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The Neo-Breton Style is a popular architectural style and home interior design that emerged in Brittany (France) during the 1960s, especifically after the Interwar period in Europe. Its distinctive style can be recognized by its use of traditional architectural elements originary from Brittany, such as whitewashed walls, black double-pitched slate roofs and granite frames and windows, combined with modern materials and techniques[1]. This architectural style surged as a reaction to the growth of tourism in the region of Brittany, because it would grant a more modern yet traditional experience to visitors. Many Neo-Breton buildings were built in towns and villages near the sea, and can still be found throughout most of the region, typically in suburbs that were built during the 20th century[2].

History[]

"La plupart des maisons construites ces cinquante dernières années semblent avoir un air de parenté connotant le pays. Cette uniformité est en fait bien étrangère aux habitations traditionnelles dont elle prétend pourtant s'inspirer et qui lui vaut son qualificatif de "néo-bretonne"" ― Laurence Le Du-Baylo

The origin of the Neo-Breton Style dates back to the Interwar period. At the time, only households with the highest incomes could own this type of architecture. It was only from the 1960s that the middle classes benefited from it. The style is relatively modern and the interior design corresponds to comfort standards and the price remains affordable nowadays.

Architecture[]

As the Neo-Breton Style is closely associated with the region it came from and Breton culture, one of the key features of Neo-Breton architecture is its use of local materials from the area. Traditional Breton buildings were typically constructed with materials such as granite, slate, and timber. Neo-Breton architects continued this tradition by incorporating these materials into their designs. Granite was often used for the exterior walls, while slate was used for roofs. Timber was used for structural elements and decorative details.
Another characteristic of Neo-Breton architecture is its emphasis on symmetry and proportion. Neo-Breton buildings are usually designed with balanced façades and harmonious proportions. This also extends to the home decoration as well, with carvings and other ornamental motifs decorating windows, doors, and façades. Additionally, this architectural style is widely considered a symbol of Breton identity and the legacy of modernization and economic expansion in Brittany.
Roofs are also built with some distinctive features of Neo-Breton architecture. Neo-Breton architects incorporated slate tiles in their roofs. The use of dormer windows is also common, not only because it looks visually great, but because it provides additional free space in attics.

Characteristics[]

Some characteristics of Neo-Breton architecture are:

  • Double-pitched slate roofs
  • Whitewashed walls
  • Massive granite door/window frames
  • Half-timbered gables
  • Rounded chimneys
  • Small arched windows

Interior Design[]

The interior design associated with the Neo-Breton shares some similiarities with the French Seaside Style (otherwise called Style Bord de Mer), since the region of Brittany has a strong Nautical culture, and it also has some influences from Art Deco, but especially Modernism. The most suggested colours in the interior design include black, white, light orange and blue. Neo-Breton interiors are often modern and renovated. Natural materials are the main tendency in interior design, including materials such as straw, wood or even wicker, as well as Chic elements. The style quite generally focuses a lot on wooden furniture, porcelain or stone basins. Solid wood in Brittany typically brings an aspect reminiscent of the Seaside while also remaining modern and comfortable for everyday life.

References[]

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