The Château de Beaulieu
La Collection de l'Art Brut is housed in the Château de Beaulieu, an 18th-century patrician residence belonging to the City of Lausanne.
Constructed between 1764 and 1776, the Chateau de Beaulieu owes its present appearance to the preacher Gabriel-Jean-Henri Mingard (1729-1786). Its 48-meter long façade is composed of three building units, making it 18th-century Lausanne's most generously dimensioned building. The Mingard family, including their only child, a daughter Elisa, inherited its wealth from the wife's side: Henriette van Schinne, daughter of the mayor of Amsterdam and president of the Dutch East Indies Company.
While residents of the Château for two generations, the Mingards also rented out other apartments - the roster of tenants includes such famous names as Jacques Necker (minister of finance under Louis XV) and his wife Suzanne (born Curchod), and their daughter Germaine (the future Madame de Stael); Marshal de Castries; Victor Perrin, the Duke de Belluno, Marshal under Napoleon; the historian Jules Michelet; and more still.
It was from among nine sites that the Château de Beaulieu was chosen to house the Collection de l'Art Brut donated by Jean Dubuffet to the City of Lausanne in 1971. Its transformation (1974) was entrusted to the architects Bernard Vouga and Jean de Martini. One wing was renovated and expanded in 1983. Offices were set up on the first floor of the middle house and, the overall exhibition space was increased with white-walled rooms to the south (1985), the opening of a room in the garret (Mercier et Squalli Architectes, 2002), and the addition of a small vestibule (nb.arch Architectes, 2005).
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