Back to projects



18th Century

The château of Voltaire in Ferney (Ain) restoration is a case significant of the difficulty when applying theories to particular situations.


The residence built by Voltaire, who lived there from 1758 until his death in 1778, bears his mark. However, since the 18th century, the château has been profoundly altered by the successive families who lived there. So what is its restoration about and for what purpose? Is it necessary to restore the chateau to its 1778 state in accordance with the descriptions, plans and even a very precise model in the Hermitage Museum at Saint Petersburg? Or should we renovate the present state that has no particular architectural nor historical interest? There is no clear answer to this question. Starting from the existing condition and the opportunities it provides, we attempt to collect indices to allow visitors, if not to understand, at least to awaken their interest in the complex personality known as Monsieur le multiforme, in his immense work but also in his daily life as lord of the village. The restoration will be in the visitors’ minds before they arrive within the walls of the chateau.

  • LocationFerney-Voltaire, France
  • ClientCentre des Monuments Nationaux (CMN)
  • Schedule2014-2018 / Complete restoration
    2010-2013/ Restoration (Chapelle and Orangerie)