At a time when the roofs of Paris are applying for inclusion in the intangible cultural heritage of Unesco, Constance Fichet-Schulz has scented the right vein. This 36-year-old artist, living in Boulogne (Hauts-de-Seine), imagined a design object created from sheets of zinc recovered from Parisian roofs undergoing restoration.
Rectangular in shape (10 x 12 cm), this minimalist object, which can be presented flat on a chest of drawers or standing on the shelf of a library, is a fragment of zinc on which is screen-printed (in a workshop in Nantes) a map of Paris making it possible to locate the address of its original roof and the date of its creation. “In the past, roofers slipped newspaper sheets between the zinc and the frame, which is now a valuable clue to find the date of installation,” says Constance Fichet-Schulz.
“Each fragment is a piece of history of the architectural heritage of Paris. A unique object of the City of Light. And an emblem of the know-how of zinc roofers ”, continues the artist who went through Florent courses and a film school in New York. Before her, and in another genre, Margaux Sainte-Lagüe, an entrepreneur at heart, had created in 2016 a site to sell granite pavers, “witnesses of the History” of Paris. They were reminiscent of those pieces of the Berlin Wall, memories of a historical moment.
Constance Fichet-Schulz is already at the origin of the Fabrique de Génies, which offers individuals, adults and children, creative workshops with craftsmen specializing in crafts. “I was looking for an idea on my computer when I stood at my window and saw the Haussmann building and its zinc roof in front of my house. It was obvious, ”says the 30-something.
70% of Paris roofs covered with zinc
A major advantage, zinc is not a rare material. Appeared in the capital during the second half of the 19th century, during the major development works of Baron Haussmann, it covers 70% of the roofs of Paris and the zinc roofs are restored every 50 years.
Two hundred roof fragments were resold last November via Ulule, a crowdfunding platform. We can now afford one on the site Toitdeparis.com or by going to the Graphic and Design agency (36, rue de Longchamp, in the 16th arrondissement). A partnership is also being studied with the Réunion des Musées Nationaux and Luxury Hotels.
With tourists still not back, Constance Fichet-Schulz has created her new collection for Parisians. They will be able to afford a fragment of a roof of their arrondissement and the map of this one will replace that of Paris that we found on the first objects. Two models are on sale: “Fragment”, numbered, is sold with a certificate of authenticity at a price of 49 euros; “Empreinte”, which can stand up thanks to its folding and refers to the traditional cleat roofing technique of roofers, is presented in a box sold for 159 euros. This last model is currently out of stock on the site.