Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Petit Trianon: the grand stairhall

I'm about to start a comprehensive series of posts on the Petit Trianon utilizing drawings and my photographs; not all at once, mind you! What better place to start than the stairhall where any tour begins. Like many grand houses, the Petit Trianon is designed on a Piano Nobile layout. The ground floor is relegated to servants quarters (with the exception of the stairhall, guards room and a billiards room which all flank the courtyard to the bottom of the drawing). Above you see the ground floor plan.
The stair wraps the grand 2 story space and brings you up to the main floor above, which contains the entertaining areas as well as the primary bedroom and boudior.

This section shows the relationship a little better in blue. The main kitchen is the area on the ground floor with the large fireplace and the salon is above. The top floor were guest and servant bedrooms. I think the building is best understood here in section as it contains numerous floor and ceiling levels: not handicapped accessible!
The view above from the guards room, through the stairhall and into the billiards room shows the beautiful marble floors in the hall as well as the enfilade. The light was amazing in this space reflecting off the limestone walls, as it was within the whole house.
Stepping into the stairhall (along with the other tour members, it was crowded!) you notice the beautiful limestone staircase with gilded iron handrail. The symbols in the center portion are the monogram of Marie Antoinette. The low doorway (see the gentleman ducking) steps down into the kitchen.
The lantern crowns the space: I would love to see the room in the evening lit by it!
The doors and shutters are painted a light blue which adds some color to the neutral space.
I loved the juliet balconies and windows into the space, much like a courtyard. This one straight ahead opens into the private dressing room of the master bedroom.
A closeup of the railing where you can see the gilded monogram of Marie Antoinette.
A detail of one of the limestone brackets which decorate the room.
I'll end this first tour with some elevations, you should recognize them after the photos!
Next up, the billiards room!

18 comments:

Concrete Jungle said...

Thank you for this...it is a special treat to see the plans...'petit' well??

tokyobling said...

Love your blog (I've gonew through it all but this is my first comment). These kind of posts are wonderful, more details, more photos and more text please! I know Greed is one of the seven sins but still... Thanks for the hard work!

Terry said...

Thanks for floor plans and elevations. I game is more fun with the program.

Picture of Elegance said...

Great post, I really enjoyed it. I went to Versailles more than ten years ago. Unfortunately, Le Petit Trianon was closed for renovation.
That gives me an incentive to go back again!

Regina Joi said...

The last post I made was for the little bootscrape on the way into the Theatre at the Petit Trianon, so chic, simple and mostit was most ORIGINAL.

I now make another to you...this posting series of the PETIT TRIANON, my most favorite 'home' on Earth, is so perfect. I too have collected many books on the subject and its Chatelaine...from late 19thC onwards. Did you see the exhibition at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco a couple of years during the restoration of the PETIT TRIANON of ALL the pieces that belong to the Petit Trianon...it was the only venue and the first of its kind ever in the history of Marie Antoinettes' dreamhouse. The Lanterne, encrusted with paste gems and gilt bronze by Thomire was a jewel on its own, and those chairs that were part of the Hameau...the suite chairs and firescreen of Ears of Corn and Wheat sheaves carved and painted realistically was an insight into the casual Beauty that lived within in that Era.

Of course, it helps that my Husband was a GEM, to have bought me at the exhibition thru Versailles, with funds towards restoration of the Hameau, the special flacon of Marie Antoinettes' own perfume re-created from the same recipe of her personal parfumeur that she wore, 'Sillage de la Reine'.

I shall dap a little on, each day, as precious as JAR's GOLCONDA, to read your blog and close my eyes afterwards to smell the visual delights of your thesis!

Another note, Bernd Dams and Andrew Zega of ARCHITECTURALWATERCOLORS.COM have created so many wonderful depictions of the Petit Trianon and its little follies...I own the watercolor of the 'Chinoiserie Tent' that was created for Marie Antoinette for the Petit Trianon...it is sumptuous in the Green, Yellow and Red, the Peony floral side panels and the little banquette with swagged fabric...all so really 18th Century Chic, yet temporary...for a party only...what it all must have looked like!

Michael Hampton said...

Perfection!

Lesley said...

What a treat for us all to look forward to-we will all follow your series closely-loved the juliet balcony especially!

Best wishes
Robert Webber
The Hegart Webber partnership

DC by Design said...

Thank you for such an educational tour! Written like the architect that you are... great post!

(IN)DECOROUS TASTE said...

Beautiful building. I can only imagine how amazing the texture of the limestone would look by candlelight. What a fabulous party could be held there...

I saw the Petit Trianon in person a couple of years ago, although I never took a guided tour (hate traveling in packs). Your post fills in the spaces. Now, I'd like to move in!!

Lauren

James said...

Thanks for sharing. That place is amazing.

James said...

Thanks for sharing. The detail is amazing. I love all of the limestone and the checkered marble floor.

Anonymous said...

My house of dreams. Love how each facade is different - and yet it has such unity. A friend of mine enjoyed a snowy day exploring this house and grounds - we had the entire place to ourselves with the exception of a guard and a couple who we decided were from the Baltic states. KDM

Thomas at My Porch said...

How cool. I used to stare at pictures of the Petit Trianon (and other grand palaces) for hours when I was a kid.

custardbydesign said...

i love that you incorporataed the plans with this post...

i'm finding it hard to look past both the chequered floor and the chandelier...

Renee Finberg said...

the interior balconies are fantastic.
x

La Petite Gallery said...

great post educational.

yvonne

Hels said...

I suppose I always thought of grand stair cases as a place to take visitors upstairs in great style. But your stairs at Petit Trianon suggest symbolism far greater than a mere method of transport.

Petit Trianon's beautiful limestone, gilded iron handrail, noble coat of arms etc suggest wealth, success and historical importance, don't they? And perhaps sex and intrigue, as well.

I am now having another look at the grand staircase in Longleat. Portraits and sculptured busts around the Grand Staircase reference dynastic power of the past.. and permanence into the future.

Debra Michelle Hiebert said...

I feel so inspired ~ my imagination is overflowing with 'what-ifs'.......thank you for sharing.