How a Swiss businessman restored the castle of the XIX century. Jean-Claude Biver did not want to buy this house: “Having seen the photos, I told my wife:“ Sandra, we will never buy it! This is a castle of some kind. Why do we need it? We are so good. ” The beavers lived on the shores of Lake Geneva in a villa that all Swiss property buyers dream of. With a boat in the basement, like Batman or James Bond. From the good not looking. “In our family, I’m responsible for property searches,” confirms Sandra Beaver. - I found this house, showed photos to my husband and received a categorical refusal. But I remember the house. Something made me call again after five years. I was sure that the house already has new owners. And suddenly I hear that it is not yet sold. ”
The house stands in the mountains above Vevey, and from the terrace on which we speak one can see the Lake of Geneva below and the French coast in the distance. Wonderful view, a wonderful house that five years could not sell. Because it was sold with a dairy farm, literally standing side by side: thirty-six meters from door to door. The Swiss farm, like the Swiss farmer, is protected by Swiss law. If you are the owner three times, you can not close the farm and break up a golf course in its place, because it is agricultural land, and never, never, never will it be different.
Beaver - the legend of Swiss watch. He at least twice took a watch mark that had fallen asleep in a dead sleep, gave her massage and artificial respiration, and the marks came to life. It happened with Blancpain and Hublot, now something similar happened with the house over Vevey. It was a completely asleep house. It was built in 1855 (as evidenced by the inscription on the facade), beautifully located on a small hill with two sources that feed on mountain water. The farm provided the owners with food, since in the XIX century the tradition of supermarkets was not yet so developed. And the family of bankers Kuande, who bought this house in the 1930s, fed from the farm, having fresh milk, their own meat and domestic eggs from chickens. In 2003, Beaver transferred 7 hectares of land and a house of 1600 m² on four levels: a basement and three floors. Repair took almost two years. At the same time, the family acted surprisingly selflessly - she lived in the house, cooked in its juice and tried to feel the soul of these walls, instead of immediately starting to break and rebuild them. “When you exist in repair, this is a different feeling than when you come in with a gogol and command: down this wall, but here we punch the door,” says Beaver. “And because we lived in this house for so long, we practically did not touch it.” Like any old house, the Beaver Manor is under protection. When the inspection from the protection of monuments came to the owners, even they - and these were merciless bores - were surprised at how carefully they reacted to the reconstruction of an ancient castles.
Works led Sandra - she is an art historian and artist, she studied at the university in Lausanne, and then in London, where every day, as in classes, she went to antique ruins. She collected the mosaic at home in her head, and then everything turned out in reality exactly the way she wanted. “I thought over the interior for six months. Jean-Claude had ideas, I had ideas too, we growled at each other every day. But he, fortunately, had to raise Hublot, and the care of the house remained to me. ”
Saved all that is possible. The floor plan, the floors, the walls, except for the kitchen on the first floor, which used to be in the semi-basement. A cook worked there with cooks, and the dishes were served upstairs on a special lift. Now, in the former culinary dungeons, Beaver keeps his own cheese and wine, which he has been collecting for many years. The kitchen is located in a glass extension facing the east, because it is here that the sun comes in the morning, and Jean-Claude Biver, who likes to get up with the first rays, appreciates this first greeting of the new day. Again, daylight is good for pictures. “My husband collects paintings, and he wanted the walls to be white. “He thought the pictures were better that way,” says Sandra. “I waited until he left, and painted the walls in burgundy, green, yellow, and when Jean-Claude returned and looked at the pictures, he said:“ Ok, now I see, the color helps. ”
I ask the Beavers about their favorite place at home. “Mine is at the head of the table,” says Jean-Claude. - We eat, talk with children. I am sitting like a real patriarch and the whole family around.