Friday, April 5, 2013

French Property News, March 2013

In this edition I have taken a look at the advantages of converting older buildings into attractive houses and apartments, based on a number of illustrated cases studies from another book in the ArchiPasCher series, by author Olivier Darmon and titled 'Bâtiments Modestes réinvenrés'.

Darmon describes a number of town and country properties - from dilapidated cottages, old workshops and former industrial buildings - which have been converted and restored by their owners, sometimes at minimal cost. One of my favourites is a former garage and workshop situated in a gated mews in Bordeaux, which architects and the owner redesigned to create an attractive 40 square metre apartment.

Another triumph of design is a former garden summer house located in the shared grounds of a co-owned complex in central Paris. Although planning permission was given by the local authority to add two more storeys, this was overruled by the syndicate of co-owners (who have the last word). Saddened but unbeaten, the young owners decided to make the best of the situation and succeeded in installing a mezzanine (made from builders scaffolding) within the confines of the existing 40 square metres, which they were not allowed to extent. The result is a low-cost, attractive home in central Paris.

Each case study includes photographs, plans and detailed breakdown of costs. 

'Bâtiments modestes réinventrés' by Olivier Darmon, Editions Ouest-France, 15.90 euros.