NOTIONS : STRATEGY – ACTION – DEVICE – SITUATION – POTENTIAL PLANS – MILIEU.
Five key notions guide our design process : strategy, action, device, situation, potential plans, and milieu.
Our projects are guided by a unique approach which combines long term strategy and immediate action.
We conceive projects not as isolated objects but rather as spatial devices which respond to functional constraints and user needs and also provide comfort and create atmosphere. What a project can generate in these terms is much more important to us than its physical appearance.
We seek an economy of means by responding directly to design problems with simple solutions that can be implemented immediately.
Each project is seen as a potential catalyst for development that can simultaneously integrate into a context and change its dominant functional and aesthetic paradigms. Every project can potentially participate in the development of its environment. This « active » architecture taps into the potential characteristics of a given urban context, rendering them visible and appreciable to the surrounding community.
Starting with a detailed analysis of client and user needs allows us to clearly define the planning and management stages of a project and to compile a specific team of experts and consultants. Projects are thereby elaborated through close partnerships and collaborations with the various actors involved. We call this « project sharing ».
THE SITE: BETWEEN TERRITORRY AND ENVIRONMENT
In recent years, the notion of « site » has changed to take on a territorial dimension. Cities are increasingly defined at a regional, if not larger, scale. In our design process, we take into consideration the totality of a project’s site; not only its physical characteristics, but also phenomenological aspects such as usage patterns, networks, information, etc. In this sense, we consider the site as more of a complex environment than a morphological ensemble.
TAKING CARE OF URBANITY
Urban design is an opportunity to enhance public space and we take particular care to render them more comfortable and « user friendly ». Public space is not only a tribute to the inhabitant, but also represents the most important luxury a city has to offer.
Our initial step in formulating an urban project is to take into consideration the totality of activities, functions and forms latent within a given site. This allows us to draw what we call “potential plans”; a valuable tool which enables us to examine all possibilities for the site before choosing a specific orientation. We have replaced the formal site plan with the “potential plan” in order to accommodate change over time.
The project functions as a « mechanism », favouring multiple uses through flexible and renewable spatial configurations.
Our projects are implemented using simple technical and environmental solutions which sustain the local economy.
A minimal structure enables the function of a project to evolve over time in response to changing needs.
The perception of the occupant being of primary concern, the project is simulated from its inception in 3-D computer models.