2_4_DiscoverBenelux_Issue16_April2015_ALL_Q9_Scan Magazine 1 20/03/2015 20:36 Page 41
Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie, Aubusson, France.
different approaches: “We tend to carry cultural baggage with us, especially in Europe where norms are so strict and we have to fit into the mould. In our African projects, we can let go of that, be creative and dare to try. This in turn allows us to go back home with a fresh perspective.” The result of this is a powerful adaptability to local materials and expertise as in the case of the Lycée Mermoz. Breton says: “We managed to achieve both technical performance as well as a unique internal and external atmosphere that fits its surroundings.”
Timeless Terreneuve is a firm that knows how to leave a mark: “For us, the less you are able to date a building, the better it is. In fact, we want people to think it has always been there, and always belonged there.” This of course is not only in a material sense but also an architectural one. “As architects, we are able to date a building within an accuracy of about two years – we look at façades, stairways, entrances... it's
French Embassy, Nairobi, Kenya.
Permanent showroom Sealed Air Cryovac, North Paris, France.
all there. Our aim is to be timeless and have a strong personality.”
The environmental cause Architecture is a field par excellence that always evolves. Nowadays, with stricter environmental regulations, architects have to pay closer attention to the materials they use, how they assemble structures and how thermal insulation is maximised. It is not always easy and yet Fraisse stays confident: “While it is true that windows tend to be smaller, and buildings start to look alike because they comply with the same regulations, it does not always have to be like that. If anything, it challenges the architect to be even more creative in the face of these constraints.” Breton adds: “We enjoy the challenge of taking into account the environmental factor in our structures. It pushes us to think differently, something that deeply motivates us.”
tinues. What this means is that in the Terreneuve portfolio you will find everything from schools to living spaces to political institutions. Breton insists on the fact that “we need to stay open. It is part of human nature to start thinking the same when doing the same. Our objective is to constantly break free from that cycle.” This is one of the reasons why the team rose to the challenge of imagining the surrounding structure of the Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie d'Aubusson – dedicated to one of the most cherished artistic expertises in the French cultural heritage. “Instead of designing a new extension to house the collections, we decided to transfer all of them into the old school of Decorative Arts of Aubusson. Deeply transformed, it will be a major, emblematic landmark in the city.” The building is currently under construction, but it's already a huge success.
Diversity over speciality “In our understanding, the more different projects you undertake, the more competent you become in architecture,” she con-
Atelier de l'Artiste Mario d'Souza, Menetou Salon, France.
Issue 16 | April 2015 | 41
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.