Pouenat, high decoration in the heart of eternal Paris

The Paris Design Week promenades are often an opportunity to discover some magical and little-known places around Paris and Passage Dauphine, situated between Rue Mazarine and Rue Dauphine, is one such example. It is here that you will find Pouenat, a company whose craftsmen have been working with wrought iron for almost 150 years and which is now at the forefront of contemporary design.

If it is a charming and secret Paris that you want to discover, you should definitely head to Pouenat in Passage Dauphine. Stepping through the gate into this elegant paved street tucked away out of sight in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, which even some Parisians have never heard of, you will discover some exceptional examples of traditional French know-how. Pouenat – wrought iron craftsmen since 1880 – chose to turn from a more traditional production to pure design some 15 years ago. Sybille de Margerie, François Champsaur, Charles Zana, Tristan Auer and Gilles and Boissier are just some of the top names in design who call upon the services of Pouenat. Jacques Rayet, who took over the hundred-year-old company in 1995, has brought it to the very pinnacle of its art. From hand hammered, oxidised, pricked, patinated and rubbed brass to waxed steel, etched metals, brushed copper and mirror polished stainless steel, the palette of different materials that this passionate company offers creative professionals is the stuff of which their dreams are made.

Can you briefly describe Pouenat?

Jacques Rayet: “We have three activities. Firstly, ornamental wrought ironwork and metalwork for interiors, doors and handrails, as well as metallic wall panels. Secondly, we have been producing furniture by renowned French interior designers since 2003 and finally, we have a bespoke interiors department for architects working on commercial, residential and hotel projects. Everything is made in France in our workshops in Moulins.”

What made you start exhibiting at Paris Design Week 9 years ago?

“I already used to exhibit at MAISON&OBJET, but I wanted to draw architects and foreign visitors to our actual showroom, which opened in 2011. Each time someone comes here they are literally glued to the spot by what they see. This year there are 4 exhibitors from Passage Dauphine with lighting designers Flos, furniture company Duvivier Canapés and furniture and interior design company Obumex, which makes this an inspirational part of the promenade. Paris Design Week is an amazing way of bringing more life and activity to Paris”.

What new products will you be presenting during Paris Design Week 2019?

“The new Tempéraments collection by Stéphane Parmentier, which is defined by a raw simplicity that is set off to perfection by sophisticated details in metal; approximately ten articles for the living room, including some bronze and alabaster wall lights that are a true feat of technical prowess; and finally “Dancing With The Stars”, a ceiling light designed by Damien Langlois-Meurinne, which took months of work.”

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