City: 2 Chemin du Saint-Sacrement, 78490 Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, Ranska Open Google map
Entrance fee: 5 € - 15 € / person
Tours: Guided Guided tours are arranged during the weekends from March to November. Private tours (10-19 persons) can be arranged during the weekdays and mornings on the weekends. Inquiries about private tours, email email@example.com
Themes: Aalto homes, Art, Curiosity, Museums
- Guided tours in French on Saturday and Sunday from 3 pm to 6 pm. Last tour starts at 5 pm. Visit lasts an hour.
Aalto was contacted in autumn 1956 by the well-known French art dealer Louis Carré and his wife, who wished to build a villa of the highest artistic quality and material comfort on a large plot Carré had acquired near the village of Bazoches, with a sweeping view of a history-rich landscape that merges with the Forêt de Rambouillet. In addition to the architecture, Aalto was to be responsible for the furnishings – as exclusively designed as possible – and for the landscaping of the whole plot with terraces and plantings.
He designed a house under an immense lean-to roof made of blue Normandy slate, pitched in imitation of the landscape itself. The base and parts of the walls are Chartres limestone; white rendered brick and marble were also used for the facades. Since the purpose of the house was partly to exhibit gems from the dealer’s stocks to prominent clients in an exclusive domestic milieu, the rooms were divided into an entertaining section and a service section, the bedrooms being connected with the latter.
The spacious entrance hall with large panels for hanging paintings has a free-form wooden ceiling, built in situ by Finnish carpenters, as was the stepped wooden ceiling of the large living room. The entire living room wall facing the view is filled by a panorama window.
Specially designed light fixtures, fixed and movable furnishings with many unique touches complete the interior, which with its magnificent works of art rivals that of the Villa Mairea for modern comfort. Mr. and Mrs. Carré’s separate bedrooms with a Finnish sauna and an intimate garden area sheltered from the wind, are also lavishly appointed. The rising pitch of the roof from the kitchen area, office, and the luxurious guestroom makes space for an upper storey containing four staff bedrooms.
The surrounding garden, with its many old trees, was landscaped by Aalto with a system of ‘turf stairs’ i.e., low grassy terraces suported by cleft tree trunks (today replaced by stone ones), similar to those used in the Säynätsalo municipal offices and Aalto’s own Experimental House.
The garden also contains a theatre cavea built of slate, reminiscent of that enclosed by Aalto’s architectural office. A garage, partly embedded into the slope, and a swimming pool complete the picture. The Maison Carré was inaugurated in 1959, but work continued until 1961.
Maison Louis Carré’s backyard amphitheater. Photo: Heikki Havas, Alvar Aalto Foundation
Maison Louis Carré’s main entrance. Photo: Martti Kapanen, Alvar Aalto Foundation
Specially designed light fixtures, fixed and movable furnishings with many unique touches complete the interior, which with its magnificent works of art rivals that of the Villa Mairea for modern comfort.
Destination on the map
1. Maison Louis Carré
Information for visitors
Good to know
Arriving to Maison Louis Carré
Maison Louis Carré is located in France, approximately 1 hour drive from Paris city centre in chemin du Saint-Sacrement, 78490 Bazoches-sur-Guyonne. Maison Louis Carré can be reached with a car or by using public transport options. On certain dates during Summer and Spring season, combination tickets including entrance fee and shuttle-bus service from Paris to Maison Louis Carré and back, are also available to purchase online. Read more about arriving to Maison Louis Carré here.
Maison Louis Carré is only open with guided public or private tours. Guided tours are arranged in English and in French. Maison Louis Carré is only open for public from March to November. Public tours are arranged during the weekends. Private tours can be arranged also during weekdays and on weekend morning prior to the public tours. Read more about the tour here.
Literature about Maison Louis Carré can be found and purchased online from Alvar Aalto Shop!