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Frequently asked questions

Why buy an architect-designed house?

Too glazed, too exposed, too contemporary, too extravagant… Prejudices about the “architect’s house” are still deeply rooted, and it is often wrongly perceived as being reserved for a public of well-informed collectors. Unfortunately, all too often we tend to forget that there are as many architect-designed houses as there are conceptions of housing and ways of living, from the Art Deco house with its subtle offsets, voluptuous curves and intimate spaces to the ultra-contemporary house which is generously open to the outdoors.

More than just a place to live, your home should be a place of comfort and well-being in tune with its environment and the needs of its occupants. An architect’s involvement ensures that the qualities of the site are respected and exploited to the full, and represents a sound investment as well as an absolute guarantee that the building will appreciate in value over time.

Whatever its era, the architect’s house offers a genuine reflection on the act of living, materialised by the proposal of new types of living spaces, more open and brighter. These architectural designs are characterised by open-plan layouts, a play on volumes and proportions, double-height ceilings, large glazed areas and quality materials, all designed to provide universal comfort and aesthetic appeal.

Is an architect house more expensive than a traditional house?

Some high-profile sales suggest that architect-designed houses are being sold at a premium. Despite their exceptional nature, however, architect-designed houses are not exempt from the price per square metre, and sales that defy the logic of the property market are fairly rare.

Whether they are avant-garde, modern or contemporary, signed by star or little-known architects, true collector’s items or modest but ingenious buildings, priced from 150,000 to several million euros, the houses we offer for sale have all been selected with the greatest care by our team of historians and architects. For us, the quality and fluidity of the living spaces, the abundance of natural light and the quality of the materials used are essential elements of any home, and ones that everyone should be able to enjoy.

Why call on Architecture de collection?

Composed exclusively of architectural historians and architects, our team has developed expertise that is unrivalled in today’s property market. We work in the spirit of an art gallery, and all the properties in our catalogue are the subject of documentary research into the building, its architect and its history. This information is recorded in a freely downloadable, lavishly illustrated ‘appraisal note’, which aims to reveal the value of the property. Our model is inspired both by existing formulas in this market in the United States and by art auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

As true specialists guided by our passion for modern and contemporary architecture, we put all our skills at the service of your property purchase or sale projects.

What are the home selection criteria?

We offer modern, contemporary houses and flats all over France, and pay close attention to their architectural quality, whether they are worth €150,000 or €4 million.

Regardless of when or by whom a house was built, we only select buildings that are representative of a certain concept of living. As a result, our homes offer a modern, minimalist aesthetic in keeping with modern, contemporary architectural criteria.

Maison d’architecte is not synonymous with luxury property. We regularly turn down properties, because what’s important to us is architectural quality, not price. We are committed to selling only genuine works of artistic merit.

Most of the buildings we select have been designed by architects of relative renown, even if some of them are very young.

What is our approach?

We want to bring real estate and architecture together, and break down the prejudices that pit beauty against utility. Our aim is to democratise architecture. Today, around 95% of the construction market is taken up by developers and housing developers, who mass-produce standardised housing. We defend the idea that everyone should be able to live in something beautiful, and that the best way to preserve architecture is to live in it.

Our ambition is to reconcile two worlds that are too far apart: the aspirations of the French on the one hand, and architecture on the other. We want to bring architecture closer to home, and introduce the general public to other ways of building and living. We hope that our initiative will help to combat the prejudices that too often surround contemporary architecture, which is generally considered to be “expensive and reserved for an elite”, whereas every day we see the promise of this new, profoundly human architecture.

Our aim is to preserve a heritage that is sometimes overlooked or at risk, to reveal its financial value and to promote the modern and contemporary house as a total work of art.

What are the different types of historic monument protection?

The protection of historic monuments was established by the law of 31 December 1913. Still in force today, the legislation governing the procedures for classifying a property as a Historic Monument and listing it on the Supplementary Inventory has been amended several times since then.

The two types of protection are :

– Classification as a Historic Monument by decision of the Minister of Cultural Affairs.
This classification applies to “buildings whose conservation is of public interest from the point of view of history or art” (Art. 1).

– Inclusion in the supplementary inventory of historic monuments.
This secondary level relates to “buildings which, without justifying a request for immediate classification, are of sufficient historical or artistic interest to make their conservation desirable” (Art. 2 amended by the decree of 18 April 1961).

A monument may be protected by several different measures. What’s more, a listing can be modified to give rise to a classification. This is the case with the Martel brothers’ town house, designed by Robert Mallet-Stevens in 1926, which was listed in 1975 and then classified in 2011. Conversely, a single decree can protect several monuments. For example, a group of nine buildings forming the rue Mallet-Stevens was listed in 1975 as a concerted development.
Protection may be applied for by the owner, the lessee, a third party (local authority, association, etc.), the prefect of the département or region, the Ministry of Culture and Communication and its regional cultural affairs departments. In 2014, around 43,600 buildings were protected as historic monuments in France, including 14,100 listed buildings and 29,500 registered buildings.

