The long creation of an entity
« It was a sunny winter day in 1960, and I was sitting on an old wall in a place called “Les Treilles”… By my side, Pierre Barbe, as surprised as I was, was discovering part of the countryside. What were we doing in this end-of-the-world landscape, linked to Tourtour only by small paths used by shepherds and their sheep ? Shades of blue spread out to the horizon… Abandoned walls and olive trees emerged from a bushy vegetation. » (Anne Gruner Schlumberger)
Mastering this vast expanse of land, then a mix of wild forests and bushy undergrowth, was a serious challenge. « Seduced by the idea, Pierre Barbe chose as a spot to develop the project an area where old houses still stood, and where a simple architecture would be perfectly suited with an exterior and an interior harmony linking the houses to each other. Henri Fisch was narrowly associated to the project, and his plantations preceded and accompanied the building of the domaine. His vision into the future created the landscape we have today. » (Anne Gruner Schlumberger)
Staggered from the 1960s to the 1980s, the work was carried out in four stages and three levels of intervention by the project manager, ranging from the renovation of old houses or the recovery of a pre-existing basement to the complete creation ex-nihilo.
The landscapes and architecture were, as time went by, further enriched by works of art, most notably sculptures commissioned by Anne Gruner Schlumberger to various artist friends of hers such as Max Ernst, Henri Laurens, François-Xavier Lalanne, Yassilakis Takis… thus creating an entity which was registered on the historical monuments additional registry in 2009.
Reality of a dream in which Anne Gruner Schlumberger saw « a writer, a philosopher, a geologist, each working on his piece and contributing their creative minds without barriers or boundaries », the Domaine des Treilles is still today a privileged place for reflection, encounters and exchanges.
Twenty-seven people, divided into eight teams in Tourtour and Paris, ensure the maintenance and operation of the premises:
- Administration and Accounting
- The agricultural team
- The library
- The organization and hosting of activities
- The catering team
- The maintenance team
- The horticultural team
- The housekeeping and caretaking teams
All actions concerning the development and maintenance of the estate are conducted in consultation with the professionals concerned : architect, landscaper.
Agricultural parcels, forests and natural areas
The estate is situated in a landscape of hills and valleys at an average altitude of 600 m. The view stretches over wooden hills to massifs such as Esterel, Sainte Victoire and even to Corsica on some beautiful cold days.
It includes agricultural plots (vines, olive trees terraced on “restanques”, lavender) and spacious areas of natural land with a great variety of local flora and woodland. Paths meandering through the property as well as the lakes of “Grain de Paille” are particularly suited for reflection.
The guests’ activities are centered around the “Grande Maison” where there is a conference room, a library, a kitchen and a dining area. Broadband Internet access and WiFi are available there.
During spring and autumn temperatures can be rather fresh in the evenings, whereas on hot summer days three swimming pools provide a welcome source of cool refreshment. The latter also serve as a water reservoir for the fire-fighting vehicles of the estate.