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Work starts on ‘state-of-the-art’ ski properties in Flaine, France

12th May 2010 Print

This month construction work gets underway on 66 brand new ski-in, ski-out apartments for sale in a French residence de tourisme described by developer MGM as ‘state-of-the-art in terms of sustainability and fuel economy.’

Richard Deans in MGM’s London-based UK sales office says the development – Le Centaure at Flaine in Haute-Savoie region of the French Alps – will embrace the principles of HQE (Haute Qualité Environmental), the international construction industry’s high environmental quality standard which aims to integrate the principles of sustainable development defined at the 1992 Earth Summit.

MGM regards its development at Flaine, designed by one of France’s leading architects, Christian Hauvette of Paris, as a significant step in its commitment to reduce energy consumption

“This residence will help Flaine become a showcase for eco-friendly development and it will set the pace for future new schemes by MGM,” says Richard.

Already Flaine has gained a reputation as one of the most environmentally aware resorts in the French Alps. It is fully-pedestrianised, with vehicles banished to car parks on its perimeter, and all hot water supplies are heated naturally with the aid of pumps extracting the heat which exists below ground.

The MGM development of sunny south-facing apartments will be located at the heart of the resort which was conceived in 1959 and constructed in the ’sixties by Eric Boissonnas and Marcel Breuer in the Bauhaus style of modern architecture. It was hailed as an ‘architectural jewel’ when it opened in 1968 and its buildings now are Listed as historical monuments.

A feature of the resort is its open-air sculpture museum. Works on display – owned by the Pompidou Centre in Paris – include La Tête de Femme by Pablo Picasso. Flaine’s Art Centre is popular year-round for art shows, ranging from paintings to ice sculptures, as well as exhibitions by cartoonists and photographers. The Music Academy attracts international performers.

Externally, the architectural style of the new residence Christian Hauvette has designed for MGM is modern to comply with strict local regulations. Energy-saving features include solar panels on the roof and reinforced exterior insulation.

The apartments at Le Centaure range size from 27 sq metre studios to 75 sq metre three-bedroom duplexes. They include apartments specially adapted for use by disabled occupiers. These apartments have larger floor areas in all rooms, especially the bathrooms and lavatories which have handrails.

Says Richard: “These days the opportunities to buy a new property in Flaine are very limited. This explains why the enquiries we are receiving from potential purchasers have been boosted by a number of owners of older properties in the resort wanting to trade up to ones which are more modern, better equipped and have a number of residence facilities for their use.

“They include a 25m x 10m indoor swimming pool – and a smaller children’s pool – with floor-to-ceiling glazing to give dramatic views of a nearby mountain waterfall. There will be a sauna, jacuzzi, steam and fitness rooms. A spa and beauty centre will have a variety of massages and body treatments on offer.”

When it opens for business at the end of 2011, Le Centaure will be just 50 metres from the cable car lift to Les Grandes-Platières which, at an altitude of 2,200 metres, boasts panoramic views of Mont Blanc at the start of the Cascades blue run down to Sixt-Fer à Cheval.

The 14 km ski run is one of the longest in the world, forming part of the 265 km network of pistes within the Grand Massif ski area.

Flaine’s location on a plateau at an altitude of 1,600 metres – formerly a summer encampment used by shepherds within a ‘bowl’ surrounded by mountains – ensures that it remains one of the most snow-sure family resorts in the French Alps.

Just one hour by road from Geneva Airport, or a six-hour drive from Calais, Flaine is popular with Britons all year round. Many return annually.

In the ski season additional activities include ice skating and ice driving, paragliding, snowmobiling and a lively après ski scene as well as a variety of activities and services for children. In summer, tennis, archery and fitness classes take place, white water rafting and canyoning is available nearby, and mountain bike rides and walks start on the doorstep. At an altitude of 1,900 metres, the nearby Pierre Carrée 18-hole golf course is one of the highest in Europe with panoramic mountain views from every tee.

Off-plan prices of the properties at Le Centaure start at €159,000 for a studio, rising to €426,000 for a three-bedroom duplex apartment.  The prices, which include parking, cellar storage and a ski locker, exclude VAT waived under the leaseback scheme.

For more information about the properties available, visit

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