What are the advantages of buying a listed house?

Although the Historic Monument protection scheme imposes a number of constraints on property owners, they also benefit from a number of financial advantages, in the form of tax or subsidies for the work. Tax benefits for Historic Monuments and similar buildings relate to restoration and maintenance work, income from property and inheritance tax.

Investments in Monuments Historiques are therefore exempt from tax niches and inheritance tax. Tax savings are also granted with no ceiling on tenants’ resources, or even rent ceilings. What’s more, loan interest and charges are deductible and chargeable against overall income, and not just against property income, compared with other property tax relief schemes.

The Monuments Historiques tax exemption law is now the only law, with the exception of buildings still governed by the old Malraux tax exemption scheme, that allows restoration work on the property and the interest on the loan linked to the acquisition to be deducted from the investor’s overall income, with no ceiling.

With regard to the eligibility criteria for buildings, the provisions of article 156 of the General Tax Code (CGI) apply to buildings that have been classified or listed in the supplementary inventory of historic monuments.

What does "Modern" mean?

All the avant-garde artists of the early 20th century (Picasso, Le Corbusier, Appia, Hoffmann, etc.) who revolutionised the fine arts, architecture, painting, theatre, music and design are considered modern.

In architecture, the Modern Movement was a reaction to tradition and neo-classicism. The rise of this modern architecture, which stemmed from the German Bauhaus school (founded in 1919), was based on functionalism, which dates back to the beginning of the century. This doctrine was opposed to the eclecticism of the 19th century and the decorative excesses of Art Nouveau. This new architecture, which culminated in the 1930s, exploited technological progress and maintained close links with industry. Industry provided innovative materials such as reinforced concrete and steel, which enabled the conquest of height and the development of interior spaces free of any partitioning.

This approach was accompanied by social idealism. Modern architects (Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto and Mies Van der Rohe) believe that architectural form conditions social behaviour and that architects have the power to create an ideal society by improving living and working conditions for individuals.

The social and progressive dimension of this architecture, which broke with the academic style of the 19th century, continues to embody a democratic, political and aesthetic ideal in most countries.

Le Corbusier's theoretical contributions

Le Corbusier defined “five points for modern architecture” in his book Vers une architecture, published in 1923. These principles translate into :

1) Construction on stilts, freeing up the floor of the house under which the garden extends

2) A roof terrace for a garden

3) A free-form layout (made possible by the use of reinforced concrete), which allows spaces to be organised without any constructional constraints and allows levels to be set back.

4) A free facade that provides an autonomous organisation between the exterior and interior walls and allows openings to be made according to the need for light, air and aesthetic considerations.

5) Horizontal windows that offer a panoramic view from one end of the façade to the other, transforming the landscape into an outdoor tableau.

Which 20th century buildings are on the world heritage list?

In 2016, there are three buildings representative of Art Nouveau:

– Parc Güell, its Palace and Casa Mila by Gaudi in Barcelona, Spain, built between 1852 and 1926 (listed in 1984);

– The Palau de la Música Catalana and the Hospital de Sant Pau, built by Lluis Domenech i Montaner in Barcelona, Spain (listed in 1997);

– Victor Horta’s four houses in Brussels, Belgium, built at the end of the 19th century: Hôtel Tassel, Hôtel Solvay, Van Eetvelde and Maison et Atelier Horta (listed in 2000);
Eleven buildings are representative of the Modern Movement. Of these, almost half were built after the Second World War, and three are cities (Brasilia, Tel Aviv and Le Havre).

– The city of Brasilia by architects Oscar Niemeyer and Lucio Costa, created “ex nihilo” between 1956 and 1960 in the centre of Brazil (inscribed in 1987);

– The Skogskyrkogården cemetery in Stockholm, Sweden, built between 1917 and 1920 by the architects Asplund and Lewerentz (listed in 1994);

– The sites of the Bauhaus school in Weimer and Dessau in Germany, built between 1919 and 1933 by a group of painters and architects: Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Wassily Kandinsky (listed in 1996);

– Gerrit Thomas Rietveld’s Schröder House, built in 1924 in Utrecht, Netherlands (inscribed in 2000);

– The Cité Universitaire in Caracas, Venezuela, built between 1940 and 1960 by Carlos Raul Villanueva (listed in 2000);

– Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat, built in 1920 in Brno, Czech Republic (listed in 2001);

– The city of Tel Aviv in Israel, founded in 1909 and built from the 1930s to the 1950s by emigrant European architects reflecting the urban planning principles of the Organic Modern Movement (inscribed in 2003);

– The studio house of architect Luis Barragan, built in 1948 on the outskirts of Mexico City (inscribed in 2004);

– The town of Le Havre in Normandy, France, was heavily bombed during the Second World War, and the centre was rebuilt between 1945 and 1964 to the design of a team led by Auguste Perret (inscribed in 2005). It was the first 20th-century site to be designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in France;

– The Centenary Hall in Wroclaw, a milestone in the history of reinforced concrete architecture, built between 1911 and 1913 by Max Berg in Poland (listed in 2006);

– The Sydney Opera House by Jørn Utzon, built in 1973 in Sydney, Australia (listed in 2007).

