The Pensières Centre and the Merieux Foundation
This estate, a property of Mérieux Foundation, situated near the lake, is composed of two main buildings:
The house, close to the lake, a 15th century building, and the conference centre of Les Pensières. The house was part of the outbuilding of the « Clos de Crans », a wine producing property dating back to the 14th century.
It was the main barn of the Château des Places, to-day named « Fleur d’eau ».
Century after century, it belonged to various families; among them the Menthon family at the end of the 16th century under the name « La Gaillardaz ». In the 18th century, it was mentioned on the Sardinian map as number 165 and in the 19th century , it was called « Les Grudes ». It was also a Post relay.
During the 1950’s, Les Pensières became the family property of Dr Charles Mérieux and his wife Simone, a local lady.
In 1967, Charles Mérieux created in this property the foundation Marcel Mérieux, in memory of his father , who had studied with Louis Pasteur and Emile Roux.This family foundation, acknowledged as public utility in 1976, tighhts against infections diseases in developing countries.
Docteur Mérieux has renovated the old barn, formerly vinegrower’s houses, mentioned on the Sardinian map; this building has been turned into a meeting place where the first scientific meetings on health were held.
Year after year, specific building and installations were added. Lectures and conferences are held attracting scientists and experts from all over the world. Dr Charles Mérieux died, his son Alain Mérieux went on extending and improving the Centre. The family assigned the Pensières Centre to the Mérieux Foundation in 2004.
The Centre has been conceived as a think tank, to develop scientific progress at the service of world public health.
Thus, it contributes to one of the objects of the Foundation:
Facilitate exchanges between specialists of public health and the sharing of knowledge without any barriers between the various branches of learning and between all the countries.
Open on nature and the world, the Centre is acknowledged as a place of exception that welcomes, all the year through, researchers, scientists, health professionals, those doing fieldwork, to help progress public health in the world.