France is home to plenty of exceptional architecture and tons of castles, but only a few gorgeous, unique, original creations like the Palais Bulles (Bubble Palace), in Théoule-sur-Mer near Cannes, overlooking the azure sea. Built by the Hungarian architect Antti Lovag over two decades, only to be finished in 1989, the bubble home is a pure surrealist dream. Over the course of the past few decades, the home changed owners several times with the most famous and recent being French fashion designer Pierre Cardin.
Designing the villa, the architect wanted to return to the roots of prehistoric homes in caves, where angles were not at all present. In fact, it’s scientifically proven that curves are soothing for our brain. With that in mind, Lovag created an entire compilation of orb structures connected in Hobbit-like mounds with a futuristic flair. The home altogether reminds one of a rare spaceship that might have just landed, or instead could be preparing for takeoff. It is this jarring exterior that drew Cardin to his favorite vacation home, according to the website.
The home features 1,200 square meters of indoor spaces with 10 bedrooms and over 8,500 square meters of outdoor space, including pools, waterfalls, and even a 500-person amphitheater. Cardin actually bought the house at an auction in the early 90s and used it to throw elaborate celebrity-packed fashion parties for over two decades.
In 2017, Cardin put it back on the market for $355 million — one of Europe’s most expensive properties. It is unknown whether the palace has a new owner yet, but the entire estate may be rented for a daily rate of about $31,000 (yeah sure, no biggie).
The home is unfortunately not available for tours, but its round figures can be seen in images from James Bond’s 40th birthday party in 2002 and a Dior Resort show in 2015. It does have its own book, “The Palais Bulles,” written by Jean-Pascal Hesse. Another villa by the same architect, Maison Bernard, is, however, available for tours.