French Mountain Property
French Mountain Property (FMP) develops stylish and authentic ski properties that preserve the look and feel of traditional Alpine living.
FMP builds in the Tarentaise Valley, which encompasses Val d’ Isère, Tignes, Les Arcs and La Plagne (which form Paradiski), La Rosière and Sainte Foy. These resorts form part of the Savoie region, home to some of the best skiing in the world. Building in a style sympathetic to Savoyard design traditions and architecture, FMP has an ethos of quality without compromise, with creations constructed to exceptionally high specifications.
FMP developments appeal to those seeking to immerse themselves in French rural life. They tend to be off the beaten track in village communities away from the bustle of major resorts, whilst being conveniently located for the range of winter sports the region has to offer. Most can be skied into off-piste and some are only a short walk from a lift. FMP offers you the rare opportunity to create your own dream mountain hideaway. You can have the opportunity to be involved in the early stages of design and development and influence the creation of your ideal home.
Innovation in the Tarentaise
Building in a style sympathetic to Savoyard design traditions and architecture, FMP has an ethos of quality without compromise, with creations constructed to exceptionally high specifications.
Chris Harrop is the creative engine of French Mountain Property and has lived in the Alps for nearly 30 years. He’s currently building a chalet - Chalet Pèlerin - in the village of le Miroir, close to Sainte Foy, a commission from a client whom he had taken out skiing. “It was a bit of a hairy outing...” Chris says. “We had to rescue some people who’d got caught in an avalanche and ended up skiing down a black run in the dark at the tail-end of a torch-lit display.” Despite, or possibly because of, this experience the client was sold on the area.
Chris sourced a poorly-constructed ’70s chalet, which was then pulled down while plans for a much larger chalet, complete with indoor pool, hot tub and sauna were submitted. Gaining planning permission can be a delicate process but Chris uses an experienced local lawyer and architect. Having gained a reputation for developing chalets which compliment the area, Chris has been approached more than once by local Mairies to renovate dilapidated commune buildings.
It helps, too, that during the course of several developments Chris has undertaken local community projects and has initiated the regeneration of local infrastructure, utilities and amenities – a breath of fresh air for often neglected traditional farming communities: “The really exciting bit for us is after we’ve started the basic construction,” says Chris. “I bring the guys up to the build and we let our imaginations run riot.”
Since he formed the company Chris has used the same team of local craftsmen and builders, who always have creative input with signature design features and the application of traditional local motifs. “We’re prepared to travel a long way to source recovered timber and stone to make our chalets as authentic as possible, and we love creating features from antique farming implements like barrows or troughs.”
The chalet in le Miroir has some innovative features. It has mechanical double-flue ventilation systems and geothermal heating, which is so efficient that it will heat the whole chalet, provide hot water (including hot water for the washing machine), heat the indoor pool, heat the sauna and heat the hot tub. This is likely to save a massive 80% on annual energy bills.
Chris has also fitted some amazing stuff requested by the client. The first is an electronic key reader, which is totally concealed behind the stone façade and which opens the door at the approach of the electronic-key holder, simultaneously disabling the alarm system. The second major thing was a cutting-edge fibre optics system – the first residential building project in France to install this type of system. “Our guys even had to go on a special course before fitting it. It’s being put in place in preparation for upcoming technology,” Chris comments. “The weather station we’re installing at the chalet sounds a bit old school by comparison, but the client will be able to check the weather right outside his chalet online from elsewhere.”
© Text by French Mountain Property. Images by Mark Junak.
Building in a style sympathetic to Savoyard design traditions and architecture, FMP has an ethos of quality without compromise, with creations constructed to exceptionally high specifications. Contact French Mountain Property on
(UK) +44 (0) 845 324 3521, mobile: (UK) +44 (0) 7904 154 252
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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