The Coquille House or House Turlet is a building located at No. 4 Rue du Negre-Sans-Peur in Basse-Terre. Built in the late eighteenth century, it is one of the oldest buildings in the city and the archipelago. It was listed as a historical monument in 1987 and classified in 1990.
The house Coquille seems to have been built before 1788, on land acquired in 1771 by Robert Coquille, attorney general of the sovereign council of Guadeloupe. It was built in stages from before 1788 until 1873. In 1794, the house consisted of a relatively modest main building and ancillary buildings including lean-to as stores or housing for domestic slaves.
Initially, the Coquille house is composed of three buildings. First the main body in masonry which shelters a room, a cabinet and a corridor, surmounted by a garret accessible by an external staircase out of stone. A second wooden body that houses a gallery and a living room then a third masonry building that housed the kitchen and a wardrobe. This type of urban architecture of the main body (two rooms with corridor) appears to be a constant in the ancient architecture in the colonies in the 18th and early 19th centuries, probably inspired by the American architecture of the time. Around 1794, the main body was elevated with three-bedroom wooden eaves served by the stone staircase. In 1873, a wooden floor is added between the main body in masonry and the elevation of 1794. The second wooden body (living room) is rebuilt in masonry surmounted by a wooden floor.
An open gallery, called appetizer, served by the stone staircase runs on the front facades of the two buildings. It is a classic element of Creole architecture that provides shade, limits the rise in indoor temperatures by isolating the walls from direct sunlight, and provides additional living space away from the rains . These open galleries, supported by wooden poles, seem to spread in the French West Indies in the second quarter of the eighteenth century under the influence of neighboring Spanish colonies. The open galleries are not very present in Basse-Terre. The staircase of the end of the eighteenth century which connects the high and low gallery is one of the few to be in masonry and to be decorated with terracotta balusters (they are usually wooden, often steep and at the end of the gallery, with ramps limited, in principle, to a series of simple wooden bars of square section). Until 1873, the roofs of the house Coquille were in essentes.