9/3/09

Chateau Gabriel

Please click on any image for a closer look.

Do you think you'd ever grow tired of, or blasé about, coming home to this wonder of a 19th-century Napolean-style manor? Would you, at some point, pull up into the front parking court, and find yourself oblivious to the charm of the ivy-covered brick walls, and the romance of the steeply pitched roofs and highly decorated gables of this Anglo-Norman fantasy? When you place it in Deauville, France, on 74 acres of land with breathtaking views leading out to the sea – it becomes even harder to imagine not being swept off your feet, every time you thought to steal a glance around.

I know, for me, familiarity and comfort do have a way of shifting my attentions to the new, the next thing. So perhaps that was the case for Yves St. Laurent and Pierre Bergé, who in 2005, had decided to sell their fairy-tale country home. According to an interview then, in the NY Times, the decision was made with sadness: 'If you don't go to a place, then you must get rid of it." Sigh. Priced at $25 million, Chateau Gabriel was finally snapped up this past February by a couple of Russian tycoons, for a bargain price of 9.6 million euros.

Perhaps it was this dacha out back that sold the new Russian owners on the place. It is surrounded by a birch grove, a waterfall and lake, a rose garden and an apple orchard that produces the house cider. Somehow, I would never have imagined Yves and Pierre lounging about sipping on apple cider, but I'm sure it must have been delicious.

Architectural detail of the dacha.



Two interior views of the dacha.

You may have seen photos of this reception room in the main house, with its Monet-inspired wall murals of water lilies.

The drawing room in the main house feels artistically moody, with its color scheme of purple and navy.

What a masterful design stroke to create a helicopter landing pad that, when not in use, becomes a lovely landscape feature – a grassy maze on a hillside.

Chateau Gabriel was Jacques Grange's first major collaboration with Yves and Pierre. His take, in 2005, on the news that it was for sale: "Pierre and Yves adored it - they love it still. Perhaps they have too many houses in their lives."

They also owned two luxurious garden apartments in the 6th arrondissement in Paris, and houses in Provence, Marrakech and Tangiers.

"Of all the houses I have decorated, the ones I have done for Saint Laurent are the most important part of my work," he said. "I love this place. It is unbelievable, extraordinary. I would like to dismantle it all and spirit it away."*

Too bad he couldn't have. On Nov. 17-18, the Saint Laurent-Pierre Bergé collection of art and antiques from Chateau Gabriel will go on the auction block at Christie's in Paris.
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Closer to the auction date, I'll have a sneak peak for you of Flammarion's new book, scheduled for release at that time:
YVES SAINT LAURENT – PIERRE BERGÉ COLLECTION: The Sale of the Century
Text by by François de Ricqlès and Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery
Flammarion, 2009
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All images from luxuryculture.com.
*The New York Times

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9 comments:

little augury said...

Gorgeous and very Proustian. I can't wait to get the JG book soon.

Tara Dillard said...

Would buy the book about the creation of Chateau Gabriel.

Would love details & pictures of how the chateau & landscape are a vanishing threshold.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

Tropical Chateau Shop-owner said...

I love that look - I just got back from Paris - so fabulous!

A Girl said...

Wow, that is stunning!

Topsy Turvy said...

Tropical Chateau - can't wait to hear about your trip!

–Lana

J.Covington said...

What a stunning place. Would hate having to be the grounds keeper!

Topsy Turvy said...

J.C. - Agreed! I think that's a full-time job for several people.

–Lana

.::The Coolture Report::. said...

I absolutely LOVE this Chateau. Stunning and gorgeous!

dwelling and design said...

These spaces are making me drool.