Near Saint-Malo: what if the Quinard mill in Saint-Jouan became a brewery?

Donovan Delaunay between the Quinard mill in Saint-Jouan des Guérets and the model of his project. ©The Malouin Country

Of the four-lane Rennes – Saint-Malo, everyone sees, as if resting on the Rance, this huge building which was once a tide mill. The largest in the marine estuary.

Kid, when driving in the family car, Donovan Delaunay, wondered about this mysterious place.

Abandoned for a century

It’s been almost a century that the Quinard mill, built in 1806, surrendered. It was December 31, 1924.

Since, this property of a family from Saint-Jouan-des-Guérets serves as an outbuilding to the neighboring farm. And, if it retains a certain charm, its roof and its framework are in poor condition. Several luxury hotel projects have followed one another to restore luster to this magical place where many GR 34 hikers travel.

But nothing came of it. Which is not worse in the eyes of Donovan Delaunay.

Become a place of production again

This 25-year-old architect imagines a structure in harmony with its past and its Natura 2000 classified environment. Holder of a BTS in space design and a master’s degree obtained last June at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Bretagne , he designed a project that could bring together several investors and even a community. Around a main idea:

Return to the mill its function as a place of production. Its gears, restored, could be used for a beer brewery. As before, the fields nearby would provide the raw material, no longer wheat for flour but barley, malt and hops.

The Dinannais did not have to look far to baptize this virtual beer: Quinard, like the name of the mill.

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This activity would take place in the first building, at the origins of this activity which has been transformed over the decades into an “American-style flour mill”. Each floor would house a stage in the production of the beverage: brewing, filtration, fermentation, etc. »

Restaurant, accommodation, museum, etc.

In the central part, enhanced: a museum of tide mills surmounted by an observatory to admire the fauna and flora of this place which changes with the rhythm of the river. The largest part of this building, 47 meters long by 7 wide, where four floors are stacked, would house a restaurant serving dishes made from local products and three levels of temporary accommodation.

In front of the establishment, a pontoon, in other words a terrace on stilts, surmounting a nautical base.

A contemporary touch

The young architect thought of a new aesthetic that preserves the spirit of the place with durable materials:

The wood resists badly to the sea air. The ideal would be to add a cover, on an additional floor, in the shape of a parallelepiped in Corten steel. It is a very resistant material which takes on all its properties when it oxidizes and presents a rusty appearance. That would be the contemporary touch. At the same time, we keep the biplane gables and all the openings.

Admittedly, all this remains very theoretical for the moment. The owners will have to agree on the conversion and the sale of the building. Donovan will have to seek investors and probably a community for the museum part.

The project exhibited in Rennes

But his project ‘Adaptive reuse of the Quinard tide mill’ will not go unnoticed: it is one of eight out of the 110 of his promotion selected for the competition for the Prix Jeunes Talents de l’Architecture. He presented it to Rennes on Tuesday October 18. It is in this context that his beautiful model, made by himself and his presentation panels, are on display to the public until October 29, at the Pasteur hotel, at 2, place Pasteur, in Rennes.

As for the young architect (who created his micro-enterprise for the extension and renovation of housing two years ago and his own DDD agency recently), he will work for six months in a Parisian agency before returning home because his objective is to work, among other things, for the restoration and preservation of Breton heritage.

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