Troyes Champagne Tourism is an ambassador for the Metropolis of Troyes Champagne Grand Troyes, and as such has a duty to represent it. It has performed this role perfectly since 2013, when it moved into its new surroundings. And what a beautiful showcase for the standard-bearer for local culture is this wonderfully restored traditional 16th Century house, located at the entrance to the pedestrian quarter.
Two years’ work was required to restore this building to its former glory as a perfect testimonial to Troyes architecture, of whose endless charm you will never tire. This site furthermore ushered in a new era in the history of the restoration of the city centre.
The project was the result of a necessary compromise with modernity. For the first time in Troyes, the extension of the original building formed the subject of a debate before the city council. Given the choice between a pastiche of the 16th Century style and a more contemporary timbered look, the majority went for the latter solution, even though the new wing uses traditional materials such as terracotta.
The original part of the building was insulated with hemp concrete, to replace the mud that was regularly used as a filler in timbered houses. This technique, still in its experimental stages, mixes lime with a plant that has numerous properties and of which Aube is the largest producer in France.
This real-sized trial was also the opportunity for the builders to pack the interior with sensors, in order to study the building's behaviour over time and measure thermal, acoustic and hygrometric performance of its hemp envelope.
In reality, this is not the first time Troyes Champagne Tourism has acted as a ‘laboratory’ for renovation work in Troyes. You may remember that the beautiful residence it used to occupy in rue Mignard, opposite the gates of the Saint Jean Church, was flanked by an add-on in the shape of a tower rescued from the destruction of the Gros Raisin district! The building was dismantled then reassembled (in 1976), in the same way that other remnants of old Troyes were before and since then.
The story goes that the ground floor of that tower is now located on the first floor!
This is the final joke in the game of building a house with a wooden structure.