Le Hameau de la Medina

The Hameau de la Reine is a rustic retreat on the grounds of the Château de Versailles. In many ways, it served as design inspiration for this new home, made to look rustic, located in Medina. We gave it the name "La Hameau" or just "Little Hamlet" - I use the latter. This rustic or vernacular style building, inspired by Norman or Flemish design, is in the form of a “U” situated around an irregular pool fed by a stream that turns a faux mill wheel.

Service

Planning, architectural design, and interior design

Client

Sam and Katrina Druker

Location

Medina, WA

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Le Hameau de la Medina - a French Norman Neoclassical Hamlet
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Le Hameau de la Medina

ELEVATING AUTHENTICITY TO A NEW LEVEL

The clients for The Little Hamlet were a young couple from San Francisco who had relocated to the Pacific Northwest due to a job opportunity for the husband with Microsoft. They had lived in the Bay Area for close to 12 years and had two young boys who the wife was busy raising but had a platoon of nannies and housekeepers who were, for the most part, a 24/7 service, so she was on the hunt for an outlet for something to do and building a new home fit that desire perfectly. She was a gifted [amateur] interior designer with excellent design taste, years of traveling [well], scrapbooks consisting of photographs, magazine articles, brochures, and resources lists. She came armed, prepared, and the best thing was, our taste in architecture was identical.

The wife was a "detail girl" - she knew how architectural materials and surfaces, of every type and nature, came together. If she didn't like how her [seasoned] mason set her tiles, she would teach him, and if he wasn't better after that lesson; she'd do it herself. She was good with color, fixtures, materials, accessories, and furnishings. She also possessed that one thing that separates the 'amateur decoratorinas' from the 'seasoned interior designers' - resources! But after touching virtually every surface in their new home, she got bored and restless and convinced her husband that it was time to build a new home, a unique home, and a legacy home. And, surprisingly, he agreed. I think, in hindsight, he just wanted to keep her happy, and if they were to build, all the responsibilities of building, short of writing the checks, would fall upon her shoulders.

The Pacific Northwest proved to be a bit of an emotional leap from the Bay Area. We Seattleites tend to convince ourselves that our magnificent Emerald City is equal to, or even superior to places like Vancouver BC, or San Francisco. Now that we are home to Super Bowl Champions, it's even harder for us to remain humble and face up to the fact that Seattle remains a tiny city on the national and global "city-measurability" scale. But big cities have big problems, like violent crime [Chicago], State taxes [of which we have none, but no thanks to Bill Gates Sr.], we are not [totally] underwater with State pension funds like California and just about every liberal governed State in the Union. We also don't have hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods. Other than an occasional mudslide, or a volcano blowing its top, things remain relatively calm up here. And let's keep this one quiet – the voluminous "rain" we are so famous for having miraculously leveled out to normalcy over the last decade or two. Have you noticed that? I sure have, but I'll never admit it to an environmentalist, so don't tell 'em I said so. Kidding, or am I?

The clients for The Little Hamlet were a young couple from San Francisco who had relocated to the Pacific Northwest due to a job opportunity for the husband with Microsoft. They had lived in the Bay Area for close to 12 years and had two young boys who the wife was busy raising but had a platoon of nannies and housekeepers who were, for the most part, a 24/7 service, so she was on the hunt for an outlet for something to do and building a new home fit that desire perfectly. She was a gifted [amateur] interior designer with excellent design taste, years of traveling [well], scrapbooks consisting of photographs, magazine articles, brochures, and resources lists. She came armed, prepared, and the best thing was, our taste in architecture was identical.

The wife was a "detail girl" - she knew how architectural materials and surfaces, of every type and nature, came together. If she didn't like how her [seasoned] mason set her tiles, she would teach him, and if he wasn't better after that lesson; she'd do it herself. She was good with color, fixtures, materials, accessories, and furnishings. She also possessed that one thing that separates the 'amateur decoratorinas' from the 'seasoned interior designers' - resources! But after touching virtually every surface in their new home, she got bored and restless and convinced her husband that it was time to build a new home, a unique home, and a legacy home. And, surprisingly, he agreed. I think, in hindsight, he just wanted to keep her happy, and if they were to build, all the responsibilities of building, short of writing the checks, would fall upon her shoulders.

