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Benerville-sur-Mer | Interior DesignFebruary 11, 2014

Pierre Berger’s Datcha

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When Pierre Bergé is ready to travel to his country home in Normandy from his office in Paris, he calls a local heliport to say that he and his dog, Echo, a Shiba Inu, will arrive shortly for takeoff. The power broker who nurtured his late companion Yves Saint Laurent’s maison de couture into a global empire then pilots his Agusta helicopter above the winding banks of the Seine, heading northwest. Some 45 minutes and 100 miles later, the Atlantic comes into view, and Bergé swings the aircraft over the English Channel commune of Benerville-sur-Mer. Once on terra firma he climbs into a green 1952 Jaguar XK120, Echo by his side, and speeds to his final destination: a fairy-tale Russian-style getaway known as La Datcha.

Created some 25 years ago as a picturesque folly for Bergé and Saint Laurent by designer Jacques Grange, a longtime friend, La Datcha is a ten-minute walk from Château Gabriel, the late-19th-century neo-Gothic mansion that the fashion eminences purchased in 1980 and shared until the couturier’s death in 2008. To build La Datcha (the French spelling of dacha, the Russian term for vacation home), Normandy cabinetmaker Pierre Poulain stacked hefty logs into a steep-roofed pavilion with decorative arches, lacy carvings, and a broad terrace held aloft on stilts. Inside, Grange’s decor—inspired by the Ballets Russes—soon became renowned. Beneath a soaring beamed ceiling tinted brick-red, antique Moroccan-style stained-glass doors and windows cast splinters of sapphire, ruby, topaz, and emerald light across Austrian horn chairs, and a kilim portiere frames the front door. "This has always been the favorite of all my projects," says Grange, who decorated several homes for the two men. "It is pure fantasy."

For more:Pierre Bergé's Dacha in Normandy Decorated by Jacques Grange : Architectural Digest

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Pierre Bergé & Associés

When Pierre Bergé is ready to travel to his country home in Normandy from his office in Paris, he calls a local heliport to say that he and his dog, Echo, a Shiba Inu, will arrive shortly for takeoff. The power broker who nurtured his late companion Yves Saint Laurent’s maison de couture into a global empire then pilots his Agusta helicopter above the winding banks of the Seine, heading northwest. Some 45 minutes and 100 miles later, the Atlantic comes into view, and Bergé swings the aircraft over the English Channel commune of Benerville-sur-Mer. Once on terra firma he climbs into a green 1952 Jaguar XK120, Echo by his side, and speeds to his final destination: a fairy-tale Russian-style getaway known as La Datcha.

Created some 25 years ago as a picturesque folly for Bergé and Saint Laurent by designer Jacques Grange, a longtime friend, La Datcha is a ten-minute walk from Château Gabriel, the late-19th-century neo-Gothic mansion that the fashion eminences purchased in 1980 and shared until the couturier’s death in 2008. To build La Datcha (the French spelling of dacha, the Russian term for vacation home), Normandy cabinetmaker Pierre Poulain stacked hefty logs into a steep-roofed pavilion with decorative arches, lacy carvings, and a broad terrace held aloft on stilts. Inside, Grange’s decor—inspired by the Ballets Russes—soon became renowned. Beneath a soaring beamed ceiling tinted brick-red, antique Moroccan-style stained-glass doors and windows cast splinters of sapphire, ruby, topaz, and emerald light across Austrian horn chairs, and a kilim portiere frames the front door. "This has always been the favorite of all my projects," says Grange, who decorated several homes for the two men. "It is pure fantasy."

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