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France 1978-79
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Sunset Studio for Eric Idle

Cotignac, Var, France


Long view.JPG (47737 bytes)

Through a client referral I was invited to undertake a project in the south of France in 1978. Ill health of the owner brought that project to a close before completion. However a friend of his in the neighborhood, Eric Idle, asked me if I might consider a project for him. We eventually agreed on terms and I proceeded with the work, with the invaluable assistance of Peter McVety, who had worked with me for many years in the United States. Eric wanted to add on to an existing building that he had already had modernized some years earlier. The new addition was intended to house a 16 track recording system given to him by George Harrison, who was at that time the principal backer of Hand Made Films, a production company then making the Monty Python movies including The Life of Brian, which was filming in Tunisia during the time that we built the studio for Eric. He called it Sunset Studio, after the spectacular sunset views off the terrace. Many of Eric's friends came to visit the site during construction, including Nick Mason, drummer for the Pink Floyd band, who consulted with us on the problem of isolating the recording room from the equipment room using rubber cushions at all bearing points. Eric, who was accustomed to working with styrofoam movie sets, made frequent changes throughout the building process which he expected to be carried out instantly. Altering reinforced concrete and stone walls is different from altering styrofoam, and our inability to meet Eric's expectations caused some stress.  We built the entire structure, from the footers up, including the concrete and tile roof system.  I contracted on Eric's behalf for all the finish trades, plumbing, plastering, and electricity, with local artisans. After the conclusion of this project I spent several months recovering on a beach on the south coast of Crete, contemplating the tranquility of the Libyan Sea.

From Kitchen terrace.JPG (52706 bytes)    Staircase side.JPG (38004 bytes)    me.JPG (46482 bytes)

Studio side with Peter McVety.JPG (46189 bytes)    upper terrace pour.JPG (50783 bytes)    Genoise.JPG (56323 bytes)

from back.JPG (39233 bytes)    Genreal view from Kitchen side.JPG (48300 bytes)    View of bedroom.JPG (54753 bytes)