an interior designerand owner of the Ars vivendi boutique in geneva‚ she could see herself applying her expertise to a vast blank canvas. With spectacular and almost cathedral dimensions—2‚000 square feet spread over two stories—the space offered its limitless virtues. it took the couple less than two months to handle the paperwork and obtain the deeds to the property‚ and nearly a year for the fundamental renovation work. the original walls needed to be strengthened; 170 tons of concrete (the equivalent in weight to an Airbus) were used to recast the floors‚ and there was the main challenge of maintaining the spread of the roof truss to ensure that there was no movement— a task entrusted to geneva-based architect Bernd harden. one doesn’t acquire property this rich with history‚ only to smother it with modern cosmetic changes. the large windows‚ and huge manor house front
door announce that this is the home of a couple
who embrace the past as a thriving‚ essential element. the
entrance is lined with rough-hewn stone walls‚ and as a tribute
to the building’s heritage there are embrasure-like openings
onto the kitchen that are remnants of the feeding troughs.
cleverly retained and restored‚ these openings serve as light
throughout the home‚ large windows look out onto the
green surroundings; a lush complement to the trove of artifacts‚
furnishings and art catherine and pierre have meticulously
shafts to and from the kitchen. on the left‚ the dining room
collected over time. designer armchairs and sofas‚ han dynasty
is fit for a complement of knights‚ easily accommodating 14
terra cotta and bronze pieces‚ drawings‚ photographic works
diners or more. An expanse of timber and dressed stone lend
the barn an atmosphere of a manor house that has been
preserved over decades.
by Frank thiel and Jean-Baptiste huynh‚ African statues—all
blend into a calm unity‚ an elegant palette. the color schemes
are assured—timber‚ stone grey‚ écru—and every textile
From the northern to the southern elevation‚ light pours into
coordinated into a refined understatement.
the entire house‚ giving the eye full view of the tiered floor plan.
catherine admits that in winter she spends most of her time
several levels act as partitions between the different spaces.
At the centre of the hallway is a large staircase that leads to
in the lounge area closest to the bedroom. And that she
almost never uses the lounge off to the left. the space is so
the first floor‚ where four lounge areas‚ a library‚ master suite
vast…who wouldn’t dream of having 2‚000 square feet. still‚
and walk-in dressing room‚ all strain to fill the 1‚000 square feet.
the volume of the space does have its drawbacks: every five
the staircase is surrounded by two glass balustrades‚ ensuring
years specialists must be called in to remove the cobwebs that
that the space remains open. the original parquet floor adds
have gathered in the rafters. in summer‚ the couple retreat to
cachet to this quartet of lounge areas‚ not to mention the
the garden‚ which is equally spacious. catherine and pierre
walkway suspended from the ceiling‚ where once the hay was
have even purchased the land in the surrounding fields so that
stored. With its ropes and central pulley it can still be lowered
no new buildings come to spoil their uninterrupted views of the