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AD Interviews: Manuelle Gautrand / Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

We had the opportunity to sit down with French architect Manuelle Gautrand, founder of Manuelle Gautrand Architecture. Her firm is known for projects like the renovation of the Galeries Lafayette store in the French city of Metz and the Origami office building in Paris. “I think we, [architects], have a complex role because we have to be artists, but we also have to be very scientific and very open-minded to what is going on in this world,” Gautrand told us.  “I think the architect has a very big role in society, close to politics. An architect has to give a lot of advice to improve a city, and is very important in helping politicians to improve their cities.”

Watch the full interview above to hear what else Gautrand has to say about the role of architects in society, what it’s like to lead an architecture firm and the importance of innovation. 

AD Interviews: Manuelle Gautrand / Manuelle Gautrand Architecture AD Interviews: Manuelle Gautrand / Manuelle Gautrand Architecture AD Interviews: Manuelle Gautrand / Manuelle Gautrand Architecture AD Interviews: Manuelle Gautrand / Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

AD Round Up: Happy Bastille Day!

Nova Green / Agence Bernard Bühler. Image © Vincent Monthiers
Nova Green / Agence Bernard Bühler. Image © Vincent Monthiers

The fourteenth of July is Bastille Day, a day that commemorates the start of the French Revolution.  Named for the fortress prison that was stormed by revolutionaries on July 14th, 1789, Bastille Day is celebrated globally both by France and her former colonies, as well as many cities in the US.  In honor of this historic date, we’ve compiled some of our favorite French projects from the past few years.  In this round up you’ll find classics such as the Villa dall’Ava by OMA, as well as fantastic works like Nova Green by Agence Bernard Bühler, Pontivy Media Library and Louviers Music school by Opus 5 architectes, Platform Architecture’s Aquitanis Headquarters, L’Atoll Angers by Antonio Virga Architecte and AAVP Architecture, a Parking Attendant’s Pavilion by Jean-Luc Fugier, Kengo Kuma’s Aix en Provence Conservatory of Music, and Origami by Manuelle Gautrand ArchitectureJoyeux quatorze juillet!

Zaha Hadid and SOM Among 5 Competing to Design Scandinavia’s Tallest Tower

Proposal #1: “Ursa” (214 meters). Image Courtesy of Serneke
Proposal #1: “Ursa” (214 meters). Image Courtesy of Serneke

Zaha Hadid Architects, SOM, Ian Simpson Architects, Manuelle Gautrand Architects, and Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor are all competing to design what will be the tallest tower in Scandinavia. Submitted anonymously, the five shortlisted proposals have just been unveiled by Serneke, who has envisioned the skyscraper as an integral piece to a larger 32,000 square meter mixed-use masterplan in Gothenburg that has been in the making for more than ten years. 

Check out each shortlisted design, after the break...


Enzo Hotel / Manuelle Gautrand Architects

© Manuelle Gautrand Architects
© Manuelle Gautrand Architects

Manuelle Gautrand Architects shared their Enzo Hotel in Paris with us. The hotel’s strong triangular form holds different programmatic elements to engage its lively streetscape. The colorful façade took inspiration from the landscape’s natural palette. The colors add a crisp aesthetic to the building as the different panels and their varying tints add a sleek texture to the form. According to the architects, “Their fragmented bands give a kinetic effect to overall volume – one can see the movement of the cars there, a certain impression of speed.” More images and more about the hotel after the break.

Central Plaza Shopping Mall / Manuelle Gautrand

With more than 300,000 sqm dedicated to almost every possible brand name, the CentralPlaza is the biggest shopping mall located in Bangkok, Thailand on Chaengwattana Road.   Manuelle Gautrand‘s office took over the project with studies already well advanced by another firm because the client was looking to improve the overall design.  Gautrand adopted a pragmatic approach that consisted of modifying contours and overhauling façades.  The firm “concentrated on asserting a graphic presence strong enough to change the way volumes are perceived, innervating and expanding them to increase their legibility.”  In an interview with Florence Accorsi about shops and leisure facilities, Gautrand explained, “We live in a consumer society, so business is all important. At the same time, retail outlets have become rendezvous places where people go to do more than just shop. They are there for an outing, to have fun, relax, meet other people… This gives us an opportunity to re-think these places and renew their identity codes, to redesign their architecture and space so as to introduce variety and unusual things in their programming.”

More about the shopping mall after the break.

Showroom and Leisure Center / Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

French architects Manuelle Gautrand Architecture shared with us their new showroom and leisure center design for Cairo, Egypt. The concrete structure consists of connecting circles and spherical cavities that create a flexible interior allowing users to seamlessly flow through different showrooms. “Most of the time, the cars are exhibited like art-pieces on those turning platforms. The entire project is imagined around this monumental way of showing cars,” explained the architects.

More about the showroom and more images after the break.