Transformation and extension of Lelong building at former Saint-Vincent-de-Paul hospital.
Invitational architecture competition
in collaboration with Barrault & Pressacco
Program: 96 apartments, workshops
Collaborators: 22 degrés, Sfica, Oasiis
Client: Bouygues Immobilier & Demathieu Bard
Surface area: 10'500m²
Calendar: Competition 2019
Manufacture des allumettes
Artiste: Raphaël Zarka
Commanditaires: Les membres de l’association Les Amis des allumettes, des riverains, d’ancien·ne·s ouvrier·ère·s, le directeur du CAUE49
Médiation: Entre-Deux (Jacques Rivet), médiateur-relais et Eternal Network (Éric Foucault), médiateur agréé par la Fondation de France pour l’action Nouveaux commanditaires
La DRAC Pays de la Loire : Louis Guedj, architecte conseil du ministère de la Culture, professeur à l’École Nationale d’Architecture de Nantes ; Patrick Le Bris, conseiller architecture ; Claire Nédellec, conseillère pour les arts plastiques
Maîtrise d’œuvre associée: Thomas Raynaud et Util
Maîtrise d’ouvrage: Podéliha
Partenaires: Fondation de France, DRAC Pays-de-la-Loire (Commande publique du ministère de la Culture), Région Pays-de-la-Loire, Département du Maine-et-Loire, Angers-Loire-Métropole, Mécène et Loire, clinique Saint-Joseph (Trélazé), Ville de Trélazé
Initié en 2017, en cours de production
Dictionaries continue to teach us that architecture is the art of constructing buildings. Building yes, but how? Why? For who? For centuries these questions have found their responses in stylistic rules that were considered to mirror specific world orders. Later on, we rather looked for these rules in the principles that governed another order: industry. More recently, styles came back, and with them forms and formal concerns, but this time most often outside any other system of rules than those that particular architects invented for themselves; the expression of a subjectivity. The seawater pool located in Pirou-Plage, in Cotentin, counts amongst these constructions that attract the interest of those that would still seek a more fundamental definition, a more anonymous one too. Standing about a hundred meters from the coast, it is made up of two pools filling up and disappearing with the tides; two rectangles of concrete accessible through steps and ladders and surrounded by two pennants signaling their presence at high tide. We thought we would talk about a swimming pool, but we end up with even less: water impoundment. Neither really a pool nor really nothing… A concrete wall anchored in the sand, anchored in the tides, installed in the sea; at once off and on the shore. A simple partition: inside, a changing condition, at once sign and monument, both a puddle and a pool; outside, the world, the sea, tides, usages, flags, chaos and the possibility of drowning, in a word what we continue to call the outside, the exterior.
In its simplicity, what this pool materialises is the act of partitioning itself: the act of framing the sea. From the pure and simple act of framing this pool, to the formal debauchery of an “œuvre de cour”, we understand that architecture never does anything else than designing, building, and producing forms of separation. In each case the same questions arise: what is this limit that has been drawn? For who and why? What difference does it make? What form of boundary for what space and for what modes of existence? We could always praise this or that particular form, presenting it as a model of a world as such, the expression of a world of its own… The fact is that it is always a form of separation, a form of limit that architecture produces between what we think to have domesticated and what we still project to conquer.
