Duchemin Factory – Pierre Buraglio

Bretonneau Hospital ( multi denominational worship place)
© Marion Strebler (INMA) and Gabriel Gelineo

Atelier Duchemin
14, avenue Georges Lafenestre
75014 Paris

Hôpital Bretonneau
Marie Fornani, responsable culturelle à l' hôpital Bretonneau (01 53 11 18 05)
23 rue Joseph-de-Maistre
75018 Paris

File editor : Marion Strebler (INMA)

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The Duchemin Ateliers were created by the end of 1950s, they continue a family tradition dating back to the 19th Century. Today they work both in ancient buildings and modern creation. Restoration.
The Ateliers have been managed since 1986 by Dominique Duchemin-Rousvol who took over from Claude, his father and founder of the firm. Dominique Duchemin–Rousvol manages his heirloom by the family traditional standards. His daughter Mary joined in the firm in 2002 as a master glass maker.

Thanks to the accumulated knowhow over the succeeding generations, the Ateliers Duchemin can have an original and totally free approach on innovative techniques accordingly offering wide technical support to prospective creation and provide full technical support to the realization of whatever stained glass designer’s work. Aurélie Nemours who did the Notre Dame de Salagon Priory stained glass work, Anne and Patrick Poirier who did Ivry Sainte Croix church’s, Jean Michel Alberola who did the Nevers Cathedral’s are some of them, and more recently, Pierre Buraglio in Hôpital Bretonneau’s Oratory.

Although stained glass is quite in demand in secular works, it still bears a strong connotation to religious architecture. Many French artists have been converted to its cause, and Pierre Buraglio for one, has recently stamped his mark on the light in Hôpital Bretonneau.

It’s by his work in the Hôpital Bretonneau oratory, in the 18th arrondissemant, inaugurated in 2001 after refurbishing by Denis Valode and Jean Pistre, that he has literally and symbolically cast a new eye on the light.
As a multi denominational place, it has a Surat from the Coran written on a wall. He did the whole interior decoration of the oratory, (light wood furniture, altar, and a ladder relief carving on the opposite wall), yet, it’s with this stained glass work that the painter obviously comes to a climax.

These three large vertical surfaces were inspired from Giotto’s frescoes in Padoa. By rendering the vegetal structures with blue, green and grey motifs he shifts from representation to abstraction to be in harmony with this “space of contemplation, meditation and worship” as Pierre Pierre Buraglio wrote in his project log. Set within an institution for elderly people’s care, this thirty square meter’s “chapel” will inevitably have to deal with death and sorrow. Thin colored frames hung on its walls,encasing empty surfaces as if in expectation of contemplation.

Intending to keep a link with the past and to offer quality accommodation to their patients the management of the hospital have opted for an original artistic touch to the refurbishing of this worship place “l’Oratoire”.
As part of a public commission funded by “l’Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Paris” in partnership with the Culture and Communication Ministry (DRAC. Isle de France, Délégation aux Arts Plastiques), the artist Pierre Buraglio in collaboration with the architects Denis Valode and Jean Pistre, has made this place “a space open to all our contemporaries”, whether they belong to the three religions of the Book, or have none” This is notably confirmed by the inscription of excerpts from religious texts on the walls: a text from the Bible in French, of the Koran in Arabic script and the Torah in Hebrew. The Oratory was inaugurated on the 18th of December 2001.