an hour from Paris on the edge of Compiègne Forest
Paris is 90 km away, Compiègne is 12 km away and Charles-de-Gaulle airport is 60 km away. Paris takes an hour by train from Compiègne station. Pierrefonds is on the edge of Compiègne Forest, once hunting grounds for French kings and how a haven for hikers and horse riders.
The facades of this villa are characteristic of the late 19th century Italianate style. Its architecture was, furthermore, qualified as the Florentine style by the School of the Louvre. This villa was actually constructed in 1902 for a rich Parisian family who came here on holiday and, more particularly, to “take the waters” at a time when Pierrefonds was still a spa town. In 1935, it was purchased by a local personality, a former military dentist who had saved numerous French soldiers during the First World War. He turned it into a history of dentistry museum for several years. It was not until the 1950’s that it became a main residence.
The villa stands on rendered quarry stone block lower sections which are on a level with the street. Although there is an outside back stairway leading directly to the kitchen on the right-hand side, the main entrance to the villa is via a discreet wooden door in this lower section. Once through said door, a troglodyte entrance hall provides access to an oak wood, spiral stairway that goes up to the building’s main level, there where the garden is also to be found. The stairway leads to an open gallery, reviving the principle of the ancient peristyle. Said gallery enables visitors to reach the villa’s main entrance door or the terrace running alongside the entire main facade or the garden.
“La Colombine” features a circular terrace, its facade spreading out like a stage set. The central tower commands the entire building. Engaged in the main carcass and supporting the portico on the left-hand side, it rises to a height of some 20 metres. This belvedere is topped with a dome covered with blue and gold, glazed, fish scale tiles. A metre tall, terracotta finial brings a symbolic dimension to the town: it is the axis linking the sky to the land, the Mundi axis, a link between the world down under and the world up above. All four walls are richly decorated with squares of green and white mosaic tiles, laid in a chessboard pattern, triple lancet windows as well as glazed brick and stone friezes. It is entirely constructed from Saint-Maximin dressed stone, just like the rest of the villa. Both the tower and the main building feature impressive jambs supporting the roof. And in the centre of the tower, set on a bunch of exotic fruit, a turquoise, Pierrefonds ceramic medallion represents the building’s neo-Renaissance influence. Here, there is no symmetry, but rather an extremely elaborate, fanciful architecture with a gable roof dormer, semi-circular arched and square windows, an antique-style pediment, geminated windows, vast terraces, wooden and cast-iron railings, composite order columns for the gallery, four pavilion roofs as well as green and red glazed bricks framing the windows of the reception rooms.
The main entrance hall impresses visitors with the height of its ceiling and its view of the lounge through two large openings. It comprises a period, brown and grey, diamond-patterned mosaic floor and a central pillar, painted to imitate marble, supporting four vaults which are reinforced by side pillars. Almost exuding an air of a chapel, it differs in that omnipresent light floods in through two large adjoining windows. Said hall provides access to the reception rooms which are also bathed in light. The large lounge, with its fireplace, and the dining room even now still reflect the style of the Belle-Époque. The view over the lake and Pierrefonds castle enhances these areas. A fitted kitchen, reached further on via a few steps, is a real living room. An arched picture window provides a view of the garden, with Jonval chateau in the distance. Another two windows, in addition to this picture window, make this kitchen extremely bright. It is completed by a storeroom.
A landing room, at the top of the oak wood stairway, gives access to two bedrooms, with parquet flooring, and a bathroom. Both bedrooms look out over the lake and one is extended by a panoramic terrace, with a characteristic that is unique in Pierrefonds, that of a view of both the chateau and the castle.
A small landing provides access to three bedrooms, with slightly sloping ceilings and strip pattern parquet flooring. They all share the same bathroom. Two of the three bedrooms also have a view over the lake.
A vaulted stone cellar completes this villa.
One area could possibly be converted into a studio flat to be used by a caretaker or for passing friends.
Two garages can be accessed directly from the street.
An enclosed garden is set out around a lawn. It has Pierrefonds woods, with its centuries-old trees, as a backdrop. A rear entrance enables cars to directly access the property. A terrace, laid out under an arbour, is an ideal place to relax outside when the weather is fine.
This villa has all the attractions of the interior of a townhouse and yet, standing in the midst of a village, it provides a view of the countryside. Compiègne Forest, with its 14,300 hectares, is one of France’s biggest forest tracts, offering many kilometres of hiking trails to walking and horse-riding enthusiasts. Pierrefonds is without doubt the most magical place in the French department of Oise, with its lake and the ghosts of Napoleon III and the Empress Eugénie who loved coming here. The nearby food shops make everyday life practical as well as pleasant and the proximity of Compiègne and Paris enhance the attraction of “La Colombine”. This residence is ideal, then, for those seeking to live in the country, without being isolated and having to give up the pleasures of the town and Paris.
|Land registry surface area||1000 m2|
|Main building surface area||247 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||5|
Jérôme Ferchaud +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.