Carole Declercq, Architect d.p.l.g.
Carole Declercq, Architect d.p.l.g., graduated from the School of Architecture (Lille) in 1997. Post graduation, Carole secured a position with an architect office in the department of Haute Savoie. Seven years later, having fallen in love with the region and having gained a wealth of ‘hands-on’ architectural experience, Carole decided to open her own office.
During the last half century Haute Savoie has undergone considerable change; for many towns, tourism has overtaken agriculture as the principal economy. Old farms initially fell into disrepair but more recently, local architects, at the request of their clients, have taken on the difficult task of transforming these ancient buildings (designed originally to house both the farmer and his cattle!) into modern habitations.
The dream and the successful realisation are poles apart. Old farms were draughty and damp; typically only a small portion was used for ‘habitation’, which, by modern day standards, was very rudimentary. It’s not an easy task but the final result – the perfect blend of modern and old – can make all the effort worthwhile.
Appointing the right team may seem somewhat daunting, especially for British clients not familiar with French rules and regulations, though, in fact, the task is less traumatic than one might imagine. A good Architect can take care of all of this for you – the design, the obtaining of the building permit, the appointment of the building team, the over-seeing of the building work – indeed, everything until your dream house is finished, though, you will, of course, still have to choose your Architect.
“…I have the enviable task of turning people’s dreams into reality and getting paid to boot!”
Carole isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty – a good architect has to be ‘hands-on’ and especially so when dealing with renovations, which have become somewhat of a speciality for Carole. “I enjoy all aspects of my work – I have the enviable task of turning people’s dreams into reality and getting paid to boot! But I probably enjoy renovations most – simply because the project couldn’t be more different than ‘text-book’ architecture”
There will be times during any project when things don’t go to plan – it’s at times like these when you need some-one who can truly empathise with what your going through and ensure the situation is quickly resolved. In this regard, Carole is second to none. “I remember when I first showed my parents the old farm I was intending to turn into my dream home. Their reaction was akin to that of Jack’s mother (Jack and the Beanstalk) when he announced he’d exchanged the family cow for a handful of beans. They couldn’t believe I’d sold my lovely apartment in Morillon for this ‘ruin’. Twelve months later and after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, you can see for yourself whether I made the right decision” (Photo’s before, during and after).
Of course, Carole’s work doesn’t only involve renovations; a large proportion of her client’s opt instead for a completely new chalet, though again, Carole’s passion for the traditional architecture is ever apparent in her new chalet design’s. The result for the client is a beautiful home, with all the advantages of a modern building and in perfect harmony with the original architecture of the area. Another and more practical advantage of a chalet sympathetically designed to blend in well with existing buildings is that the local Town Hall is less likely to reject the building application, which means less unnecessary delays for you, the client.
If the above has ‘wetted your appetite’ then please take the time to look at the more detailed pages of my web-site; please feel free telephone me if you have any questions that aren’t dealt with on the web-site or, alternatively, pop in to the office if you’re in the area. Don’t worry about potential language problems, I’m more than happy to speak English.