Ardennes architect Pierre Villière died on December 27, 2022, at the age of 85. He is credited with the church of Warcq, in the Ardennes, labeled Remarkable Contemporary Architecture.

Pierre Villière was born on May 17, 1937 in Charleville, which at the time was not yet twinned with Mézières. He studied at the School of Fine Arts and probably also at the School of Public Works in the 1950s and 1960s.  His father, René, was also an architect for Despas.

Pierre Villière works mainly in the Ardennes, from the 1960s, his agency is located in Warcq. He notably built the church of Saint-Paul de Warcq (1965), as well as the Carmel of La Fontaine-Olive and its glass chapel in Aubigny-les-Pothées (around 1980). Between 1982 and 1991, Pierre Villière participated in the Chooz nuclear power plant project with Claude Parent, Chloé Parent and Yves Alexandre.

In addition, he collaborated within his cabinet with Serge Torrès who in 1989-1990 realized the church Saint-Paul de Massy (Essonne).

The architect also designed several university buildings, including the IUFM (now INSPé) in 1997 and the university gymnasium in 2004, at the Moulin-le-Blanc campus in Charleville-Mézières.

Eglise Saint-Paul de Warcq, vue du chevet et du clocher
Eglise Saint-Paul de Warcq, vue du chevet et du clocher (Architecte Pierre Villière)

Saint-Paul Church in Warcq: Outstanding contemporary architecture in 2000

The Church of Saint Paul in Warcq, born of a private initiative to provide a suitable place of worship in a growing neighbourhood, is the very example of the humble, warm church, anchored in its territory, and remains today an urban marker of the neighbourhood.  Work began in March 1965 and is mainly carried out by local craftsmen, using local materials and salvage due to limited financial means.

The materials used


  • the walls are high in Braux schist stone (in Bogny-sur-Meuse)
  • the roof is made of Rimogne blue slate square and the soil is slate schist.


  • the Ardennes fir ceiling is made of glulam planks (the baptistery is also supported by a beam of the Sedan castle);
  • the windows are made of plastic;
  • The furniture is made from reclaimed materials that recall the history of the district: the benches are railway crossings like credences and tabernacles, and the altar with oak top is supported by a Braux stone pedestal. 
Eglise Saint-Paul de Warcq, détail de la façade
Eglise Saint-Paul de Warcq, détail de la façade (architecte : Pierre Villière)
Architectural description

The choir is oriented to the north-east, the facade of the church opens on a large square, allowing the gatherings during the celebrations. Adjacent to the north façade of the church, parish halls and a sacristy accessible from the forecourt complete the religious equipment.

The building with its simple plan and double-sided roof takes the form of a tent, a symbol of the covenant with God dear to the liturgy of Vatican II. The triangular bell tower, located above the choir, floods the interior with a zenith of light thanks to the white stained glass windows which it is decorated on the south side.

The facade of the church, entirely made up of stained glass windows in coloured geometric Plexiglas (designed by D. Dalia and made by N. de Malherbe), is pierced by a heavy wooden door and covered by a large canopy formed by the roof overhang.

To the right of the entrance, an outgrowth of the roof indicates the presence of the baptistery. If the rear facade of the baptistery is also entirely glazed, the other facades are raised in stone walls topped with stained glass bands, while the choir is blind.

Inside, the form flared towards the choir of the nave gives an impression of space and depth to this church of modest size.

Finally, the slate paving slopes gently towards the choir, allowing each faithful to see the altar, itself raised by nine steps.