For our before & after this week, Normandy welcomes us to explore one of its' beautiful historical buildings. We will take a look at all the major renovation works, and witness the complete redesign which was undertaken by the Paris based architects Apolline Terrier in order to rehabilitate this authentic Norman manor.
The original brief was to breathe some fresh life into this old, abandoned building by opening up the space and allowing natural light to infiltrate the interior. The traditional, rustic, and sadly neglected manor, has been successfully restructured in a way that emphasises rather than compromises its charm and authenticity, and is now a comfortable family home. Take a look for yourself:
From the view we have of the exterior, we already know that this fairytale-esque building is something special. It raises the question of why it was allowed to fall into such a sorry state. Inviting the imagination to wander, the red brick façade, slate roof, and small timber outbuilding all look to be from another, more romantic, age.
As you can see from this image, the renovations have included the full restoration of the structure as well as a roof extension. The wall and attic insulation has been completely redone, as has most of the plasterwork, which was peeling and damp.
With this photo montage we see the extent of the structural work put in place to give new life to this mansion. The earth had to be dug up and levelled to help provide a solid foundation for the rest of the renovations. The frame of the extension was partially renovated and new insulation installed.
Damp and dilapidated, dark and poorly designed, the interiors do not really invite us to linger! The layout has been redesigned to allow the occupying family to live comfortably, with all the modern necessities of 21st century life . The interior of the tower, here on the left, also had to undergo structural renovations.
Leaving room for black aluminium windows that blend well with the brick façade, all openings have been refurbished so as to modernise the entire building. The room is almost unrecognisable in its new bright and pleasant state. The original marble fireplace has been lovingly restored, and gives the room an inimitable style that can't fail to impress.
Here you can see the deplorable state of the attic before the work began. The unhealthy and unusable space is far from inspiring! Requiring some real care and attention, the roof will be retained, but it goes without saying that it will take a lot of work to bring it up to current standards.
Time has left its mark on this ruined building, but that doesn't mean it is without hope—just take a look the images below for proof…
The contrast with the original state of the attic is exceptional—only the structural outline of the ceiling suggests that we are in the same room. We can see how carefully the space has been reworked into a cosy and welcoming bedroom. Decorating the space in an authentic style, wooden beams are incorporated into the décor, and soft lighting mimics the warm glow of candles to avoid an overly modern look.
Our tour finishes in the master bedroom, which is lined with simple black and white striped wallpaper. In order to maximise space and minimise clutter, built-in cupboards have been custom made. Created from the same wood as the cupboards, the headboard is an understated and classic finishing touch. The marriage of colours and materials here gives a timeless and classic charm to the refurbished room.
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