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This Prairie-style house nestled in the forest of Fontainebleau takes you out of 21st century Paris suburbs into another time and another world. In a property at one with nature, lovers of tranquillity, authors or artists looking for inspiration, and those who enjoy the simple pleasures of the outdoor life will find a setting that brings pure bliss with the likes of a swimming pool and jacuzzi. Happiness here is made all the more unique as it takes place beneath the thousand-year-old trees of one France’s most beautiful forests.
After leaving Paris a few years ago we settled in a village house in the Fontainebleau area. However, we soon realised that what we really wanted was to live in the heart of the forest. Finding the ideal property was not easy because our jobs as a painter and a writer require easy access to the capital. The former owner, who built the house about forty years ago, told us all about its construction when we first discovered the place. The setting had already enchanted us, but the property’s history is what truly convinced us.
It is an architect's house inspired by the homes that Frank Lloyd Wright designed in American forests. The rooms are very bright because the sandstone walls of the Fontainebleau forest allow for all-glass facades in the living areas. The trusses of the framework are visible and the stone can also be seen in certain places of the house, especially on the ground where it alternates with the wooden flooring. These features are characteristic of a particular architectural movement that is both modernist and traditional, traces of it can be found in magazines from the 60s and 70s. As lovers of this style, we have a large collection of magazines in our home that showcase these types of properties that generally serve as second homes and advocate a return to nature which we are so fond of today. Our house clearly belongs to this style as it sits among sandstone walls surrounded by pines and oaks. Recently expanded with a wooden terrace, a swimming pool and a jacuzzi on the same level as the living room and kitchen, it is above all a place for relaxation and contemplation.
It is almost the same as ours. The house is the product of a Parisian couple’s desire to live in an unspoilt area. When they decided to settle in this forest area just fifty kilometres from Paris, they bought various private plots to form one single property with more than a hectare of land. Six years passed before the former pigeon fanciers settled here for about forty years, they even set up an aviary for up to six hundred passenger pigeons which they entered into European competitions.
Space and time merge into one here. The landscape and light evoke unexpected echoes of the south of France as the scotch pine, oak and birch trees mingle with the sandy chaos of the hill. The architecture of the house with stone, glass and wood is reminiscent of the ‘cabins’ found in the North of the USA or Canada. The swimming pool on the large wooden terrace also has similarities with the 'lodges' in African wildlife reserves. This mixture of features creates a unique and harmonious setting, a place where we maintain a special and benevolent relationship with nature. The hours here are not measured by the hands of a clock, but by the sound of birds awakening at dawn, squirrels passing through the pines, and the strange merry-go-round of three pigeons (former residents of the dovecote) at the same hour in front of the terrace. An owl signals that it is time for bed in the evenings.
Firstly, guests must be sure to explore the property’s sandstone rocks and rediscover the joys of childhood in the surrounding forest where traces of prehistoric man and passing carrier pigeons have been left. Sportsmen from France and Europe also train nearby. A little further away, the Halle de Milly-la-Forêt is certainly worth seeing – it has not changed since it was built five hundred years ago and hosts an antique market once a month on a Sunday. Also deserving of a visit is the workshop of Aurélie Mantillet, a visual artist. We would also recommend a pretty restaurant in Saint-Martin-en-Bière, the Piano Toqué.
L’ensemble de la propriété est accessible, soit toute la maison d’habitation ainsi que les deux hectares clôturés. La propriété se trouve à cinquante kilomètres de Paris. Elle est accessible en transport, la gare RER est seulement à 700 m. A quelques minutes, se trouve un hôtel pouvant accueillir les équipes de tournage. Références de shootings et tournages : Air liquide, Asos, Bonne Gueule, Cyrillus, Esquisse, Ma ptite culotte Clip « Pardonne-moi » de Johnny Hallyday par Christophe Acker
Séminaire de spiritualité