Although the corporation masterpiece that Pierre Simon made in 1640 marked the beginning of a long family tradition of master glassmakers in Reims, the Atelier Simon-Marq developed the art of stained glass in the 1950s by placing its expertise at the service of major contemporary artists. Marc Chagall, Joan Miró, Jacques Villon and Roger Bissière brought soul and colour into a number of religious buildings, and were later joined by Maria-Helena Vieira da Silva, Raoul Ubac, François Rouan, David Tremlett, Jean-Paul Agosti and Hans Erni.
From classical to highly original designs, the Atelier Simon-Marq is happy to undertake stained glass projects requiring the highest possible standards of excellence. We have at our disposal a unique repository of colour samples comprising a total of 1,100 different shades. The Saint-Just glass factory supplies us with a large number of hand-blown glass panes, and for twelve generations this incomparable repository has supplied our craftsmen as they apply both traditional and contemporary stained-glass making techniques.
Business leaders Philippe Varin and Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger are passionate about heritage conservation in the Champagne region and were thus naturally drawn to the Atelier Simon-Marq. In partnership with members of the Simon family, they have taken over this prestigious institution in order to open up new horizons. Headed by Marine Rondeau, the Atelier can rely on a skilled team of craftsmen under the leadership of Bruno Paupette. The company thus carries on its twofold ancestral mission: to conserve ancient stained glass windows and to fill spaces with transcendent colour and light.
In January 2021, the Simon-Marq studio moved into the Sacré-Cœur Church in Reims. Here, starting in the autumn of 2021, visitors will be able to discover the world of stained glass.
Visits to the studio
In the autumn of 2021, the Atelier Simon-Marq will open its doors to the public. We will tell the story of stained glass and of this centuries-old company. The visit will end in the nave with a presentation of stained glass windows through the ages.
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Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, who took over the Atelier Simon-Marq with Philippe Varin, dreamed of giving the company, whose image is both traditional and modern, a new home in a contemporary church. Thanks to the dioceses of Reims, his dream has been realised.
A remarkable setting
Designed by André Gaston and Yves Michel in the 1950s, the Eglise du Sacré-Cœur is a symbol of reconstruction in a city ravaged by war. It elevates concrete to the status of a noble material for architecture. When it was inaugurated in 1959, visitors discovered Charles Marq’s admirable stained glass windows: a foreshadowing of the studio’s destiny.
A federation of local partners
All the materials used for the interior refurbishment of the Sacré-Cœur Church are locally sourced. PACE, a family firm of architects based in Reims (see photo), was able to bring together a number of regional partners to carry out the renovation of the building and to add the amenities required by both the craftspeople working here and the general public.
A learning environment
Antoine Devillers, the architect in charge of the project, also initiated a fruitful partnership with the BTP CFA Marne training centre headed by Arnaud Gouilly-Fortin. Apprentices from the centre did the paintwork and installed the new flooring. To help them, the manufacturers of innovative products such as thermal insulation paint and acoustic flooring came to provide the necessary on-site training. This was a highly motivating initiative for the students, aware that their work forms part of a genuine, long-term project.
A number of VERY GENEROUS partners have been involved in this project. We would like to offer them our warmest thanks: