Text description provided by the architects. In the focus on manual production techniques and the quest for excellence by the craftsmen who guarantee the quality of the articles produced by the haute couture workshops, we recognised the basis of our own studio’s practices: workplace architecture.
Craft practices are a part of human heritage through the generations, while adapting to new usages and the most innovative design. Some of them can be the catalyst for great modernity in a society in which the issue of sustainability is becoming one of the major challenges for the future. More than a new tool, we wanted to design the craftsman’s work environment, retain the workshop spirit that is conducive to creativity, enable the best possible comfort for the performance of manual labour, acoustic, visual and thermal comfort, and, by promoting decompartmentalisation, reconcile the following two contradictions: the craftsman is an individual, he produces every item virtually in its entirety, and the workshop is a cohesive working group, in which everyone is united. Consequently, our project expanded, with the following objectives: to serve the craftsman, while integrating fully into the new location in the Isère from a social, environmental and cultural perspective. The municipality will also reconnect with its craft-based past: a few decades ago, there were still weaving and pottery businesses. In terms of land use, installing a 5550 m² architectural on a 3.3-hectare plot should enable change over time. The structure must permit changes of use relating to working methods and the position on the plot should make possible future extensions without disrupting the operation of the workshop.
It is a primary concern with regard to the sustainable development aspect of our project, in addition to being capable of certification. Rather than parachuting the leather workshop onto the plot, we evaluated the plot, its slope, and the consequences of our project on rainwater management. Finally, our project conveys an image that is faithful to the reputation of this haute-couture house; it is its difference from the customary factory, its dialogue with its immediate environment, the story that it tells through its garden, its varied volumes and the cladding of its various surfaces that make it the trademark and make the affixing of the logo almost superfluous.