The Pacific Northwest proved to be a bit of an emotional leap from the Bay Area. We Seattleites tend to convince ourselves that our magnificent Emerald City is equal to, or even superior to places like Vancouver BC, or San Francisco. Now that we are home to Super Bowl Champions, it's even harder for us to remain humble and face up to the fact that Seattle remains a tiny city on the national and global "city-measurability" scale. But big cities have big problems, like violent crime [Chicago], State taxes [of which we have none, but no thanks to Bill Gates Sr.], we are not [totally] underwater with State pension funds like California and just about every liberal governed State in the Union. We also don't have hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods. Other than an occasional mudslide, or a volcano blowing its top, things remain relatively calm up here. And let's keep this one quiet – the voluminous "rain" we are so famous for having miraculously leveled out to normalcy over the last decade or two. Have you noticed that? I sure have, but I'll never admit it to an environmentalist, so don't tell 'em I said so. Kidding, or am I?

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The Hameau de la Reine is a rustic retreat on the grounds of the Château de Versailles. In many ways, it served as design inspiration for this new home, made to look rustic, located in Medina. We gave it the name "La Hameau" or just "Little Hamlet" - I use the latter. This rustic or vernacular style building, inspired by Norman or Flemish design, is in the form of a “U” situated around an irregular pool fed by a stream that turns a faux mill wheel.

The Hameau de la Reine is a rustic retreat on the grounds of the Château de Versailles. In many ways, it served as design inspiration for this new home, made to look rustic, located in Medina. We gave it the name "La Hameau" or just "Little Hamlet" - I use the latter. This rustic or vernacular style building, inspired by Norman or Flemish design, is in the form of a “U” situated around an irregular pool fed by a stream that turns a faux mill wheel.

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Le Hameau de la Medina

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Le Hameau de la Reine

MARIE-ANTOINETTE À MARIE-LOUISE'S RETREAT FROM COURT LIFE

The Hameau de la Reine (French pronunciation: [amo də la ʁɛn], The Queen's Hamlet) is a rustic retreat in the park of the Château de Versailles built for Marie Antoinette in 1783 near the Petit Trianon in Yvelines, France. It served as a private meeting place for the Queen and her closest friends, a place of leisure. Designed by the Queen's favored architect, Richard Mique, with the help of the painter Hubert Robert. It contained a meadowland with a lake and various buildings in a rustic or vernacular style, inspired by Norman or Flemish design, situated around an irregular pond fed by a stream that turned a mill wheel. The building scheme included a farmhouse (the farm was to produce milk and eggs for the Queen), a dairy, a dovecote, a boudoir, a barn that burned down during the French Revolution, a mill, and a tower in the form of a lighthouse. Each building is decorated with a garden, an orchard, or a flower garden. The largest and most famous of these houses is the "Queen's House," connected to the Billiard house by a wooden gallery at the center of the village. A working farm was close to the idyllic, fantasy-like setting of the Queen's Hamlet.

The Hameau is the best-known of a series of rustic garden constructions built at the time, notably the Prince of Condé's Hameau de Chantilly (1774–1775), which was the inspiration for the Versailles hamlet. Such model farms, operating under principles espoused by the Physiocrats, were fashionable among the French aristocracy at the time. One primary purpose of the Hameau was to add to the ambiance of the Petit Trianon, giving the illusion that it was deep in the countryside rather than within the confines of Versailles. The rooms at the Hameau allowed for more intimacy than the grand salons at Versailles or the Petit Trianon.

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The Hamlet de la Reine at Versailles

Rustic perfection. Ah, how fun and challenging it must have been to be the architect of the king. 

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