in the midst of Marseille’s Saint-Julien district
At an altitude of 160 metres, away from the hustle and bustle of Marseille town centre, the Saint-Julien district still has the character of a village, with its extremely active associations. Painting enthusiasts, horse-riders in the making, players of French bowls as well as those who enjoy jogging will all find an outlet for their passion. Fernandel took up residence not far away from here, in a villa where he lived out his days.
30 minutes from Marseille-Provence airport, 20 minutes from the Old Port and the beaches, 15 minutes from Saint-Charles train station, 7 minutes from the motorway, this traditional Bastide house is not isolated and is in a good neighbourhood.
Schools, doctors and shops are all within walking distance.
The mansion house
This two-storey house, constructed over a raised basement in 1870, belonged to the Countess Adélaïde-Eugénie-Jaubert-de-Saint-Pons. The hip roof is covered with Roman tiles and features a pediment on the main facade and a roof dormer on the rear facade. The tympanum of the pediment, sculpted and adorned with putti, is set with a period clock. The facade, edged with an entablature, features nine tall, straight windows, all the frames of which have been changed so as to provide the comfort of double-glazing. The moulding of the framing around the windows and the door gives this traditional Bastide house a Haussmannian style, bearing witness to a period when the district benefited from Marseille’s industrial and economic boom.
The zinc balconies in front of the windows were restored by the Compagnons-du-Devoir craftsmen and are adorned with finely wrought iron railings.
Tiled with marble and stone from Aix-en-Provence, a large vestibule leads, west, to a vast reception lounge, spanning more than 40 m², with a marble fireplace, panelling and moulding and, east to an open-plan kitchen and dining room, spanning more than 38 m², with a marble fireplace. The lounge has period oak wood parquet flooring. The dining room has more recent parquet flooring, restored with oak wood coming from the same sawmill in the Vosges as that of the lounge. The reception rooms face south.
A balanced stairway, with an open stairwell and a wooden handrail, goes up to each floor. The first-floor landing provides access to a first, east-facing bedroom, with parquet flooring. Two very large, south-facing bedrooms, including one with a marble fireplace, are separated by a small bedroom which has been transformed into a dressing room. Two bathrooms as well as a separate toilet. The floor, covered with terracotta tiles, enhances the contemporary decoration chosen by the owners.
Two small rooms, with sloping ceilings under the rafters, are not currently in use. It is here that a trapdoor provides access to the pediment clock mechanism. It would not take much to get it working so that its counterweight could be seen to be driving the hands once again.
Cinema enthusiasts will be able to satisfy their passion in a projection room, fitted with a DLP projector, speakers and a full cinema screen. A hammam is fed by a separate steam boiler. A fully sound-proofed, sound studio (5 x BA13 sheets and soundproofed door) will delight musicians. A spare bedroom, a shower room, a laundry room, a workshop and a boiler room complete this level.
A wine cellar, under jack arches, has a gravel floor and is fitted with a ventilation system. It could take as many as 2,000 bottles. It is reached via the basement.
An outbuilding, spanning approx. 35 m², is currently used as a study. It could be transformed into caretaker accommodation or an independent studio flat. It already includes a kitchen area and a shower room. Two garden sheds adjoining the house make it easily possible to store bicycles, skis and garden tools.
This property was renovated throughout in 2009 by skilled craftsmen (Compagnons du Devoir), using noble materials and respecting not only the period features but also good trade practices. The architect redesigned the rooms such that the old and the contemporary were harmoniously blended to give this elegant mansion house all modern-day home comforts. Easy to live in for a family with children, it can accommodate guests or staff in the independent studio flat.
This countrified part of Marseille, nestling in its 12th arrondissement, is but an invitation to relax in the shade of its tall trees. The pediment clock appears to have stopped as a reminder that here everyone takes the time to live.
|Land registry surface area||2900 m2|
|Main building surface area||330 m2|
|Outbuilding surface area||35 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||4|
Marie-Hélène Wisdorff +33 1 42 84 80 85
NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.