Look Inside Pierre Cardin’s Bubble Palace
To excel in a creative industry, you have to be surrounded constantly by environments that inspire you. Resting on rocky cliffs above the Mediterranean, the late Italian-born French fashion designer Pierre Cardin’s Palais Bulles (“Bubble Palace”) was the perfectly eccentric vacation home to inspire his avant garde work.
Cardin was hunting for a summer retreat that would fit his style; both chic and space-age. In Théoule-sur-Mer, located on a rocky cliff within Massif de L’Esterel, a volcanic mountain range overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in the South of France, he found a partially constructed home that caught his fancy.
This hyper-unique property was designed by Hungarian architect Antti Lovag, an equally legendary man in his field, who wanted to build a home that “mimicked humanity’s earliest dwellings in caves”.
The Bubble Palace was being built for a French businessman, but he died midway through the construction (not completely surprising given that it had been under construction for almost 15 years at that point — since 1975). After the death of the first owner, Cardin swooped in and completed the work in 1989.
Domed inside and out, the curved structures resemble a bunch of space-age grapes, or a series of submarine pods. Combined with the bright blue sea, the red rocks, and the occasional palm tree, the house loses its abstract appearance and gives way to unadulterated high fashion and the lifestyles of the rich and famous.
The eccentric villa features approximately 12,916 square feet (1,208 sq. m.) of living space with 10 bedrooms, 10+ bathrooms, multiple staircases, living & dining rooms, gourmet kitchen and much more. The outdoor area features patios, fountains and ponds, and three swimming pools. Trees native to the region form a circular boundary, while a 500-seat amphitheater boasts a fashion runway worthy of the Romans.
On the market for a cool €350 million, what’s not to love about the Bubble Palace? Crescent-shaped pools meet curvilinear windows for views that make the most of the sky and sea. A location allowing Cannes’ coastline to reflect and refract both exterior and interior of one of Europe’s most notorious mansions.
Over the years, Bubble Palace has hosted many swanky parties and events: MTV hosted James Bond’s 40th birthday party there in 2002; Dior held an indoor/outdoor fashion show in 2016. And Assouline published a book replete with beautiful pictures from the mansion and estate in 2012. Until Bubble Palace is sold, the entire estate can be rented for a paltry €30,000 per night.