Alisanne Frew in her Bordeaux warehouse. Alisanne specializes in antique and custom flooring from France and Italy – stone garden decor and antiques through her Alisanne Wonderland gallery in Saint Germain, Paris.
In a celebration to honor Claude’s work on the chateau 32 years ago, Alisanne surprised him with his alarm clock that she and Cristiano had found hidden in the final pallet. On June 12, 1989, the day the dismantling was complete, Claude had written that date on the clock he used to remind himself to stop for lunch and had placed it between the stones.
South and North-facing facades are audited and ready to sell and ship from France.
Alisanne Wonderland utilized cutting edge CAD to catalogue each of the more than 5000 limestone pieces.
Elaborate carving on the front entrance keystone.
First floor window raincaps and cornices with hand chiseled edges.
The chateau ready for export, with it’s restored pediments and 15-foot columns.
Massive keystone pieces from the arched doors in the chateau’s South facade.
Alisanne’s expert restoration team reassembled the pediments. This is the North pediment with the original owner’s initials GB.
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Architects, builders and engineers cut their teeth on Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets and Legos as children. Hours spent imagining the possibilities for every angle, designing and reconfiguring all the elements, to get it just right. Each masterpiece then disassembled, so the design process can began anew.
That same wonder and creativity remains the heart of truly special projects. It’s all about deciding what it could be and what it should be.
When renowned importer Alisanne Frew of Alisanne Wonderland first explored the contents of a warehouse, filled to the brim with an impeccably salvaged Chateau in Bordeaux, France, she knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring the dramatic 1890s structure back to life. In a new country and with a fresh aesthetic.
Sound a little crazy? The best and most creative ideas often do. At first. Until everyone else starts to see the results.
No small undertaking (in fact, a truly epically historic one), the project has been a laborious one. Alisanne sought out Claude Lacoste, the stone mason responsible for the chateau’s disassembly in 1989. His insights were a great help in her painstaking research and restoration efforts.
Each of the 5389 pieces of hand-cut limestone have now been measured and logged, documented with CAD, and packed with precision onto 432 shipping pallets. This historic chateau is ready for transport.
Alisanne calls her Bordeaux Chateau Project “Four Facades – A Billion Possibilities,” because each of the four original facades of the chateau is now a springboard for limitless design inspiration. She can’t wait to see what shape they will take in the New World. What imagination their historic beauty will inspire.
The original structure rose in France’s Bordeaux wine country as the Victorian Age was drawing to a close. Topped with its classical Roman urn balustrades, it encompassed 14,000 square feet. There are two remarkable columns measuring 15 feet tall, as well as several of the original oak wood window frames, measuring up to 11 feet tall, which were retained for replication, should the new owner wish.
Alisanne and her skilled team spent months turning over each and every stone, sleuthing and piecing the puzzle back together. The team kept a journal of its progress with photos and video diaries. You can even walk through and explore the entire warehouse to see the four facades with a billion possibilities for yourself.
It’s a designer’s dream come to life — the ultimate Erector Set, the chance to build a fantasy European estate anywhere. Or the unbelievable flexibility to incorporate segments of this period French chateau into another design vision. With intricate Old World carvings and the craftsmanship of a bygone era, these are the building blocks of any design fanatic’s ultimate fantasy.
Two intricately carved and restored pediments capping the front and rear elevations of the chateau have now been restored to their former glory. Above the grand entrance a triangular pediment held a pride of place, embellished with a heraldic shield and its traditional acanthus leaf flourish. It is surrounded by oak leaves and hunting symbols. The rear elevation was graced by its own curved pediment, decorated with a pearl-laced monogram, and draped in heavy Napoleonic laurel wreaths and berries.
Rarely do American architects and engineers get to work with materials of such quality and provenance. Even more rare to have such a stately architectural wonder salvaged so painstakingly and intact.
These limestone materials that Alisanne Frew has acquired, restored, catalogued and packed are ready to ship to a project location in Texas or anywhere else in the United States. All that remains is to find the right site and project to pair it with.
To explore the possibilities of this once in a lifetime Bordeaux Chateau Project, contact Alisanne Frew directly for more details on this beyond rare architectural marvel and how you can make it part of a dream home like no other. All four facades of this 1890 masterpiece are available for purchase, prepared for export, and ready to leave France.