The topics of this blog are Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Duke of Richelieu, and the IDEAL CITY built on his command next to his magnificent CHÂTEAU on the borders of Touraine, Anjou and Poitou, in France.

Friday, 4 April 2008

The architectural colours of Touraine - 1

One of the most characteristic qualities of the buildings of Touraine is the consistency of the 'colour palette'.  With a sky often cloudy or overcast, a truely delightful aspect of the area occurs when the many 'greys' are lit up by sunshine falling on the ubiquitous greeny-cream 'tuffeau' stone work.  This little building shows off the traditional palette well - it is a gatehouse at the château of Azay-le-Rideau.
  • whitish tuffeau stonework around windows doors and at the corners
  • pinkish rendering to the coursed rubble walls between
  • grey 'ardoise' slates
  • flat grey-painted windows and doors
  • grey shutters, often left closed
  • overhanging stone cornices in tuffeau
  • french grey painted oak dormers
  • zinc rainwater pipes with a characteristic Touraine gutter design
  • whitish hard stone setts
  • decorative ironwork, in this case in faded blue paint
  • sandy gravel ground surface
  • a few patches of rising damp in the render at ground level - very typical too!

1 comment:

Susan said...

That's a really useful overview - thanks. But getting the exact pale blue grey for the shutters and pale pearly terracotta-y pink for the render - that's a trick - I hope we can manage it.

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