Crézé contributes to the influence of French architectural heritage. Be it for the restoration or renovation of the country's ecclesiastical heritage, regional or national public heritage or even private heritage, our skills in the fields of ironwork and architectural metalwork have led us to drive a number of projects jointly with the chief architects of historical monuments.
Our demanding heritage projects constantly feed and renew our ancestral know-how. Removal and restoration of sculptures, creation of altars, ambons, tabernacles and monstrances for the purpose of religious art, rehabilitation and identical recreation of railings, gates, banisters and kiosques in historical monuments...all these projects take us to prestigious places.
This is our way of contributing to France's image throughout the world, by becoming involved in major heritage sites such as the Mont-Saint-Michel, the Palais Garnier or Place Vendôme.
We are also passionately in love with our home region, which is why it is so important for us to preserve our local architectural heritage too. As such, we have contributed to the restoration and embellishment of many sites, of which the Cathedral in Vannes, the Saint-Sauveur Basilica in Rennes, the Château de la Bourbansais, the Château of Chateaubriand and the Thabor gardens in Rennes.
Crézé proudly hoists the colours of its EPV label (French Living Heritage Company label), awarded by the French State to distinguish French companies with expert artisanal and industrial know-how.
Discover hereunder the noble projects we fulfilled, dedicated to French and Breton architectural heritage.
Restoration of Historical Gateway – Paris
Hôtel national des Invalides - ‘grille d’honneur’ gateway
Underneath its external splendour, the portail d’honneur gateway to the Hôtel des Invalides was badly corroded. Having been renovated many times since the 18th century, it was once again in need of some care and attention. The Crézé team constructed and installed a provisional grilled gateway to ensure the security of the site while the whole gateway and associated railings were transferred to be restored at our ironworks workshop.
Under the stewardship of the architect in chief for historical monuments, we cleaned, repaired, overhauled, strengthened, reforged, recreated, reassembled, treated, painted the gate before handing over to Mariotti, who specialise in gold leaf works, so they could add the final touch before reinstating the gateway on-site. A great showcase of French talent for restoring historic monuments.
Forged iron grills – Rennes Cathedral
The treasures of the famous cathedral
The works to restore the St Pierre Cathedral in Rennes, which started in 2009, were recently completed with the installation of the ‘Quatre Vivants’ statues in the four pendants under the dome, and the restoration of the alterpiece (originally from Antwerp) and other treasures on display. As part of these works, Crézé created grills from forged iron at its ironworks workshop, to protect the altarpiece. The traditional style work achieved its aim: the forged grills seem like they have always been there.
Artistic metalwork: The lanterns of the Pierres Noires Lighthouse
The lighthouse shining once again
The 26th of September of 2018 saw the opening of the Pierres Noires Lighthouse historical monument, after several months of restoration works under the stewardship of Phares & Balises. The old lantern, over 150 years old, was transported by helicopter and left with Crézé. In our ironworks workshop, we recreated another lantern in its image, using copper, brass and bronze, which should be able to resist the elements for the next 150 years. This was a great project that was a perfect fit with our company purpose: to nourish, expand and display France’s exceptional expertise in artistic metalwork.
La Criée automatic vestibule – Rennes
The central halls include elegant automatic doors
Automatic doors for a shop? No, a vestibule that fits perfectly with the architectural style of this hotspot on the Rennes restaurant scene, which continued its progressive transformation with an update to its graphic identity: la Criée Marché Central.
Fours à Chaux restoration works – Lormandière – Chartres de Bretagne
Breathing life back into Brittany’s industrial heritage
This natural site, listed by the Ille et Vilaine departmental council, that showcases the industrial history of Brittany underwent comprehensive renovation works with the aim of opening it to the public. Crézé carefully recreated or restored all steel frames, steel doors and steel gates, with hot riveting.
Monument in Rennes
Bronze patina sculpture
This monument was erected on the Champ de Mars in Rennes in commemoration of the 1870-1871 war victims. The artist no doubt wanted to step away from tradition by representing a woman crying behind every soldier, her fist raised in anger.
Rennes’ City Hall asked us to remove and restore the sculpture so as to transport it to the entrance of the Regional Prefecture in Rennes.
The draped dress, female curves, spread wings and expressive face are all details that were carefully cleaned after having been exposed for over a century. The bronze patina was then a combination of careful alchemy and patience, so the sunlight would finally reflect what we had guessed was the original outline of the sculpture and overall harmony of the work. The statue now stands opposite the Regional Prefecture, in Rue Martenot in Rennes.
Locksmith for a tabernacle
Saint-Yves chapel, Rennes
The sacred arts, far from being confined to restoration, marked their era with a boost of creativity that even saw a monumental chandelier installed – surrounded by other religious items such as a candle holder or baptismal fonts.
Sacred objects have brought a touch of light to the Saint-Yves clinic in Rennes.
Restoration of Thabor park kiosque
Its light and refined silhouette is well-known by those who stroll down the paths in the Thabor park. To perpetuate its long history, major restoration work was required.
Crézé was entrusted with being the sole contractor for the restoration of this kiosque – a strong symbol from the 19th century romantic era. The roof was removed, new cast iron gusset plates were made, the framework was reinforced, enamelled iron crests were fashioned and new banisters were added to each side of the staircase.
Read about the know-how of all these tradespeople who contribute to perpetuating common architectural heritage in the book « Les métiers d’art au service du Patrimoine » – Le Kiosque du Thabor – Editions Apogée.
Restoration of pure iron railings
The Mont-Saint-Michel, one of the most visited monuments in France, was also restored. How to ensure the new railings would look like they had lived through 200 years of history? To give them an old-fashioned texture, all substances were skilfully forged and hammered. These pure-iron railings were adorned with traditional riveted fixtures and are resistant to sea spray and the salty sea air from the coast.
Railing in Normandy
Railing restoration in a manor
This railing, designed for the outside steps leading up to the manor’s tower, was created with the building’s Normandy spirit in mind. This creation encompasses curved banisters and railings, made especially for cut-stone steps leading up to the house. All assemblies were done using tailor-made rivets.
Gates into the Haras du Pin
Restoration in the service of architectural heritage
Crézé was consulted for this majestic entrance to the National Horse Breeding Centre, and proceeded to restore the gate and its spikes. The gilding on the leaves, bee and horse’s head was renewed using 24-carat gold leaf. In addition to the restoration work, gate function was also improved by making it automatic.
Château in Châteaubriant
Granting the public renewed access to Brittany's architectural heritage
The purpose of this project was to allow public access to a newly restored part of the château, the construction of which dates back to the 15th century. This large-scale restoration aimed to integrate Corten sheet metal modules at the top of the dilapidated dungeon. This project also included the restoration of the Grand Logis, now bedecked with doors, a staircase, banisters, windows and silkscreen glass.
Carré Richaud – Former military hospital in Versailles
Wrought iron restoration and creation project
A combined restoration and creation project, aiming to transform this exceptional place into luxury apartments. As such, the iron-worked banisters were brought up to standard and restored. All of the railings also required a certain amount of restoration work. Regarding the creative part of the project, the building was enriched with a new circular glass structure.
Creation of stainless steel liturgical furniture
Forged, polished and shiny stainless steel and brass with embedded enamels were used to design baptismal fonts and a Paschal candle holder. Brushed stainless steel and polished shiny brass gave a gleaming touch to the church after the 2001 fire.