Marcel Guesnot (1896-1974) was an unqualified architect, active from 1925 to 1972 in France, mainly in Paris, in the Var (Le Rayol) and in the Bouches-du-Rhône (Tarascon, Maussane, Maillane, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence).
Marcel Guesnot was born in Paris on April 14, 1894 in an affluent environment. Not embracing the paternal career of factory manager, he embarks on architecture as a self-taught. Not attending any school, he trained through apprenticeship by working in various agencies in the capital between 1919 and 1925.
In 1925, he opened an agency in Paris, in association with two DPLG architects, Maroni and Tord. Having the opportunity to work on the French Riviera (they renovate for example the California Palace Hotel in Cannes), the three men opened a second agency at the Rayol (Var) that Marcel Guesnot ran, on site, from the end of 1926. Although his association with Tord and Maroni quickly ceased (1928), he continued to work there alone until 1935, contributing to the development of the small Var resort by building the chapel (1931), the school (1934) and many villas.
Reduced to inactivity by the economic crisis, Marcel Guesnot moved to Marseille in 1935 before reaching Tarascon the following year, on the advice of the sub-prefect who told him that the city was devoid of architects.
Upon his arrival in Tarascon in 1936, Marcel Guesnot became a municipal architect and quickly established a private clientele. Active until 1972 (in collaboration with his son Pierre Guesnot, also self-taught in architecture, from 1946), Marcel Guesnot marks the city of his achievements, starting with the reconstruction operations he carries out, as an architect of operation, under the direction of Pierre Vago (1910-2002).
During the 1950s and 1960s, he equipped the city with new public facilities: fire brigade station (1956); Marie Curie Kindergarten (1956); Civic Centre (1962-1964); sports park (1962-1968); municipal garage (1966). Under the direction of Pierre Laborde (1908-1994), he led the construction of the new hospital (1962-1964) in Tarascon. Marcel Guesnot also built villas and apartment buildings there: HLM building in Les Ferrages (1963); Desanat residence (1963); Les Iris residence (1964).
He carried out the same type of commissions in neighbouring municipalities: Maussane, Maillane, Beaucaire and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, where he directed the women’s agricultural college (1954), the nursery school (1957), the fire-brigade station (1963), and the Hôtel des Postes (1969).
In 1972, Marcel Guesnot ceased his activity. His son, who had not graduated and was not registered with the Ordre des architectes, was unable to take over his agency, and he handed it over to Jean-Baptiste Hudavert.
- Interviews with Pierre Guesnot (2009-2010).
- AN CAC 19771065 art 119, Dossier de demande d'agrément de Marcel Guesnot auprès du ministère de la Reconstruction et de l'Urbanisme.
- AM Tarascon, W Series, Non-inventoried Funds, Dossiers relating to the achievements of Marcel Guesnot in Tarascon.
- AP Pierre Guesnot.