RUSSIAN DOLL: PIERRE BERGE AND HIS ‘DATCHA’





One of the perks of getting the digital subscription of Architectural Digest as opposed to the printed version is that you get bonus photos and sometimes an accompanying video of the article you are reading. As he was sliding the pages of the latest issue on his iPad, A-Gent of Style came across the astonishing spread of Pierre Bergé’s secret paradise in Normandy, completely unbeknownst to him to this day.


Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.43.21



With residences in Paris, Manhattan, Marrakech and Tangiers, Pierre Bergé and
Yves Saint Laurent (don’t miss the brilliant biopic on their life when it is released in the UK at the end of March) had this fairy-tale country retreat built not far from Château Gabriel, the late 19th C mansion the fashion power couple purchased in 1980 on an 120-acre estate.

After the death of the couturier in 2008, the business mogul sold their storied
Paris apartment
and the chateau (as well as most of their museum-quality art and antiques collection that famously sold at Christie’s for an astounding $484 million in 2009) but kept ‘La Datcha’ (the French spelling for the Russian word dacha meaning holiday home). This chic log house is truly unique and can boast many influences and inspirations. To A-Gent of Style, it is a kaleidoscopic fusion of a gingerbread house, Les Ballets Russes, Matryoshka dolls, Renzo Mongiardino and is slightly reminiscent of the Bloomsbury Group’s Charleston House and the works of their descendant
Cressida Bell. What La Dacha is not is polite, pared-down and minimalist.



Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.45.56

This 19th C flamboyant country cottage was decorated by Jacques Grange, a long-standing friend of the couple who had worked his magic on many of their residences over the decades. It was built as a multi-purpose living area with a main room and only a small kitchen and powder room. It has no bedrooms. Bergé asked Grange a few years ago to build an outhouse, with a covered walkway, that would be linked to the cabin and that would serve as a sleeping annex containing a guest suite and a master bedroom.

The picturesque folly, supported by stilts, is replete with lacy wood, intricate fretwork, arches, carving, pine panelling and colourfully painted joinery. Textures and layers are predominant especially in the main room with soaring ceiling, alternating beams and red bricks. Kilims are not only used as floor rugs but also upholstered on some of the Austrian horn chairs and chaise longue. There is a stunning 19th C Orientalist panel above the fireplace and many taxidermic animal heads adorning the walls that would make Les 3 Garçons look butch. Apart from the many nooks, A-Gent of Style‘s favourite room has to be the jewel-box kitchen adorned with antique French tiles and Moorish stained-glass windows and doors.

Outside, in the lush garden designed by American Maddison Cox bursting with hydrangeas, Bergé had an additional guest house created. This time a vintage Romanu-style caravan was redesigned to sleep two additional guests which Grange filled with two single, painted pine beds, an antique geometric kilim rug and original William Morris fabric on the curtains.


 A-Gent of Style hopes you like ‘La Datcha’ as much as he does.



Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.41.43

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.44.57

1

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.45.07

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.42.08

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.45.15

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.23.09

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.41.31

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.02.42

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.41.12

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.45.34

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.45.25

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.01.52

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 13.45.41



– Photo by Pascal Chevallier/Architectural Digest –



Leave a comment


Name*

Email(will not be published)*

Website

Your comment*

Submit Comment

© Copyright agentofstyle - Designed by Dentdelion