Le bois m’a toujours attiré. Déjà à l’âge de 6 ou 7 ans je voyais mon père bricoler et j’aimais les travaux manuels.
Je suis donc entré chez les Compagnons à 16 ans. J’ai fait le Tour de France, pour revenir à Bourges 10 années plus tard, sur mes terres d’origine.
Je suis entré chez MDB, en 2006. J’ai choisi cette entreprise car elle ne faisait pas que poser ; elle fabriquait elle-même ses menuiseries, ses charpentes et ses meubles et cela devenait rare dans ce métier. Aujourd’hui j’y suis Chef d’Atelier.
J’aime travailler le bois. Partir de la matière brute pour arriver à une pièce unique, c’est cela qui me motive. Les techniques évoluent et les outils aussi. Je suis actuellement formé sur de nouvelles machines plus modernes, pour progresser et m’adapter.
Mon travail consiste également à transmettre mon savoir aux jeunes qui arrivent chez nous. Ils sont preneurs, cela fait plaisir. Je peux vous garantir que la relève est assurée !
Mon chantier le plus marquant ? Un château appartenant à un propriétaire privé, pour lequel le volume de travail a été impressionnant. Le bois brut est arrivé à l’atelier et il en est ressorti avec de magnifiques moulures. Nous avons dû mettre en place une logistique très précise pour faciliter la pose sur place par nos équipes. Un puzzle grandeur nature ! J’ai ressenti une émotion très particulière en découvrant le résultat final.
J’habite entre Nîmes et Arles, une région riche en patrimoine. Enfant je me baladais déjà sur le Pont du Gard qui me faisait rêver. Mon père était entrepreneur maçon et je m’amusais à tailler des blocs de béton cellulaire. Mais mon cœur balançait entre devenir trompettiste et tailleur de pierre. J’ai finalement suivi une formation pour devenir tailleur de pierre, mais j’ai réussi à concilier les deux puisque j’ai aussi pu jouer de la trompette dans l’orchestre de la feria à Nîmes.
Je suis entré chez Sèle en 1992 comme tailleur de pierre, puis je suis passé chef d’atelier. J’ai ensuite suivi une formation d’appareilleur et aujourd’hui je suis chef de chantier sur les arènes de Nîmes. Chez Sèle j’ai vraiment pu toucher à tous les aspects du métier. J’ai même participé à l’extraction de la pierre des arènes dans notre carrière de Barutel.
La restauration des arènes est l’un des plus importants chantiers en France. Il va s’étaler sur les quinze prochaines années. Pour l’instant nous n’avons livré que les deux premières tranches. J’organise le travail des compagnons, je m’assure de la qualité de réalisation des ouvrages tout en garantissant la sécurité sur le chantier et le respect les délais. J’apporte mon expérience et ma technique à l’équipe pour trouver des solutions et mieux travailler. Je suis fier de ce que nous y réalisons.
I have been working at Renofors for 25 years and this company has given me the opportunity to evolve. I joined in 1994 as a companion, became team leader, site manager and then works manager. My job is to find the right techniques to repair, strengthen and solidify the structure of buildings. Each project is different and that's why my passion has stayed intact throughout the years. Some mission has even led me to travel in Africa or Belgium.
My most remarkable realization? The restoration of the Halles du Boulingrin in Reims. They trusted me to carry out tests on the concrete treatment. We searched and developed new processes and techniques to achieve optimal results. We won this market that lasted two years. It was a real challenge and I feel proud of the result.
Nowadays, thanks to my years of experience and my technical knowledge, I am helping the work drivers. I offer my advice on whether the techniques and the preliminary studies will be applicable in real life.
The strength of our company is teamwork. We are united as a family.
I joined Jacquet in Bourges in April of 1986, 33 years ago and I will retire in a few months, with a twinge of sadness in my heart. I'm leaving my office, which my son used to think was at the top of the north tower of the Bourges Cathedral! I have spent most of my career at Jacquet; I never wanted to leave the company. I'm a bit like a "mom" for the agency, here it's a second family.
During these years, I saw and accompanied the evolution of the group. I see the arrival of young people who come to boost the business, services that are being created. The company evolves but while remaining homely, almost like a cocoon. I do not regret anything of those years, which have passed almost too quickly. My husband has been retired for 2 years and he looks forward to my joining him.
I will remain involved by the Historical Monuments, I will continue to participate to the National Heritage Days, to visit every monument that I come across during my walks. The stone will remain engraved in me, with a feeling of pride for having worked in the restoration of the cultural Heritage.
