Beautiful showcase for Cartier’s watchmaking craftsmanship, the Maison des Métiers d’Art is an ambitious and unique project is the result of a totally new approach, the mission of which is to pioneer, bring together and preserve rare expertise. A bold challenge, born from the desire to reinvent, share and perpetuate these crafts.
The mission of a pioneering project
Located a stone’s throw from the Fine Watchmaking Manufacture, in a Bernese-style farm dating from the end of the 18th century, the Maison des Métiers d’Art represents, through its architecture, the successful combination of tradition and modernity. While the spirit of the building has been conserved, the interior has been completely redesigned and equipped with a highly technical invisible network. The creation of the Maison des Métiers d’Art represents a pioneering act with which Cartier takes up the challenge of enhancing tradition and grounding these expert practices in modernity.
The philosophy of the space: preserving, sharing, innovating
In order to manage this collection of expertise, it was essential to bring modernity, ergonomics and design to this site with its noble history and materials. This provided a stimulating confrontation, a promise of energy and vitality that was transposed into the architectural design, with the reception areas on one side and the workshops on the other. The space is organised in such a way as to carry out its mission to preserve, share and innovate.
A space to receive and meet
The 350 m2 on the ground ?oor are structured around an entrance hall and lead to the Grand Salon, the Petit Salon and the Salle de Présentation. As soon as they enter, visitors are inundated by light streaming down from above and surrounded by opulent materials: wooden panelling and 18th-century limestone ?agstones from neighbouring regions, walls rendered with traditionally applied lime plaster, period and custom-made furnishings as well as pieces in glass and metal. The tone is set.
Often passed down from craftsman to craftsman, the artistic crafts run the risk of disappearing over time. Cartier considers it a duty to identify, understand and develop artistic craftsmanship. Creating a speci?c workspace for craftsmen with unique knowledge meets the need to pass on this treasure. A repertoire of skills has thus been built up that Cartier wishes to preserve.
The division and organisation of the space are testament to Cartier’s desire to open up these crafts to sharing and exchange. This dynamic has been implemented among the craftsmen but also more broadly with regard to the general public. The goal is to offer an introduction to these crafts over the course of a tailor-made visit. As such, the chance to meet the craftsmen is a rare and precious experience.
The snug atmosphere of the Maison des Métiers d’Art evokes a beehive, with periods of great concentration,exchanges about traditional techniques and the development of speci?c tools. This is how forgotten expertise is rediscovered and the craftsmen work hard to understand its secrets and further develop it. Very recently, granulation and grisaille gold paste enamel were added to the craftsmen’s range of skills with two spectacular creations boasting both aesthetic and technical prowess.