Switzerland: Restoration of Manor Farm of Bois de Chênes honoured
The outstanding restoration of the Manor Farm of Bois de Chênes in Switzerland, winner of a Europa Nostra Award 2020 and recipient of the Distinction vaudoise du patrimoine 2020 conferred by the Vaud section of Swiss Heritage, was celebrated at its premises in the stunning natural and heritage site of Bois de Chênes on the morning of Saturday 5 September. Some 70 people gathered in front of the beautifully restored manor, dating from the 17th century, to celebrate this remarkable heritage achievements. Jacques de Saussure, Council Member of Europa Nostra and Member of the Awards’ Jury in the category Conservation, congratulated all those involved in the restoration project on winning the prestigious Europa Nostra Award.
“The restoration project of the Manor Farm of Bois de Chênes is exemplary at all levels. The conservation paid great respect to the construction and its natural environment. Its typology, the materials used and its special characteristics were each given special consideration. The high quality of workmanship, appropriate to a site of such historical substance, is evident. Sustainable technology was employed where possible and the wastewater management system is especially innovative,” noted Jacques de Saussure.
Nicolas Delachaux, Architect and Project Leader, outlined the restoration programme of the Manor Farm of Bois de Chênes.
The project has opened the manor farm and its annexes to new uses: the buildings are now home to a welcome and information centre; training, educational and exchange spaces; and homes for the site’s intendants. Besides these practical uses, it has strengthened the local community’s attachment to the site and has enjoyed a surge in visitors.
The restoration project was carried out by the Fondation du Bois de Chênes from 2016 to 2019 and was funded by private foundations and associations closely related to natural heritage and Bois de Chênes. The project also benefited from the support of federal bodies via national and cantonal grants for monuments and sites and from the village of Genolier.
Martin Killias, President of Swiss Heritage, Béatrice Lovis, President of the Vaud section of Swiss Heritage, Georges Richard, President of the Fondation du Bois de Chênes, Catherine Strehler Perrin, Head of the Biodiversity Division and Landscape and Member of the Foundation, also addressed the audience.
Europa Nostra’s Council Members Charles Pictet (who is also Member of the Awards’ Jury in the category Dedicated Service to Heritage), Hortensia von Roten and Sander Winckel participated in the ceremony. Sabine Nemec-Piguet, Member of the Awards’ Jury in the category Conservation, and Thierry Dana, President of the Société de Lecture based in Geneva, which won a European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2020 in the category Dedicated Service to Heritage) were also in attendance.