Wood Is Good – World’s Tallest Wooden Towers Proposed for Paris

As American Carpenters in Paris you learn quickly how little wood is used in construction and renovation here.

Bottom line; it’s just too expensive.

Much of Europe has been deforested many hundreds of years ago. In fact the first US patent was for potash or wood ashes used for fertilizer, which was sold to Britain and other European countries.

But lately, it seems as if wood has been getting a bad rap.

The focus on sustainable development never seems to include lumber as a material of choice; that is until now.

In the article, Towers Proposed For Paris Would Be The World’s Tallest Wooden Structures wood evangelist and architect Michael Green argues exactly the opposite.

He says because of new technological advances wood as a building material has become stronger, safer, and more economical than steel.

But Green goes even further, “Just as Gustave Eiffel shattered our conception of what was possible a century and a half ago, this project can push the envelope of wood innovation with France in the forefront.”

And with a name like ‘Green’ it’s kind of hard not listen.

The Million Dollar Cave Man

From the Lascaux caves to the Palace of Versailles, France is home to some of the most unique and cherished one-of-a-kind dwellings in the world.  But for the past 25 years, Ra Paulette (sounds French) has been carving out man-made caves from the sandstone hills of New Mexico, USA. Driven by passion, not profit he sculpts these spaces into works of art he calls wilderness shrines. In one case he only charged a client 12 dollars and hour for his labor. Yet 2 of his caves along with the 200 acres around them are selling for close to a million dollars .

Vive l’amour!

 

The Rotting Rothschild Mansion Of Paris

The Rothschilds are legendary as one of the greatest European banking families ever. They own grand estates and Chateaus throught the world that are well-known for anything but squalor, ruin or decay. However just outside of Paris, walking distance from Metro Jean Jaurès Line 10, standing quietly behind a thick wall of shrubbery and overgrowth is the haunting, ghostly figure of the Chateau Rothschild.

The neo-Louis XIV estate house has been abandoned since the World War II when the Rothschild family fled to England. Germans would inhabit and plunder the house during the four-year Nazi occupation of Paris. After the city’s liberation, the U.S. army were the next tenants at the Chateau Rothschild. The Rothschilds never returned to their home which has been left to rot, crumble and deteriorate.

This once palatial estate was built to reflect the Rothschild wealth and fortune. It boasted a regal English garden with picturesque waterfalls and beautiful indoor frescoes by Eugène Lami. For over eight years James Rothschild and his wife Betty, hosted the most lavish parties of the time within these walls.

Their guests and party goers would include great artists of the day like Rossini, Chopin, Balzac, and Delacroix as well as, a who’s who of the financial and political world.

Chopin even dedicated his Valse Op. 64, N° 2 in C sharp minor to their daughter Charlotte.

As the champagne flowed while the laughter and music rang through the halls, it would have been impossible to imagine that the this great estate house, the Chateau de Rothschild would be doomed to become a playground for vermin, graffiti artists and vandals.

Sources:

http://www.messynessychic.com

http://www.urban-exploration.com

https://www.wikipedia.org/

Vacationing family decides to restore abandoned French chateau


They’ve unearthed mysterious medieval tunnels, uncovered ancient artifacts that hint to what daily life was like , and uncovered a beautiful fresco in a salon on the first floor. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.) It sounds romantic, but the process of buying and restoring a property of such size and significance has been an arduous labor of love.

Join this Australian family who had been on the hunt for a vacation home in France and then stumbled on a property in need of some major TLC that captured their hearts.

“We had never planned on a chateau. Our French friends warned us about those,” says Karina Waters,  “But after driving down the snow-capped mountains and seeing the chateau’s grounds from the village, we were sold.”

Click here to visit their website and see how things are going.

Haussmann In Under 3 Minutes

 

Rue Monge, Paris. Example of haussmannian arch...

Rue Monge, Paris. Example of haussmannian architecture. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is difficult to grasp the true enormity of Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s renovation of Paris. This massive undertaking was begun and much of it was accomplished before the age of electricity. And although it was commissioned by Emperor Napoléon III, Haussmann’s work was met with fierce opposition, and as a result he was finally dismissed by Napoleon III in 1870.

This development project involved the demolition of entire medieval neighborhoods that were over crowded and plagued with disease. In their place wide avenues, parks and squares, were built along with the construction of new sewers, fountains, aqueducts, bridges, churches, theaters, hospitals, city halls and even public toilets. The street plan and distinctive style of Paris ‘centre ville’ we all know today is largely due to the result of Haussmann’s renovation.

Here is a video we put together. We’re trying to give the viewer a feel of the scope of this grand construction project with a run time of under 3 minutes.

 

IKEA Small Spaces – Living Together in a Small Apartment

English: Ikea advertisement in Paris subway.

Ikea advertisement in Paris subway.

On an apartment renovation in Paris, it is not unusual to have a chambre de bonne or maids room that is part of the project. This room is usually on the top floor and is many times very small.   In this video they have a number of great ideas like keeping a couch off the wall in favor of movable chaise lounges, a dual use table on wheels and a projection TV screen that comes in the form of a roll up blind attached to the ceiling. If you are looking small space design ideas we hope we helped you out. 😀

 

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Smart Small Space Renovation

Metro de París

Metro de París (Photo credit: Maldark)

The average price of a home or apartment in Paris is 10,000 euros a square meter. Just outside of Paris the price drops dramatically but as far as the city of Paris itself, a renovation of the this size would be of a home worth millions and millions of dollars.

We forget how lucky we are as North Americans where simple working class people from Vancouver can live in a space that in other parts of the world are the domain of the rich and well to do. God Bless North America! 😀

But even if you have a small place here in Paris this fun before and after video gives some great tips.

The mirror at the front entrance is a great idea because it reflects the light through out the house..

They do a nice job of having a basic color theme that they continue throughout the home with accents in the bedroom and the family room.

And from a construction cost stand point they made a good choice by replacing the bathroom with an island for the kitchen. This saves on the cost of rerouteing the plumbing which in certain situations can get painfully expensive.

Good job guys!

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