriors.

New materials
Glass, steel and concrete are at the heart of modern construction. The use of new materials goes hand in hand with the use of fine materials for the interior design and the planting of interior and exterior spaces.

Lighting
Light is an integral part of the design and layout of modern spaces. Space is perceived primarily through sight, and modern architects play with light and shadow to bring their creations to life.

The French Riviera never ceases to surprise with its creativity and inspiration. If its past is remarkable, so too is its present and future. The towns and cities that make up the Côte d'Azur are lively, vibrant playgrounds for brilliant architects. From Beaulieu-sur-Mer to Ramatuelle, the architectural landscape offers villas with distinctive, striking designs. Would you like to know more about our contemporary villas for sale? Please contact us at

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