Our clients have taken on a unique and beautiful monastery and chapel in the Pyrénnées Orientales near the Spanish border, dating from the 13th and late 16th centuries. We were signed up by them to pilot and oversee the renovation and restoration of a great deal of the existing building, which has been badly abused over the 200 years. While there are many hurdles to be overcome as it is inscribed as a Monument Historique, the rewards of the restoration are already wonderfully apparent. (More details & photos below)
Architecte Sud guided the clients through the paperwork and archaeological reports required for planning permission, and by working with the French Ministry of Culture and local specialists we managed to obtain government grants towards the historical restoration. We are now coming to the end of the first of 3 main stages – renovating half of the original monastic quarters by removing all 19th century and 20th alterations and creating 3 simple but beautiful bedrooms, (with 21st century bathrooms…) Below these we have opened up the whole of the only remaining cloister arcade and created a magical space which leads out into the cloister garden by means of a 20-metre minimalist sliding glass screen.
We have put in under-floor heating fired by a wood pellet boiler. Insulation is largely hemp panels finished with a natural lime render. Most of the joinery has been custom-made.
We will shortly be moving onto the other half of the monastery living quarters before restoring the adjoining chapel, funds permitting. Watch this space!