The three palaces of Baït Nizam, Baït Sibai and Baït Quwatli are a true testimony of the style of the ottoman houses built between 1770 and 1870 in the city of Damascus.

During all of the 19th century, those mansions have undergone many changes, refurbishments, extensions and the room organization have been modified according to the various owners’ tastes thus creating a new kind of decor.

In 2011, Aga Khan Trust for Culture entrusted François Chatillon with an expert mission about how to preserve and restore the cultural heritage


It has been the residence of the military order of Saint-Jacques, at the end of the 12th century, safe haven for a religious congregation at the beginning of the 13th century then Royal Palace during the 15th century, this De Santos Palace becomes from 1629 until 1909, property of the Lancastre family. In 1755, the palace survived to the horrendous earthquake described by Voltaire in Candide.

Since 1909, the De Santos palace belongs to the French State which uses it as the Embassy and the French Residence in Lisbon.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs entrusted François Chatillon to do a general diagnosis of the buildings and the garden of the palace so as to plan the needed intervention over the years to preserve and develop the full potential of the venue.


The Casa Cámara is located in Mérida, a Mexican city, capital of the Yucatán state, nicknamed the « white city » and founded in 1542, in replacement of the old Ichcanziho, «the city of the 5 mounts» (5 pyramids), in the Maya province of Chacán.

The Casa Cámara is a master piece by the French architect Gustav Umbdenstock, awarded the Great Rome Prize in second and teacher at the Beaux-Arts and at l’École Polytechnique.

The work done in Casa Cámara took place between 1906 and 1911.

On site it is the engineer Manuel Cantón Ramos who runs it. All décors, although quite worn out, and the furniture are still there. The documents owned by the family seem to indicate that the decor expert Jacques Fourcade and the sculptors F. Larue and L. Boussard worked to create the stuccos.

In 2012, the owners called upon François Chatillon to pose a diagnosis on Casa Cámara.