Contribution to the first Orléans architecture Biennale
Two-piece installation shown at Les Tanneries, Centre d'art contemporain (Amilly, FR) and FRAC-Centre Val de Loire (Orléans, FR)
Text by Jeremy Lecomte
FRAC Centre-Val de Loire Collection
Three times one
Many writers have noted that the desert is not simply the city's great other, but the primordial void that haunts all architecture and all institutions. Understood as the incarnation of an original condition, the desert does not only represent a given and threatening form of tabula rasa, it also embodies the fantasy of making a clean sweep. Although there is certainly no longer any parcel of land in the world that can be considered independently of any form of human alteration, the indifference of the desert nevertheless continues to function as a provocation to all forms of domestication. The project of building a swimming pool in this primordial environment could thus seem to emphasize the fact that seeking to inhabit this space is also haunted by the colonial determination that underlies it. More than the simple delimitation of a private territory, the swimming pool can be seen as the very manifestation of the profoundly domestic nature of the human species, the mark of the radical separation that any human enclosure presupposes. An incarnation of a pure space of leisure implying disproportionate infrastructural necessities, the figure of the swimming pool could in this context be considered as the last avatar of the conquest of the wild, a monumental undertaking which American ‘Westerns’ have made a civilizational myth. Thought in this project as a simple reservoir, the pool in question here defeats the monumental nature of this archetype. Far from the crystalline blue basins of Palm Springs and David Hockney's paintings, it is a mere waterhole that, reflecting the changing colors of the desert, also desecrates the limit drawn between these two spaces. Instead of a pool project that would be considered as a domestic enlosure in the middle of the primordial space of the desert, it is here first of all a question of a proposed habitat that is articulated by the simple column of staircase organizing its spatial inscription.
In the manner of the "cosmic pillar" whose importance in many societies has been repeatedly emphasized in anthropological studies, this column functions as the minimal act of separation that defines the territory of the project. Close to the copper post which, in the Kwakiutl cosmogony (North West Coast), not only delimits the extent of the inhabitable space but also directs its relationship with what this cosmogony refers to as the "world below" and as "the world of heaven", the staircase that distributes the plan of this project defines the axis that articulates the three topological levels which it unfolds: the basement, the ground, and the sky. As such, this column constitutes the line of articulation of a project whose three spatial conditions proceed from the same plan. "House", "garden" and "swimming pool" are thus defined by a single gesture, whose generic character is not antinomic to the specificity of the spaces it determines. By its repetition, the initial gesture gains in power of differentiation and openness to contingency what it loses as an act of domestication: it becomes a process of interiorization of the multiple conditions of the desert which turns it away from the initial dichotomy between the primordial void and domestic space. More than just a pool in the middle of the desert, a principle of habitation defined by a generic act of delimitation which multiplies by three: a single.
Calendar: 2010 (aborded)
Contribution to Domestic Pools exhibition
Villa Noailles, Hyères (FR)
Curators: Benjamin Lafore, Sebastien Martinez Barat, Audrey Teichmann
Text: Jeremy Lecomte
Photography: Lothaire Hucki
Our project proposes to reaffirm a clear border for the park, but neither one which is designed as a master plan with a “modern” attitude, from the “political”. Nor is it an “informal” project, mimicking the “vernacular” fabric. By refusing the idea of an authoritarian masterplan, and by ruling out the naïve hypothesis of a spontaneous growth, by avoiding the systemic answer, we propose a project adaptable to the structural versatility of the city. A project that can negotiate without being frustrated.
We propose the production of an intrinsic approach to the border, generated from within its own thickness, as a sum of singular local co-bordering devices. On each side of the border, in the city and in the park, we intend to place several so-called devices. In the project we submit, there are six of them, but it is important to note that we conceive them as individually expendable. This list is also extendable to a certain degree. The aim of these interventions is to create a true local difference in quality (as opposed to a mere difference in quantity: more or less city, more or less park) on both sides of the limit. It is by explicitly bragging their identity, that they generate a tension with the opposite side. It is this punctual tension, which will mark a difference, thus allowing to truly enter (or exit) the park.
