(b. 1581, Dreux, d. 1652, Paris)


(Jacques-)Clément Métezeau II, French architect, part of a family of architects. He was the third son of Thibaut Métezeau and brought up by his brother Louis in the latter's lodgings in the Galeries du Louvre. In 1610 Carlo Gonzaga, Duc de Nevers et de Rethel, employed him as inspector and architect, requesting designs for the new town of Charleville, which he wished to create in the principality of Arches (Ardennes). Clément designed the Place Ducale in the town centre on the model of the Place Royale in Paris. Charleville was laid out on a grid plan and surrounded by fortifications with bastions. Métezeau may also have drawn up the plans for the square that the Duke had built in front of his palace at Nevers.

On his brother Louis's death in 1615, Clément succeeded him as Architecte du Roi and also inherited his lodgings in the Louvre. Nothing is left of his numerous domestic works, which included the château of La Meilleraye (Deux-Sevres), begun in 1620 for Charles de La Porte and continued for the Marshal of La Meilleraye, the château of Chilly (Essonne), which was built from Métezeau's plans for the Marshal of Effiat by Jean Thiriot from 1627 to 1633, and the Château de Berny at Fresnes (Val-de-Marne), where he built a chapel and a decorated enclosure in 1623. In Paris he carried out alterations to the Hôtel de Chevreuse in 1624 and to the Hôtel de Mercoeur in 1625. He also built two houses on the Quai Malaquais and the Quai Voltaire for the speculator Louis Le Barbier (1630-34) and worked on the Hôtel de Condé from 1635 to 1637.

Métezeau was the building contractor for Salomon de Brosse's façade of the church of St Gervais (1616-21), Paris, and for the church of the Oratory in Paris, erected (1621) probably on the orders of Jacques Lemercier. As an engineer, Métezeau shared responsibility with Thiriot for the sea wall (1627-28) at La Rochelle, a bulwark of 1364 m that won him considerable repute. His oeuvre forms a transition between the Mannerism of his brother Louis and the classicism of François Mansart, who succeeded him on the sites of the château of Berny and the Hôtel de Condé. Métezeau owned a collection of antiques and works by French and Italian painters.