A mas house, also called mas provençal, is a rural building characteristic of Provence, a traditional farmhouse. It is built from stone, which gives it so much charm. It is a traditional style of house that is very common in the south of France, with rich and fascinating stories that go back many centuries and are still very popular today.

In the past, these buildings were used as agricultural buildings for storing crops (wheat, vegetables) and also for breeding. These houses were mostly located along the Rhône, but many can be found throughout Provence. Today, this type of building is much sought after as a dwelling.

Two of the best known are the Mas du Luberon and the Mas Camarguais.

It should be noted that not all the farms in Provence are mas houses because of their particular architectural characteristics. They should not be confused with the Provençal bastides, which were mainly used as bourgeois houses.


The main characteristics of a farmhouse

A Mas or Mas Provençal house is recognizable by its particular architectural features:

  • The parallelepiped base of the architecture
  • It is often installed near a water point
  • It is made of stones, assembled by a mixture of earth and lime
  • It is generally oriented full on to protect itself from the Mistral
  • It has no openings on the north façade
  • The windows on the other facades are smaller to protect the house from hot and cold


Here are the two major existing forms:

  • Mas du Luberon : it is designed in a rectangular way, comprising a floor and a garden level. The corridor that serves the floor is located in the northern part of the house, with the bedrooms on the south side.
  • Camargue farmhouse : it is similar to a hacienda (architectural style of Spanish origin), composed of large white walls as well as an inner courtyard and an often more imposing size. It takes the shape of a U.


The materials of a farmhouse

The Provencal farmhouse is traditionally built in stone, this is for the simple reason that in the past, the peasants built the houses with the materials they found in the immediate area. In this case stones.

This is why we can find farmhouses with different colors and aspects. Everything was made from what the peasants found during construction. In order to assemble the stones, it was necessary to mix earth with lime. For the walls, a plaster composed of sand, earth and lime was applied to improve the insulation and durability of the house.


Why buy a farmhouse ?

Previously, the mas houses were mainly farm buildings, but today they are very sought after as housing. This traditional habitat with it is charming appearance thanks to the stone, seduces more and more buyers in the south of the France.

In addition, this type of house is one of the buildings categorized as bioclimatic. Indeed, it is a building designed to last over time and bring comfort to its occupants throughout the year.


Renovating a farmhouse is preserving a heritage

The mas houses are part of the cultural heritage of southern France. Some farmhouses are renovated to current tastes, others have remained as is, uninhabitable and are to be renovated.

The main objective is to renovate it to new whilst preserving it is heritage. The walls can be fragile if they are a hundred years old.

Renovating a farmhouse is a project that matures and requires time because it represents a certain cost. This requires good help and advice from a professional company. So, if this is part of your projects and you want to be accompanied in this challenge that you have set yourself, do not hesitate to contact Bousquet Munoz. We will bring you all our expertise and know-how to best help you.


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