A first group of singularities belongs to the city. To achieve this, we will use an effortless method: no buildings can be implemented in the park. The Sheraton is the living testimony of a failure in this field. Indeed, it is incapable of generating the smallest amount of public space on the park side and it needs a ridiculous amount of road system to merely sustain its economic activity. Thus, the public buildings (police directorate, administration, social services) by their mere program belong to the city. We suggest that they could be placed anywhere if they stay on the city side. In our project illustration, we place them vis-à-vis a wooded area of the park. They participate in the simplest condition of a street bordered with banal buildings on one side, with dense greenery on the other. The football field is fenced; its playing area is transformed into a mineral surface. A lighting system allows for nightly practice. The condition created is closer to an urban playground; its limits are clear; it can be appropriated temporarily. The guard of the republic building is extracted from the park by a geometrical trick. A sort of pocket of concrete surrounds it. It now belongs to a flourished courtyard, but a courtyard nonetheless. One can easily imagine it hosting a food-related program.
A second group of devices belongs to the park. On the west side, the dike is refactored in a simple fashion: we get rid of the sidewalk/road separation. We suggest a continuous floor. This element does more than connect two sides of the city: it is a true public space. This open structure allows very simple and informal uses like an open market, sports events, promenade and so on. It also allows a further construction development. On the east side, we extend the Polytechnic University with a terrace. The university becomes a two-sided chimera: on the north it embraces the city, on the south it reaches to the park. But it does not constitute a transition. This role is singlehandedly held by the next element.
In place of the Frederic Chopin square, we build a triangular pergola. It is anchored in the city on two of its faces, while it is oriented towards the park. While its form comes from a strict understanding of the forms of the city, in a very “political” way, its uses remain totally open to the spontaneous occupation by the citizen. It is thus as a real public square, not as a place for the representation of the power, but as a space for the people.
These local quirks, which, when taken alone appear insignificant, as a whole produce a legible border. This border reinforces the dichotomy between two distinct qualities: urban and natural. Though one must not be lured into believing the park is a true natural element, the contrast produced by the border indicates a clear limit: it is by crossing it that one knows he has left the city or is back in Tirana. The team practice is not in the park but rather by the park. Indeed, through small operations like the one mentioned before, the limit (which was beforehand relatively simple albeit porous) gains in complexity. The city pushes in, eating away small parts of the park. The park also gains land. It absorbs the dike as a public space and acquires yet another part of the lake, reinforcing its structural role. In between the urban elements, “park peninsulas” reach out to the city while maintaining their rigorous identity.
This lengthening of the border is not a strong argument if simply taken as such. The true impact of this process resides in the augmentation co-bordering of the two parts of the project. It is only by defining, by entering and by qualifying the border that we can consider one can enter the park. While recent attempts of qualifying the interior / exterior spatial couple tend to investigate blurring the limit, our take on the question is one of zooming in until the limit and its attached contradiction appear focused again.
Tirana Park entrance
Invitational architecture and landscape competition, Winning Project
In collaboration with UHO and Elias Guenoun architecture,
Bollinger + Grohmann, VPEAS, Simon Boudvin, Studio Rebus
Program: Lake Park extension and construction of the Public Service Center
Client: Atelier Albania, Albanian Development Found
Surface area: 15'000m² + 5Ha
Calendar: Competition 2015
Campus renewal (8'000 students)
Invitational architecture & landscape competition, 2nd Prize
in collaboration with UHO and Elias Guenoun Architecture,
Camille Fréchou, Bollinger + Grohmann, Antoine Espinasseau, VPEAS, Studio Rebus
Client: Atelier Albania, Albanian Development Found
Surface area: 25Ha
Calendar: Competition 2015
Mémorial pour l'Arsot
Une sculpture commandée par des anciens combattants accompagnés d’acteurs et d'habitants de l’Arsot en hommage aux commandos d’Afrique et de Provence engagés dans les combats du bois d’Arsot en novembre 1944.
Réalisé dans le cadre de l'action des Nouveaux commanditaires de la Fondation de France.
