Complete reshuffleThe JEANRICHARD museum of watchmaking machines and tools
The château: this is how local residents refer to the handsome building which now houses the JEANRICHARD museum of watchmaking machines and tools. Built in 1908 by local architect Léon Boillod (from La Chaux-de-Fonds), it is an imposing structure with multiple sloping roofs and an array of decoration sculpted on the façade.
The original layout of the villa included a "piano nobile" on the ground floor, the principal floor where the owners would receive their guests in the library, the concert room or even the dining room. The first floor was reserved for the masters of the house, with staff residing on the second floor. In the mid 20th century, the layout was changed: each floor was converted into an apartment, with a beautiful swimming pool created in the basement.
Remarkable details: the sculptures on the façades, the mosaic adorning the floor of the library and the ceiling mouldings are the work of final year students from the "Arts et Métiers" art school in La Chaux-de-Fonds, whose alumni include, amongst others, a certain Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier. The teacher who supervised their work, André Evard, was a very important figure in the Art Nouveau movement which was dominant in La Chaux-de-Fonds at the start of the 20th century.
The JEANRICHARD museum has been housed in these very special premises since 2004. At the start of 2011, the museum benefited from a complete reshuffle which made it both more informative and more attractive.