An entry in the deeds register of the town of Pélissanne in Provence, south of France dated 1643 records that a house was built the year prior along the faubourg leading to St Roch church. Further, thanks to a property dispute that was also recorded, we know that the house was built by two stonemasons, Jean Clarion and Henri Fabron. The two men however had to relinquish the property to a certain Jean Chauffier because of a practice allowing family of the seller of a piece of land to substitute themselves to the buyer provided compensation was given.
In 1756, the house is purchased by a wealthy lawyer, Maître Guillaume Ricard-Bérard together with a nearby meadow which he intends to turn into a park. In 1902, the house becomes the property of Léonie Reine Chauvet and her husband Eugène Antoine Émile Maureau. The house then remains in the Maureau family until it is sold to the town of Pélissanne in 2001. The town council uses it as a storage location for its archives, and a project to transform it into a library slowly takes hold. In 2019, the Maureau mansion began the next chapter of its existence as Médiathèque Pierre-Bottero.
The transformation project led by Dominique Coulon & associés took great care to preserve the historic building and its lovely park, in particular the two large mature trees growing in front of the house. The house is extended by a modern wing to the east that carefully wraps around the trees. To prevent sunlight reflecting on the curved glass collecting heat and damaging the tree, a special coating was applied.
The two floors of the extension provide two distinct atmospheres: the lower floor, hosting the children’s collection, opens to the park with a full-length window, while the upper floor is turned towards the tree canopy and offers more introverted reading spaces. Further reading rooms and a conference space are installed across the historic house.
Inaugurated on May 18, 2019, the library is named after local writer Pierre Bottero. The images in this post date from my visit in 2021.
- Médiathèque et parc Maureau. (2020). Dominique Coulon & Associés.
- Ayers, A. (2021). Media Library and Park in Pélissanne by Dominique Coulon & Associés. Architectural Record, 03.
- Pintos, P. (2020). Pélissanne Media Library, Park and Public Passage / Dominique Coulon & associés. ArchDaily.
- Proust, J. (2015). Numéro spécial consacré à l’histoire de la maison et du parc dits «Maureau.» Bulletin des Amis du Vieux Pélissanne. Via Le Pélican Frondeur, November 20, 2020. Retrieved November 27, 2022.
Library detail pages are primarily a place for me to collect information I gather on the libraries I visit, and are frequently updated. None of this should be considered authoritative, I am not an architect, nor a historian. If you notice something incorrect, please let me know!