Translated as Bubble Palace, Palais Bulles is located near Cannes, France. It is the home of veteran fashion designer Pierre Cardin. Some may think that the palace is named for Champagne receptions thrown there, by its famous owner. However, the name was inspired by the unusual, curved domes of the cliffside mansion, which is overlooking the Mediterranean.
These incredible curves speak to Cardin’s personality. After all, he is known for his avant-garde – even space-age – designs, and Bubble Palace is an example of both. Indeed, Cardin even invented the bubble skirt in 1958.
Several decades ago, the Italian-born naturalized French fashion designer was on the hunt for a summer home that would match his creative style. He came across a half-built home designed by Antii Lovag; a celebrated Hungarian architect at that time.
The home was intended for a French businessman, but unfortunately, he was killed in a road accident while it was being built. So, Cardin bought it and oversaw its completion.
The finished product is as strange and beguiling, as any of Cardin’s fashion creations. Its look is both easy on the eye and deeply unusual. It has a combination of round, porthole-type windows, curves, and spheres. It’s certainly in keeping with the architect’s opinion that straight lines are “an aggression against nature.” Meanwhile, Cardin himself describes it as “sensual.”
From a distance, the palace could be mistaken for a bubble-themed water park. Its has series of swimming pools, waterfalls and landscaped grounds. The orange-brown building is featuring pods and bubbles, which randomly appear throughout the property.
The house also boasts ten bedrooms. Each of them is decorated by separate contemporary artists, including Jerome Tisserand. There’s also a 500-capacity open-air amphitheater that overlooks the sea, within its mind-boggling mosaic of curves.
Not surprisingly, it has also been featured in popular culture. Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton used it as the artwork for her 2004 album Free Me. It was also featured in the 2012 British comedy movie, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.
Sadly, it doesn’t accommodate tourists, so the only way to get a good look at the house would be to purchase it.
The good news is the house was put up for sale in 2017. The bad news? Its price is beyond anyone, except the super-rich. It’s valued at between $350 and $460 million. An extraordinary asking price, for a truly extraordinary home.