Jean-Michel Wilmotte has given a historic slice of Ile-de-Ré a contemporary update.

The French architect transformed this former shipyard – now on the market with Propriétés Parisiennes – in 2010. Sited in the harbour of the French island’s port of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, it comprises a duo of conjoined buildings sandwiched between two other listed structures.

JM Wilmotte converted shipyard in Ile-de-Re
The harbour of Saint-Martin-de-Ré

‘I am against the provocative, I am for things that last,’ Wilmotte once declared. And it shows in this sensitive act of adaptive reuse.

The challenge for the architect was retaining the shipyard’s historic shell while gutting its interiors and creating a flow between the twin buildings. Key to the redesign is a wide central staircase topped by a skylight, which funnels light into the open-plan living areas and master bedroom on the home’s upper two levels.

Original stone walls and beams are exposed, while contemporary insertions are crisp, white and linear. Large picture windows offer panoramic views over the bustling harbour.

In a nod to its past, the four-bedroom home comes equipped with a boathouse, which opens out onto the sea. From here, you can explore the island’s coastline.

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