Domaine de Soucy

The renovation of an ancient castle: between architectural heritage and new functional requirements

Map of France

Limours (91)
Alain Rombaut

Issues & Stakes

The aim of the project was to renovate the communal area of an ancient castle which is situated in a 15-hectare park. The place was redesigned to become a leisure centre. The main objectives were to keep the architectural heritage of the area (notably concerning the façades) but also to make the site more functional with new, modern equipment.

The architects, who went to the famous school of architectural heritage "Ecole de Chaillot", had to do research as far as the functions and the volumes of the rooms were concerned. The building was in a poor condition, because the roof had not been restored for a long time, and so were the walls and masonry. There were numerous leaks. Moreover, the restoration had to adapt to the new energy regulations. The best solution seemed to be the hydrated lime (air lime) for its purity as far as the colour is concerned which enables the tints to reveal their most luminous aspect, and it offers a natural possibility of shading. 


The masonry companies sealed the walls in order to leave the stones apparent, using a sponge method of sealing to make the grains of sand emerge by sweeping the "lime soft roes": this method gave back the building its original rustic aspect.

Still concerning the sealing, substantial work was accomplished to seal the various stones together and end with a “beurré” sealing to make only a part of the stones visible. The product used was a hydrated, lime-based render solution with a colour in tune with the stones, and two aspects to guarantee the charm of the ancient castle. The property of this mortar enables the old masonry to breathe.

Weber took part in the project from the very beginning by assisting the economist at the specifications stage, revealing and helping to choose the best solutions in terms of aesthetics, respecting the building and its original materials and also taking into consideration the budget.