Artiste: Oscar Tuazon
Médiation: Xavier Douroux. Le Consortium, Centre d'art, Dijon
Maîtrise d'oeuvre associée: Thomas Raynaud, GMGB, Antoine Rocca (Oscar Tuazon studio)
Contribution to Kenchiku-Architecture
Workshops and exhibitions
12 architects from France and Japan explore spontaneous order in contemporary urbanity (Paris and Tokyo)
With NP2F/On Design, Grau/Yasutaka Yoshimura, Est-ce-ainsi/Jo Nagasaka, Thomas Raynaud/TNA, La Ville Rayée/Ryuli Nakamura, Raum/Nagayama
Curated by Shinichi Kawakastu and Benjamin Aubry (Rad Lab Kyoto/Paris)
Ecole Spéciale d'Architecture, Paris (FR)
Pavillon de l'Arsenal, Paris (FR)
Axis Gallery, Tokyo, (JP)
Parmi les contributions dont l’objectif est de porter un regard neuf sur le travail d’Auguste Perret, l’Ensa-Versailles a été invitée à collaborer à l’exposition, sous forme d’un encouragement à se saisir de cet héritage architectural et constructif, conceptuel et culturel. Au sein du cursus scolaire de la license, nous avons mis en place un atelier de 3ème année - lieu d’une recherche convoquant théorie et projet à la fois - et défini une approche pédagogique qui engage une réflexion critique sur le plan architectural. La recherche que nous avons développée articule deux aspects complémentaires de l’oeuvre d’Auguste Perret: une approche théorique d’une part, liée à la notion d’indétermination programmatique comme méthode de projet, qui souligne un intérêt fondamental pour la qualité des espaces et leur disposition; et d’autre part, une approche constructive relative à la mise en oeuvre et aux possibilités d’une matière qui évolue d’un état liquide à un état solide: le béton. Durant une période de 4 mois, 16 étudiants se sont penchés sur ces questions d’architecture, tantôt intimement liées au travail d’Auguste Perret, tantôt inscrites dans une problématique plus globale - celle de l’environnement bâti. A toutes fins utiles est une contribution de l’Ensa-Versailles à l’exposition Auguste Perret, Huit Chef-d’oeuvre!/? qui a eu lieu au Palais d’Iéna à Paris, du 27 novembre 2013 au 19 février 2014, organisée par le Conseil économique, social et environnemental (CESE) en collaboration avec Fondazione Prada.
Contribution à l'exposition Auguste Perret, Huit Chef-d'oeuvre!/?
Commissaire scientifique: Joseph Abram
Commissaire artistique: OMA/AMO
Enseignants: Cédric Libert et Thomas Raynaud
Etudiants: Roxane Belot, Charles Bourely, Julien Bricout, Evalyne Chancel, Thomas Charil, Alice Desamais, Arnaud Despretz, Mar Flores Flo, Simon Genillier, Lucas Huvet, Amaury Lefévère, Manon Muller, Julie Rondeau, Charles Rosenfeld, Antoine Souché et Thomas Yaher.
Maquettes réalisées avec l’aide d’Artcomposit
2015 ULG, Liège (BE)
2014 AA School of Architecture, Londres (UK)
50 000 logements autour des axes de transports collectifs
Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux
Invitational architecture & landscape competition
In collaboration with La Nouvelle Agence, Cédric Libert,
Pierre De Bailly, EGIS, Faure
Urban planner: 51N4E + GRAU
Client: EPI Promotion, Logement Français
Surface area: 8'000m²
Artist's residence and extension of the International Center of Art and Landscape.
Invitational architecture competition, winning project
in collaboration with Berger&Berger and Saunier & associés
Client: Région Limousin
Surface area: 700m²
Calendar: Completion 2012
Photography: Aurélien Mole
Creation of the Aiguebelette lake house, while keeping the existing villa.
Invitational architecture and landscape competition, Second Prize.
in collaboration with Matthieu Place
B52, GMGB, La Compagnie du Vent
Program: Exhibition spaces, offices, shop and bar.
Client: Communauté de Communes du lac d'Aiguebelette
Surface area: 900m²
Calendar: Competition 2011