This is a tale of two homes that were built centuries apart. At first glance, there seems no similarity whatsoever between an historic 17th-century mansion apartment in the heart of Aix-en-Provence and a concrete and glass post-modernist marvel just outside the pretty village of Cadière d’Azur in the southwestern Var.
Just one thing unites these two truly exceptional properties: they were both built to impress, and impress they certainly do.
The lucky new owner of the apartment set in this hôtel particulier in Aix will not only have bought a home, he or she will also be the exceedingly proud owner of a State-listed work of art. The large and airy 220m2 apartment, on the piano nobile (first floor) of the Maliverny mansion, has decorated ceilings attributed to Van Loos that are a true national treasure.
Your breath is taken away as you enter the magnificent rooms, which have been furnished by the present owners in the Baroque style. There isn’t a better location in all of Aix, a carriage hail from the delightful Cours Mirabeau.
As you would imagine for such a stylish residence dating from the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King, there are plenty of stories attached to the Maliverny mansion, including more than a whiff of scandal involving one of the Maliverny women who was a pioneer of divorce.
The grand apartment had fallen on hard times by the Sixties, and up until a short while ago the elderly lady who owned the property rented out to students the splendid decorated rooms, including the stunning boudoir, which feels like a private chapel as you enter it.
The current owners have updated the apartment to include the latest in mod cons, while retaining the essential period feel of the whole. At present there are two bedrooms, but the possibility exists of doubling that number with sensitive conversion.
At €2.1 million, the property is not cheap, but there is a vital tax break that would interest a well-off prospective purchaser. As a listed work of art, the building would not be included in the arithmetic that is done to assess whether a person is liable to the ISF, the Impôt de solidarité sur la fortune.
The second impressive home featured in this issue is located on the fringes of the village of Cadière d’Azur, an unspoilt, non-touristic Provencal gem, built on a hilltop just back from the coast and nestling in the Bandol vineyards.
Built in 2012, the house uses glass to astonishing effect. The aim of the architect was to fuse the beautiful natural surroundings of the villa with the interior. A full-height atrium allows palms and waterfalls to be sited inside the property, turning a winter day outside into a summer one within. Beautifully constructed bay windows in other parts of the house add to the feeling of being “in nature” all year round.
The property is vast – 550m2 of living space – and there’s a price tag to match of €3.2 million. But there’s a lot for your money, including outdoor and indoor pools, a home cinema and quarters for domestic staff.
Transport links are favourable, with Marseille airport less than an hour away and Toulon-Hyères airport even closer, just a 40-minute drive.
You can find out more about these properties by going to the website http:// bit.ly/1muVwPR or contact the charming and knowledgeable Julie Lichtlé at Leggett Immobilier on 06 99 81 69 06.