Brief background and objective of the task
The architect Jean Baptiste Dewin (1883-1948) built his personal home at 151 Avenue Molière in Forest in 1907. He modified it in 1922 by adding an annexe at the back and adapting the reception rooms to the style of the day. The house therefore fully showcases the characteristics of the language and talent of its architect. A picture of the living room was published in the l’Emulation architectural review in 1925.
In 2005, the condition of the furnishings and interior ornamentation led the owner at the time to start a listing procedure for the property. That same year, this person decided to sell the house to a property broker who instantly resold it to the current owners.
These latter asked architect B. Baines for a second opinion on the current condition of the house and on the works that they may need to undertake in the circumstances. Following this advice, the refit and renovation works were decided upon. The project for furnishing and interior design for the house was then granted to Karbon’, in partnership with MA2 (major works/HT), assisted by expert historian Carlo R. Chapelle.
The house of the architect Dewin, as things were in 2005, could only regain its value if renovated with an enlightened view of its heritage. The term ‘value’ is used here in both its senses: cultural and material.
This could not be done without a more minute analysis of the heritage aspect, accompanied by a new overview of the owners’ plans and architectural wishes.
Although today, restoring the house to its original condition is out of the question, it is useful to draw up an inventory of flooring, wall and ceiling finishes in the different stages of the home’s history, for posterity’s sake. Preparing these “specifications” of the house will also make way for a new overview of the modern project for the new inhabitants.
The word “overview” is used here because it is logical for architecture to evolve and transform over the course of the years so that it may continue to serve the community and its inhabitants. It will adapt itself much better to the new living conditions for this. So much so that the renovation project will culminate in a subtle blend of a qualitative evaluation of its past and a personal and well-thought-out project by its owners.