Gilles et Tristan
Working as a family, how is it?
Gilles: Great ! I'm very proud of my son. He has acquired great responsibilities and manages major projects. I will retire in 2 or 3 years, after almost 40 years at Lefèvre! My last job will be with him, working on the Bayeux Cathedral. We’ve come full circle!
Tristan: It’s still early in my career and it is a real asset to be able to benefit from my father’s experience. It really helps me to thrive.
Have you followed the example set by your father in choosing this job?
T: It's true that I spent a great deal of my holidays on the construction sites with him. As a little boy, I once told him "one day I will be bossing you around! ". I first started with a few internships at Lefèvre and then I was hired full-time in 2015.
G: He was right, because it is the case now! Restoring the Historical Monuments is a bit of a family affair, my father-in-law was a slater, and my daughter's husband is a carpenter-joiner.
A family anecdote to share with us?
T: On a construction site, I found by chance on the cathedral of Bayeux a stone which had been put by my father before my birth in 1987. His name was engraved on it! It moved me a lot.
G: I myself had found one with the name of my father-in-law, engraved in 1955, in the Lantern Tower of the Men's Abbey. There are sometimes funny coincidences in life.
Stones have always been an object of fascination for me. As a little I was found of churches, pyramids, and historical monuments. When I was 12, I met a sculptor who encouraged me to pursue this path and my passion, it helped me overcome the challenges and a very physical profession. In 2010, I joined Jacquet, a company I'd heard a lot of good about, especially from my classmates at the Marcs d'Or High School. Our missions are varied and of a high-standard of quality.
At home, stone is a family affair: my husband and grandfather were stonemasons and we passed on this passion to our children; my 6-year-old son and my 3-year-old daughter want to “break some pebbles" like their parents. I like this contrast where I am masculine in my work and feminine on the weekends.
A remarkable anecdote: during the last restoration campaign of the Saint-Bénigne Cathedral, we found a token under the pavement. It enabled us to date stones from the XIII or XIVth century. To perpetuate this tradition, we also put a chip under the restored pavement. Someone may find it in several centuries ... The most important for me in this work? To leave a trace that runs through time.
I was born in Turkey and moved to France for love after meeting my wife in 2012. I first worked at Lefèvre, then at Leon Noël, first as a temp worker and then in a full-time position after a year. Even though my training is in traditional masonry, ever since discovering historical restauration I can no longer fathom doing anything else.
Since 2017, I’ve been managing the restauration of Guise’s Familistère (a landmark housing complex for working class families). I’ve become completely steeped in the site’s history: I’ve read about it and visited the museum. Even my keychain is from the Familistère’s gift shop. I’ve become a diehard Guise fan! I oversee the Léon Nöel team on site as well as the other trades involved in the project. I want the restauration to be beautiful and well made in order to honor and enhance Léon Nöel’s image. I document the work progress on Facebook and my posts get likes from Turkey!
Every day, I give something of myself to the monument and to Léon Nöel. I add value to France. My parents recently came to visit me in France for the first time. I was so proud to show off the Familistère and present my accomplishments. My father was blown away, it was a very emotional moment.
In conclusion: Işimi seviyorum*!
* I love my job!
In 2012, I was recruited as a work supervisor at Ateliers Sodifra Agencement for the Paris Philharmonie project. It was a big but rewarding challenge, complex and upscale, that taught me a lot. Since March, I took on new responsibilities as Works Manager. I manage two business developer, soon to be three. This new role allows me to do what is most important to me: the passing down of knowledge. To train young people and help them grow so that maybe one day they could take my place.
The use ancestral techniques alongside innovative ones is another aspect of my work that fascinates me. We still finish wooden pieces by hand, but we also work with innovative resins, shagreen or precious metals. It's very comprehensive.
My dream? To export this French know-how beyond our borders to the international market.
“As a child, my father, a mason, took me with him to construction sites, so I could learn the value of hard work. What started almost as a form of punishment became a real passion. I began working for Lefèvre during a temporary assignment at the Karl Marx College in Villejuif. I have stayed on. Humans are the main focus of Lefèvre, I really feel trusted.
After an accident, my father had to stop working as a mason. He was told to change his career for a desk job, which he couldn’t bring himself to accept because masonry was his life. He just wanted to be given him a second chance; Lefèvre gave it to him. After a trial period of a few months, he was able to resume his work the same as before. We now are lucky to work together on the National Assembly site. I am pleased to share this experience with him. “
His father, Adelino, told us "I am proud to work with my son, it has strengthened our relationship. "
I trained as a physicochemist and, as I’ve always wanted to work in the cultural domain, I specialized in the study of construction materials degradation in historical buildings.
