The castle of Fontainebleau represents a strong heritage of French history. It is one of the most important royal residences in our country. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and classified as a historical monument, it tells part of the history of French architecture through the succession of kings of France, with Louis VII as a starting point.

Adam YEDID – Studio Kiraw – Terreneuve
Design offices: BET TCE PARICA, Si Prev
Patrick PONSOT

Basic mission / Complementary mission : Synthesis, Furniture
TOTAL COST: 4 M€ before tax
SURFACE AREA: 2 054 m2
PROGRAM: Redeployment of the services of the Public Institution of the Château de Fontainebleau – France
SCHEDULE 2017-2021

Contemporary paneling: Ateliers Pierre Bonnefille Mosaic: Bisazza Tiles: Mosa
Parquet: Huot
Lighting: BEGA and Iguzzini Electrical equipment : JUNG Door fittings : FSB
Stone flooring: Pierre de Buffon

Structural work (AM/MH) : Léon Noel Asbestos removal (MH): VALGO
Timber frame/roofing (MH): UTB/Ateliers Perrault Locksmithing (AM/MH): VLD Existing carpentry (AM/MH): Giffard
Interior carpentry and specific fittings (AM): Giffard New interior carpentry (AM) : Bonnardel Painting and soft floors (AM/MH): Maison Dureau
HVAC/ Plumbing (AM) : La Louisiane Electricity (AM): SPIE
Elevator (AM): L2V Ascenseur Lighting (MH): Chant Viron

The Castle of Fontainebleau (France) By Studio Kiraw - Sheet5
©Nicolas Waltefaugle

But it is with the arrival of Francis I that the castle will know its most important transformations. The diversity of the interventions of the successive kings offers to the castle a very particular framework with a stratification of a multitude of spaces, all different but united by a common History. In 2015, the master plan to enhance this heritage was launched. Therefore, the project of the redeployment of services takes place in this context and this exceptional setting.

“Place must prevail over function.”

The history of this project has seen a succession of architects (Adam Yedid, Terreneuve, Studio Kiraw) all linked by common ambitions. The work initiated by Adam Yedid first consisted of dealing with the project as a whole. It invites unity while declining according to its position within the castle. Each space has particular characteristics that must be understood.

The Castle of Fontainebleau (France) By Studio Kiraw - Sheet6
©Nicolas Waltefaugle

The project proposes a multi-intervention program divided into four distinct areas:

QRE : Relocation of external surveillance companies to the lower wing of the Republic District

AMI : Redeployment of EPCF services to the Ministers’ wing with the security headquarters and workshops (eastern part)

AGA : Reconfiguration of the security headquarters and creation of public restrooms

GPA : Rearrangement of the day quarters in the Queen Mothers wing

The project is being developed simultaneously with the intervention of Patrick Ponsot, (Chief Architect at Monuments Historiques) in charge of the castle estate, and his restoration work. The interior design, fundamentally contemporary, also aims for a thoughtful association with the spaces of the castle. The heritage study and dialogue with Patrick Ponsot set the tone to develop the choices of fittings and the reflection on colors and materials.

The Castle of Fontainebleau (France) By Studio Kiraw - Sheet7
©Nicolas Waltefaugle

The work on materiality then takes on its full importance. The ambition is focused on the dialogue with the existing while affirming its contemporaneity. Thus, the use of mosaic echoes the sumptuous and richly decorated character of the castle. It comes in white for common spaces and in a dominant blue punctuated with golden tesserae near the Saint Louis rooms. The floor tiles, responding to the function of toilets and changing rooms, also dialogue with the place, as in the Republic District where the colors of the old cobblestones are found on the new coating laid. Each detail is finely worked in keeping with the enhancement of this very special place. The master of art Pierre Bonnefille assisted us in this process by creating contemporary paneling that complements the missing decorations.

These developments show the traces of the History of this site, telling visitors about the transformations of the past.


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