Installed since this month of November in place of the 800 very faded straw chairs, the new beech benches are unanimously approved by the regulars of Saint-Eustache in Paris (I), whether they come for mass or for the organ hearings, every Sunday at 5 p.m. “Look, that changes everything! These elegant and practical pews correspond well to the spirit of noble sobriety of liturgical furniture. The level of the seat being lower, the verticality of the church is better felt. As there are fewer feet, the space appears more refined”, rejoices Yves Trocheris, parish priest of the great church of Les Halles.
Manufactured with wood from the Avranches region (Manche) by Houssard, a specialist in seats for places of worship, these benches are 100% made in France” were designed by the Parisian designer Constance Guisset, winner of the French Design 100 prize awarded at the Élysée on January 20, 2022. “Compared to the chairs which created a slight visual chaos, the benches, both solid and light, appease the church. According to Yves Tcheris, people sit more willingly, so I’m happy,” enthuses the designer known for her lamps.
Old chairs reused elsewhere
Fully financed by the parish “for a very reasonable cost” according to the priest, the new benches made in two sizes (for two or three people), are both stackable and reversible. “No more need after mass to turn the chairs in the direction of the organ for an audition or a concert, which took me 45 minutes. From now on, it only takes five minutes to tilt the backrests of the benches, ”explains Louis Robiche, general manager of Saint-Eustache.
The second and last order of benches (300 seats) will be delivered in mid-March 2023. They will be installed in particular in the chapel of the Virgin. As for the old straw chairs, 400 were donated to a Parisian parish. About thirty were recovered by the mayor of central Paris who uses them for city council meetings. Individuals can also withdraw for a small obol. Notice to amateurs: there are 250 left. Interested? You can send an email to [email protected]