le jardin du sanctuaire

jardin de villars, provence, 2020

Jardin de Villars, a 9 holes golf course situated in Provence, South of France, flaunts miles of stunning natural scenery which needed to be exhibited as part of the proposal. Le Jardin du Sanctuaire is a collaborative competition entry by Boaz Studio and ZP Landscape Design.

Our aim is to create a sanctuary, shaping spaces that would accentuate the guest’s experience. The site offers many journeys for people to wander and engage with their environment, experiencing the landscape through meandering scented pathways and presenting buildings that offer unrestricted hilltop views, a multitude of recreational and relaxing spaces. Holistic sustainability and maximising the inspiration of the local area were always at the heart.

what we did

Working with ZP Landscape Design, we came up with a sustainable architectural proposal for the Jardin de Villars Contest which took place between May and July 2020. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the results are yet to be announced. A total of 104 proposals from around the world were submitted.


The competition outlined a goal to imagine an eco-sustainable place that gives guests the opportunity to connect with their deeper selves, and with nature. They wanted us to design a sustainable hospitality concept with its existing Country Club, a space that currently hosts a 9 holes golf course. There are already plans to turn it into a fragrant garden of one million rosemary and thyme bushes that give golfers and non-golfers alike an opportunity to nourish their body and mind. It was our task to create spaces that combine elements of architecture, landscape design, and nature into holistic, authentic experiences.


Inspiration for the sustainable material palette came from the local area both from a colour perspective and the materials available. We worked with local materials such as white limestone, red clay and Verriere Biot glass whilst introducing innovative developments such as marmoleum, artichoke and straw based eco plastics. By-products and agricultural waste from local farms can be used to create materials and furniture. By using natural materials and avoiding chemical adhesives we can aim for optimum levels of interior air quality. In addition, local practices such as chaux lime paint and rammed earth walls which lend the buildings depth and character. The colour palette stems from the surrounding area, muted lavenders, greens and earthy tones giving the spaces a relaxing, tranquil atmosphere.


The visitor is lead on a journey to reach their cabins via meandering paths through textural meadow planting of perennials and ornamental grasses. Pockets of mown turf echo the shape of the golf tees, with low natural stone walls for structure that double as seating. These walls also surround a formal kitchen garden and pétanque court to the south of the main building where guests in the restaurant can watch the chefs picking their ingredients.

Nearer the main building the scent of 1 million rosemary and thyme plants lifts the spirits, combined with Phlomis, Perovskia, Aster and Stipas. As the journey progresses through the garden, the planting becomes wilder, and mirrors the wildflowers found nearby in the Luberon; Campanulas, Knautia, Verbascum and Dianthus. The slope near the entrance is planted with mounded shrubs such as Cistus and Erica arborea: a green backdrop to the meadow planting. Beds are punctuated by evergreen trees, Arbutus, Pinus mugo, Cupressus. Once established, none of the planting requires irrigation which adds to the sustainability of the site.

As the site is subject to regular sudden downpours, vegetated swales have been incorporated into the design to collect and slowly release surface water so that it does not inundate the landscape. A raised timber walkway provides a dry walkway for guests to arrive at the club house, bridging the swales that run along the contours of the land.

The site map is mainly populated by 20 cabins which are the accommodation for the concept. Their exterior is constructed using carved local limestone demonstrating a stepped, planted roof and relief wall. These flexible residential cabins include 2 bedrooms and 1 living area. Each area can be individually accessed dependent on package. The cabin concept came from the need for flexible accommodation: 1 bedroom + 1 lounge + 1 bedroom. This layout enables a guest to rent either a bedroom, a bedroom and lounge or two bedrooms and a lounge. The front of the cabins are fully glazed to make the most of the hilltop views, sunrises, sunsets and gardens. It creates a private courtyard for guests to enjoy.  The exterior is carved local limestone, creating a stepped roof with planting, and a curved ‘artichoke’ inspired relief wall at the back. Natural, sustainable material and furniture choices reconnect the guests with nature. The cabins feature rammed earth walls, marmoleum floors, artichoke pulp furniture, and lilac coloured linen.

a creative team that achieve results...

Boaz Studio Services

"You have been incredibly instrumental in the first part of this project and given us inspiration on how best to utilise our space, giving us vision on layout, design, style and colours. You are very skilled at what you do !!"

5/ 5 Stars

"Boaz Studio came in to advise on the complete refurbishment of the communal space here at Sunley Orford House, a purpose-built block of quality retirement housing in the centre of Truro. Having listened thoroughly to the design brief he provided well thought out advice on materials, colours and decoration with options that not only bring a more contemporary feel but will revitalise the space for the future. His thought and attention to detail was appreciated by all involved."

5/ 5 Stars

"I found boaz studio to be the perfect combination of design ideas and down to earth sense. They opened my eyes to aspects I hadn’t considered and delt with problems in creative ways."

5/ 5 Stars

"Stephen managed to build a true understanding of what we wanted and embed that in his conceptual designs. When we first saw those designs for a fresh and contemporary take on the heritage library, we knew that we would be creating something special."

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