In our opinion, architecture is primarily a social item, a consequence of both conflicts and compromise. Architecture is the dynamic result of the contradictory dialogue between economic, cultural and social interests which are interacting for each project. Thus, each project is “loaded” with information and becomes less autonomous.
However, the design and construction of space establish some sort of consensus and implies the will to go beyond individuality. The design of space is the real proof of shared cultural values. We are stimulated by both the collective dimension of work and by work on collective areas.
One may say that modernity nowadays, means being and wanting “at the same time”. It means combination, confrontation and dialogue, the collective topic which goes beyond individual limits.
We usually quote Kierkegaard in order to characterise our approach: “leave open the wounds of possibilities”. These open possibilities refer to an attitude implying that before starting any project, one must set free from any stylistic or technical preconception, try to remain open to suggestions and context assertions, in the broadest sense of the term.
It also implies accepting encounters that can change one’s way of thinking or at least inflect it (be it by a book, a film, a person, an idea on a building site). It is important for us to place this attitude at the heart of a project’s design process. This process is not linear but iterative, not static but dynamic, not only intellectual and abstract but also organic and concrete.
On the other hand, this permanent responsiveness towards the sphere of possibilities also involves the capacity of making choices among all the solicitations we are receiving. This is the reason why we often keep inside the completed building some elements related to signs, fragments or glimpses of our design choices.
Our buildings offer themselves to their inhabitants and to the city as “mysteries”, or stories for which we provide “keys” and signs so that they are deciphered. It has enabled critics such as Mario Pisani, for example, to describe our architecture in narrative terms.
The design process of a building only ends when the building is completed. It thus transcends the division of tasks during the different phases of standardized assignments which structure the work of architects and the relationships between various actors during the construction stage.
“Leaving open the wounds of possibilities” is our way of working within Architecture-Studio‘s team and with all our other partners, in order to enrich our design process. We believe that the future of architecture does not only lie in architecture. The recent evolutions of our profession in France show that it is also a real economic stake.
We believe that architecture is making for a sort of “eternal rebirth” when thinking that we are not involved in the fragmentation of a culture, but rather carried by the emergence of this new, immense, divided, paradoxical and baroque world.
We would like to mention rapidly three direct consequences of this “philosophy of the possible”, and which are related to our practice and our production:
- the freedom of expression;
- the capacity of taking risks whilst using this freedom of expression in various situations and for all types of projects;
- the will to express possibilities through actions, which means to be constantly on the razor’s edge, on the border of possibilities, in order to make them happen.