The house situated close to the banks of the river Lot did not immediately pose any major problems except for gaining the permis de construire, the problem being it is in a flood basin area. The demands of the planning department were then followed.
The clients wished to utilise the space upstairs for four spacious bedrooms each with their own dressing area and bathroom.
This area was cleared of all previous stud walls and removal of the old flat brick ceiling. Then it really was like a totally clear canvass, we were able to design the room shapes and size to suit the client’s needs.
Ground floor was slightly different, the structure had been built and extended during different periods, the upstairs actually being built during the sixties, this created a slight problem when we came to deal with the exterior walls, result being a mix of crepi and pointing.
One lovely aspect is the mix of Roman brick and the local pale stone; this is seen both in the downstairs interior and the exterior.
A huge boy’s room was created in the old cave barn, the old concrete cuvees being broken up and removed, stacks of room for a full size billiard room plus much more.
The kitchen is designed to be used as the family nucleolus, giving space for a large island plus sofas, the beams were added to give more character.
Due to the height of the rooms the stair well required a design which would be both light but also beautiful, a long window was cut and a local artist created the stunning stained glass, this throws in the coloured light from the ground floor to the upper hall.
The dining room and salon were designed to share the same fire and the doorways were opened to give the maximum feeling of space.
The beauty of all this space is that due to the air to water heat exchangers (2) and the under floor heating the house throughout is beautifully warm and extremely affordable to run.
Along with the heating the northern walls were all heavily insulated as is the roof space, special grade double glazing of course.
The doors all in oak, are built by a local artist as are the stairs, as we used the glass grade SP10 we were not obliged to have shutters for insurance purposes.
The truth is that one can have a very large house (560m2) and due to the design and materials used the end result is a home which is extremely comfortable and cheap to run.
If the house is the principle residence the French state offers some very interesting tax incentives to use green eco energy, heat pumps, geo-thermic, solar etc.[