Reinterpreting the craft of builder, giving new life to old stones, retaining the original spirit without destroying the soul of an historic house: it is a true challenge to completely reinvent a place. The client’s brief in three words: authentic, homelike, usable.
Respect for the historical constraints, the right choice of materials, the control of the imperfections, a careful revival of the existing elements, an almost secretive use of modern technologies: this was the recipe for the new identity created for the beautiful house. Some 70 window cremones had to be restored, the magnificent royal blue ceramics saved by repurposing them in the kitchen credenza, the mouldings reworked, the old wainscoting restored, and craftsmen found who could replicate the doors, lay the stones in a Roman Opus pattern using the traditional methods, strip the floors and walls, and use modern techniques in the service of history.
The magnificent concrete staircase, with its airy ironwork guard-rail designed by Olivier, is the centrepiece, acting as the lord of the manor around which all of the living spaces extend.