Monaco Life takes a private tour of Le Winch, the most inconspicuous, grandiose new residence building offering jaw dropping views and a square meterage that’s virtually unheard of at the port.
Like a good game of Tetris, Le Winch has been cleverly wedged between three buildings in La Condamine district, its L shape design maximising precious space within the Principality where every square metre counts.
From the street, you would be forgiven for thinking that it is two completely different buildings. Aluminium balconies decorate the east façade on the seafront, while classic mouldings decorate the south façade.
In fact, Le Winch has the rare privilege of being able to offer triple exposure with views facing the harbour (Port Hercule), the Prince’s Palace on the Rock, and finally the mountain.
But as jaw-dropping as these views are, the most impressive feature here is the size. In a country that has an overabundance of 50-year-old, one to two-bedroom apartments, the people behind Le Winch have managed to fit in four, three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartments each equalling 215 sqm in size. It is an important addition to the real estate market in Monaco, where the demographic has steadily shifted from businessmen looking for an address, to families hoping to settle.
“Much of Monaco was built between 1950 and 1970, so a lot of the apartments are ageing, small and have bad layouts,” says Jérôme Tempier, director of managing real estate agency Rey and Nouvion, whose office is also located in Le Winch. “There are many more one to two-bedroom apartments available than three bedrooms, which only make up about 15% of the current apartments available for rent in Monaco.”
Foreigners are often taken aback by the quality of apartments in the Principality, explains Mr Tempier, who adds: “But there are many new developments under construction now which will help put Monaco in a more competitive position with other large cities.”
However, within the Principality, he says, “You won’t find another apartment, new, of this size, on the Port of Monaco.”
But the building didn’t come without its challenges.
“It was a very technical job. The building is positioned between three other buildings – the Palais Majestic, the Palais Hirondelle and the Villa Hyacinthe,” says Mr Tempier. “J.B. Pastor and Fils did an amazing job with the demolition, the laying of the foundation and the construction.”
Inside each apartment, giant floor to ceiling, wall to wall glass doors frame the Port of Monaco like a fine Monet. There is a very decent sized kitchen, and three bedrooms each with their own en suite and private balcony. The neutral interior allows residents to put their own personal touch to the decor, while a showroom apartment – decorated by designer Daniela Boutsen – provides a clear picture of how large this space is and its design potential.
But the crowning glory of Le Winch is the penthouse – a five-room duplex spread over 430sqm with 75sqm of terraces. On the 6th floor are four bedrooms, including a sumptuous master bedroom, while a spiral staircase connects to the 7th floor featuring an open-plan kitchen, a boudoir, a dining room, and a vast living room overlooking the sea. The two terraces are huge and their views are stunning.
Another unique feature is the building’s heating and cooling system. Le Winch is the first private development to be connected to La Condamine’s seawater heat pump, which draws heat or cold from nearby seawater providing 100% renewable energy to the building.
“Not only is it ecological, it is in line with the principals of Monaco,” explains Mr Tempier. “It is an expensive new technology but it was very important to the owner to be part of Monaco’s energy transition.”
Complementing this new development is a two-level office space at its base – an area which, like the rest of the building, is also of considerable size: 340sqm, providing enough room for up to 20 employees.
Mr Tempier says that, despite the current health crisis, interest has been high since Le Winch apartments hit the rental market in summer.
“Due to Covid and restrictions on travel etc, many people want to rent one of the apartments without even looking at it,” he reveals. “We have had a lot of interest from people from Switzerland, Germany and Denmark, for example. People are ready to commit without even seeing it.”
And the asking price? 110€ per square metre, which equates to close to 24,000€ per month for one of the 215sqm apartments, and 47,000€ per month for the duplex.
Want to see more? Click on the gallery below to enlarge…
Photos courtesy Rey and Nouvion
Interview: Designer Daniela Boutsen