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Leap of faith for historic home in France

To renovate her parents’ home, one French designer insisted they throw everything out and start from scratchAfter graduating from architecture school,

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To renovate her parents’ home, one French designer insisted they throw everything out and start from scratch

After graduating from architecture school, Marine Bonnefoy decided it was time to get her hands dirty. “My studies were very intellectually oriented and had no link to actual construction,” she recalls. “By the end of them, I hadn’t even been taught what holds a wall up.” To find out, she decided to spend a year working for a building firm. “I demolished facades with a pneumatic drill, learned plastering, electricity and plumbing, and made concrete. It was fantastic!” she says.

That kind of pragmatic approach has certainly stood her in good stead. She recently completed a 95 sq metre apartment in Paris’s elegant Palais-Royal and is currently building houses from the ground up in both Marseille and Bordeaux. With each project, her approach is the same. “I don’t do anything immediately,” she says. “I simply go about my daily business and it matures in my mind. It’s only after about three weeks that I start drawing.”

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