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Villa Kerylos

Villa Kerylos, built for a fanatical client, Theodore Reinach, by a fanatical architect, Emmanuel Pontremoli, as an ancient Greek villa, between 1902 and 1908 on a promontory at Beaulieu-sur-Mer opposite Cap Ferrat on the Cote d’Azur.

Approached through the inelegant sprawl that is 21st century Nice, down a small lane off a banal town square, hardly visited and surrounded by lapping water populated by plastic yachts, the villa nonetheless maintains its composure. Beautifully conceived and created, and almost beautifully curated except for insistent signs and period costumes [why?], a visit has a mesmeric quality.

The architecture and particularly the furniture had a cleanliness of line and poise I took with me.

It was lived in by the family until 1966. I’d’ve liked to have seen it then (I probably wasn’t supposed to but I liked the invisible plastic chairs).

Clearly a work of madness, but a place of beauty and incredible conviction.