House Quimper (29)
A late 19th century estate, now a holiday centre, with almost 1.4 ha, facing out to sea in a fishing port in the south of the Finistère department.
On Audierne Bay, less than 30 minutes from Quimper airport and its TGV train station, the coastline features a wealth of tourist attractions. In the midst of an old market town, just a stone’s throw from the port, this estate flirts with the shore and appears to be a privilege granted by the ocean.
Constructed on a protected, natural heritage site, this house and its parvis planted with shrubberies have long established a strong, respectful link with the rocks and water that form their “landscape”. This property has been protected by a granite perimeter wall from the very beginning. Two monumental pillars flank tall, high wrought iron gates and mark its entrance on the land side. One driveway leads to the main building, a second leads to the annexe buildings set out on the boundaries of the property.
The landscaping is composed of copses of tamaris and other evergreen shrubs, resistant to the marine climate. They are completed with playing and parking areas.
The villa known as “The chateau”The construction of this granite house began in 1891 with the use of dynamite to dig the cellars and the water storage tanks. The villa was built to span two levels and topped with a terrace roof, edged with stone balusters. The ground floor then housed the utility rooms. An impressive 34-step porch gave access to the first floor, taken up with reception rooms and the main bedrooms. The estate at this time was completed by farm buildings, notably including 8,000 m² of greenhouses, adjoining the perimeter walls.
In 1911, the house was transformed into a hotel-restaurant and raised by one storey. The latter was covered with a low hip roof, concealed by a peripheral deck, enhanced with a stone baluster guardrail. The cellars as well as the ground and first floors were completely redesigned and given new purpose on this occasion. The porch on the land side, which went up to the first floor, was removed and replaced with two flights of steps leading to the ground floor.
In 1928, the hotel and catering business gave way to private use. This era resulted in further modifications to the initial building. Once again, another floor was added to this private villa which was enhanced with a steeper roof and its stone edging removed. The two flights of steps on the south-east side were merged into one. And lastly, in 1956, the estate underwent its final changes when it became a holiday centre for children. The first two levels were reorganised so as to be able to accommodate the administrative offices as well as the activity rooms for this leisure building. Management offices, bathroom and toilet facilities as well as a lift completed the original villa’s facilities.
The interior decor and features of the latter such as the entrance hall created for the restaurant, the monumental stairway and its panelling, the fireplaces in the lounge and dining room, most of the floor coverings, some of which include herringbone pattern parquet flooring, panelled ceilings as well as the top floor bedrooms are still in existence. The oriental-style “seaside” facilities installed in the cellars such as a swimming pool and a room used as a hammam have also been preserved, but are in a poorer state of repair.
With 4.5 m high ceilings, the nine basement rooms can be reached via the ground floor and via the outside, through a service door set under the entrance porch. A hall provides access to these rooms, some of which are illuminated via natural light.
The main entrance, on the land side, is reached via a flight of stone steps, covered with a portico forming a terrace. It opens into the main hall which laterally houses an impressive wooden stairway, with …
Le Figaro Properties reference: 36673855