François Pouenat embodies the fifth generation of a family of metalworkers who have been perpetuating the craft for more than 130 years. His atelier, located deep in the heart of Burgundy, specialises in working iron, brass and copper. The level of expertise has seduced numerous architects including Dominque Perrault, Bruno Moinard and Tristan Auer in their work on exceptional projects at the Chateau de Versailles, the Ritz Paris, the Plaza Athénée and the Hôtel de Crillon. It’s also a workshop that’s experiencing a renewed link with the younger generation, led by the POOL Studio who recently took over the artistic direction of this French atelier.


A graduate of the Ecole des Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France, François Pouenat has acquired a solid experience of working techniques in iron, brass and copper. François collaborates with numerous decorators, architects and designers on the production of furniture, lights and objects. He has worked on the renovation of many Historical Monuments and was entrusted with the restoration of the gates of the Cabinet du Dauphin at Versailles. Recently he took part in the renovation of the Plaza Athénée alongside Bruno Moinard, Patrick Jouin and Marie-José Pommerau. Steel, iron, brasses, copper and aluminium are all treated in this workshop. Here they are forged, shaped, machined and hammered to then be polished, patinated, nickel-plated, gold-leafed or lacquered. All made-to-measure and unique, the pieces meet the rigorous criteria of both technique and aesthetics.


François worked with his father Henri, a graduate of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, before he passed away and who left him all his drawings and work archives. Henri studied at Ensad before fully joining the family business in 1963 and starting work with big decoration companies like Mercier and Jansen. He also collaborated for several years with Ramsay and Thibier. The Shah of Iran was his most famous client and Henri actively participated in the creation and production of furniture and lights for the 2,500-year celebration of the Persian Empire. Today François Pouenat creates, produces and makes full use of the family patrimony to which he is the sole heir.


In collaborating with the design duo at POOL, François Pouenat is delighted to welcome a new external view of his know-how, by handing over the artistic direction of his workshop to Léa Padovani and Sébastien Kieffer. In this way the Atelier François Pouenat retains its position as makers of quality tailor-made pieces while starting to develop a furniture collection orchestrated by POOL, and other international designers of note.