The extreme north of France also has something to offer for lovers of architecture. The proximity is particularly advantageous, as it takes only three and a half hours to reach Nord-Pas-de-Calais. In addition to the Flemish-influenced city centers as in Lille, there is also modern architecture to discover.

A particularly beautiful example is the Villa Cavrois in Croix near Lille. This house of the industrial family Cavrois was designed and built between 1929 and 1932 by the architect Robert Mallet-Stevens. At that time, it appeared like a luxury boat, which with its yellow clinker and a proud 1840 square meters of living space anchored at the gates of Lilles.

Wonderful discovery tour

The clear form language, which is equally reflected in the building, the interior and the exterior, makes the visit a wonderful discovery trip. Time and again, you discover beautiful details, carefully coordinated with each other. For example, the vertical joints were painted in the same overtones as the clinkers, in order to reinforce the horizontal effect of the building.

The interiors, which are equipped with original furniture or original replicas, also inspire the visitor with their shape, which is adapted to the particular use. Rooms and bathrooms are large, modern and bright, but not pretentious.

Timeless design

The main building elements were also transferred from the main building to the adjoining parts, such as the gatehouse, which now houses the “Center des Monuments Nationaux”.

The special feature of this building is not only the beautiful, timeless design of more than 85 years, but the Renaissance, after it had been forgotten as a ruin and was almost demolished.

In the period from 2003 to 2015, the villa was extensively restored and re-lived. This process is presented on the ground floor with films and exhibits. The redevelopment cost more than 20,000,000 euros, but since the building has been made accessible to the public in 2015, the visitor is delighted to see the carefully designed and reconstructed latch.

Tips for further architectural goals

Anyone looking for further architectural goals in the North of France might think about visiting

  • Euralille (shopping center from the year 1994 by Christian de Portzamparc) in Lille;
  • Louvre Lens (Museum-dependance from 2012 of Sanaa) in Lens;
  • FRAC (Museum of Contemporary Art from the Lacaton & Vassal office in 2013) in Dunkirk.

Friends of the French cinema can also visit the original sites of the movie “Welcome to the Sch’Tis” in Bergues and stop at the café de la poste.