After various job experiences in laboratories and consultant firms, working on projects as diverse as stone desalination, stained glass, and murals, I joined E.C.M.H. in January of 2015. E.C.M.H. is a subsidiary of the Aurige group. It specializes in the diagnosis of the pathologies affecting historical buildings. Within the scope of our missions, we work in synergy with the group’s other subsidiaries as well as architects and custodians… My job consists in visiting the sites to make observations, collect samples and experiment with treatments in order to establish an intervention protocol.
My work allows me to interact with a large number of people from diverse backgrounds, all connected by their shared love of history and cultural heritage. This is, I think, the key benefit of my job, as it has allowed me to develop both my technical and human skillsets. I am fully aware of how privileged I am to be sharing knowledge and learning with people passionate about what they do in unique settings.
I discovered stone masonry during a day of immersion in 9th grade, I had found my vocation! So I decided to specialized in stone masonry in high school. I have just finished my internship at Lefèvre. This experience was very enriching and complete because I worked on all the stone’s aspects : general and stone masonry. The team was eager to share their know-how. I progressed a lot and improved my technique and most of all, they trusted me. I cut a stone, from a rough block directly on the facade of the Louvre, and I know it will stay there for hundreds of years. I really made a contribution to restore the building.
Having first worked as a heritage architect and project management assistant, I felt it was important to get back to working directly with materials and the construction process where you can really get things done, and reconnect with the excitement of working on site. That was my main motivation for joining Tollis.
What drives us? Securing new contracts and preparing for what comes next. It’s an amazing job for three reasons: the freedom, the diversity of tasks and contracts we carry out and the incredible good luck to be able to work on truly exceptional restoration projects. How could anyone be blasé about getting down to work on repairing the façade of the Louvre with all its extravagant sculptures, on reassembling the decorative finishes of the Paris mansion known as the Chancellerie d’Orléans, or on safely removing a Renaissance marble statue from a château in the Paris region?
I’ve loved painting and drawing ever since I was small. As a child, I’d spend my spare time helping my father with DIY around the house. These days, my world revolves around wood graining, marbling, trompe-l’œil and decorative ornamentation. Having left school with my CAP vocational training certificate, I was lucky enough to secure a one-year apprenticeship in the studio of Duval et Mauler: a 12-month immersion in the unique world of historic monuments. I worked at Les Invalides, the Conseil d’Etat, the Musée des Parfums and the reception hall of the Hôtel Matignon, the French Prime Minister’s official residence in Paris. My best memory? The A-to-Z creation of a marbled bench for that reception hall, from presenting samples to the architect right through to the final finishes. My adventure with Duval and Mauler continues, because I’ve just signed a permanent contract of employment with the firm. I couldn’t be happier!
Working with wood is my passion and my job. It all began with my CAP vocational training certificate in traditional joinery, but I learned my trade on the job thanks to the help of others who passed their skills on to me. Not only in France, but also abroad, where I worked for several years learning all the more specialist aspects of joinery. Today, I work as a site manager. So now it's my turn to pass on what I’ve learned, my knowledge and my passion to the younger craftsmen I have day-to-day on-site management responsibility for. Looking to the future, I’d like to focus my career more on training. My most memorable experience? The restoration of a 1,400 m2 parquet floor in the Galerie des Batailles at the Palace of Versailles in 2012, which had to be completed in a very short time. It was an amazing achievement made possible by an equally amazing team of 16 people under my leadership.
Having graduated from ESTP Paris, I joined Lefèvre Rénovation after completing an internship with a large public works contractor. After a year in a design office, I wanted to experience what life on site was really like. And what a site it was! My first hands-on experience was on the Panthéon in Paris. Three very happy years! And three years dedicated to the erection of a self-supporting structure and stonework on this iconic building. What did I love particularly about this project? The feeling of being able to unravel apparently intractable problems on a daily basis by finding solutions as we went along. The process gave me great energy. What I love particularly about being at Lefèvre is the quality of human interaction and projects - the two things are probably linked - and the very level of independence I have in my work. As a construction engineer, I’m lucky enough to get involved with everything, from technical issues to administration, client relations and communication. There’s nothing like it for learning quickly with a capital “Q”.