What are the stages in an acquisition?

Our work is twofold:

On the one hand, by offering you an exclusive selection of properties with architectural value, we bring your project to life by finding the property that best suits your needs and, above all, your desires.

In addition, we secure the transaction by accompanying you through every stage of your purchase in partnership with your notary.

Our remuneration is linked to an obligation to achieve results. The agency commission is only payable once the final deed of sale has been signed, thus guaranteeing that the transaction has been completed successfully. It may be paid by the seller or the buyer.

There are four main stages in the acquisition process:

1 – Visiting the property
At each visit, our negotiator will ask you to sign a “visit voucher”. This document proves that you have been made aware of the property and visited it through us. It represents recognition of our work and is essential to our partnership.

2 – The sales mandate
Together, we sign a contract that sets out the exact terms and conditions of the sale, such as the asking price, the net selling price, the agency fees and the availability date of the property. This is the sales mandate.

3 – The offer to purchase
To confirm your intention to buy and enable us to convey your interest to the vendor, we will complete an offer to purchase form together. A true proof of commitment, this document gives concrete expression to your desire to buy and enables us to initiate discussions with the seller.

4 – The preliminary contract
This document seals your commitment to purchase and the seller’s consent. It sets out all the essential details of the sale and any conditions precedent. It takes the form of a promesse unilatérale de vente or a promesse synallagmatique de vente (or compromis de vente). Under the new SRU law, you have seven days from the date of this preliminary contract to withdraw. At the end of this period, you must pay a down-payment of between 5% and 10% of the price. If the sale goes ahead, this sum will be deducted from the total purchase price.
We always sign this document in the presence of a notary. His involvement secures the transaction for all parties involved. We believe that the notary is in the best position to draw up a deed. He or she also has a duty to defend your interests and will act as escrow agent for the earnest money.

5 – The deed of sale
This is the final deed. After all the usual checks have been carried out by your notaire, you pay the balance of your purchase and officially become the owner when the keys are handed over.

What are the stages in a sale?

To successfully market your property, we must first sign a contract setting out the terms and conditions of the transaction. This is the sales mandate.

With this document, you entrust us with the search for a buyer and undertake to sell to the latter under the conditions set out in the mandate. You also authorise us to advertise your property in our media.

1 – Putting the property up for sale
We undertake to do everything in our power to find a buyer in the best possible conditions and as quickly as possible.
We will cover all the costs involved in marketing the property: photo coverage, publication on our various internet sites, press publications and agency displays.

2 – Purchase proposal
We will send you any serious proposal in the form of a written purchase offer.

3 – Pre-contract
If this offer catches your eye, we will formalise the agreement by signing a pre-contract before a notary. The systematic use of a notary secures the entire transaction.

4- The deed of sale
Our agency commission is only payable on completion of the transaction, so you can be sure that it will be a success.

Useful information

Terms and conditions

We can arrange for architects to draw up a surface area certificate (in accordance with the Carrez law) and a 1/50 or 1/100 dimensioned plan.

On request: asbestos, lead poisoning, pest control and energy diagnostics certificates.


Transfer duties

In addition to the purchase price of the property and the agency fees (included in the asking price), you will have to pay transfer taxes. These include:

– Land registration fees
– Notary’s fees
– Salary of the mortgage registrar
– Stamped paper fees
– Registration fees

These costs can be accurately estimated by your notaire before the purchase. They are always borne by the purchaser.

An online estimate is available on the Anil website:

Useful links

L’Agence Nationale pour l’Information sur le Logement

Syndicat National des Professionnels Immobilier

Compagnie des notaires de Paris


– The sale prices are always quoted inclusive of negotiation fees and all taxes.
– Transaction fees: 5% of the sale price inclusive of tax, payable by the vendor.
– Minimum invoice of €10,000.

We can arrange for architects to draw up a surface area certificate (in accordance with the Carrez law) and a 1/50 or 1/100 dimensioned plan.

On request: asbestos, lead poisoning, pest control and energy diagnostics certificates.

Transfer duties

In addition to the purchase price of the property and the agency fees (included in the asking price), you will have to pay transfer taxes. These include:
– Land registration fees
– Notary fees
– Salary of the mortgage registrar
– Stamped paper fees
– Registration fees

These costs can be accurately estimated by your notaire before the purchase. They are always borne by the purchaser.

An online estimate is available on the Anil website:

Useful links

The National Agency for Housing Information

National Union of Property Professionals

Company of notaries in Paris