Who We Are
Now a fourth-generation family business, Iconoplast specializes in seamless architectural plaster conservation rooted in European sensibilities. Our mandate is to retain 100% of the remaining historic fabric, and our impeccable record serving architects, preservationists and heritage building management is a testament to this. Combining century-old techniques with new technology our hands-on, meticulous approach to plaster preservation holds the wisdom of our ancestral craftsmen in high regard in keeping this traditional art alive.Â
Our studious technique and generations-old skills are infused with modern technologies and an intimate, hands-on approach to this primeval craft. Our high level of proficiency and respect for the basics means we can work with few raw materials: the study of old photographs, drawings, sketches or drafts provide bountiful insight, and from that we either duplicate or interpret the original intent, depending on the integrity of that design. The full potential of those blueprints is discernable to the extent a trained eye can glean. Our intelligence in this regard is unmatched, as is the speed and accuracy with which we work.
The Three Pillars of Plaster Works
A highly technical process, preservation involves assessment, diagnoses and treatment of plaster problems to maintain the original fabric. The condition, cultural significance and contextual value of historic material are all carefully considered before intervention is applied. Plaster failure can involve breakage, cracking, water damage, desiccation, faulty craftsmanship or repairs and where it was not applied properly to begin with it can crumble or collapse completely. For reasons of safety, meticulous analysis ensures due diligence so that any missing or damaged elements are consolidated and rectified. Proficiency in technique and access to a wide array of tools, materials, techniques and systems provide the only insurance that results will be long lasting and inconspicuous. Correct preservation, in other words, infallibly retains form and integrity in both structure and design. Master craftsman and diagnostician Jean-Francois Furieri ensures a scientific approach to plaster preservation.Â
The restoration of any structure, landmark or building is a specialized treatment approach and philosophy within the field of conservation in architecture. Be it a public institution, a theatre or an intimate space, restoration properly reinstates the authenticity and original condition of any feature or character of a property by eliminating signs of prior conspicuous repair and addressing the root of the problem. Varying methodologies are applied in recovering the earlier form, material and integrity of a site; resources may be modified to contemporary functional standards where appropriate. Work on elaborate and difficult plaster keys restores architectural and decorative columns, friezes, ceilings and balconies. It also protects our cultural heritage. With the increasing incident of global disasters, adverse effects on economy mean loss or damage to historic structures and artifacts. Proactive restoration is a preventative measure we cannot afford to neglect.Â
Conservation is the diligent planning of any intervention aimed at securing the material, historical and design integrity of heritage buildings. Resources that have vanished or irreversibly deteriorated are recreated. Integral to the process is the consideration of all interests involved; every possible field of expertise is called on to study the safeguarding of a site. Timing and method are crucial in protecting the everlasting life and architectural character inherent in form and style. Professional and competent conservation employs a balance of science, art, craft and technology in preserving historic fabric. The respect for both structural and technological integrity is pivotal.Â
Architectural Master Craftsman Jean-Francois Furieri is as seasoned as they come; with over 45 years experience, he is respected by architects, conservators, designers and public officials from all over the world. Like the skilled stuccotori in Renaissance Italy, his superb European craftsmanship is matched only by his acumen as diagnostician: swift, astute and razor-sharp.
The generations-old family business that became Iconoplast began in Italy in the early 1900s. Dominique Furieri, a sculptor first who became a master craftsman, was reputed for his artisanship on a major project in Cannes; the decorative work at the Hotel Carlton stood proudly as evidence of his skill. He was the force behind the origin of a fourth-generation legacy, then named Enterprise Furieri.
The Craft of Plastering
Why Plaster Work Matters
There are three things we can be sure of in this world: death, taxes and broken keys. It is not if the key will break, it is when; itâ€™s just the nature of the way it was made. Skilled plaster work â€“ and the preservation of ceilings â€“ will not only prevent the keys from breaking again, it will stabilize the materials for many generations to come. Proactive plaster restoration prevents fabric loss and ceiling collapse.