This video shows an interview with renowned French architect Manuelle Gautrand. She is the principal architect and director of the agency MANUELLE GAUTRAND ARCHITECTURE. She mainly designs buildings in areas as diverse as cultural facilities (theaters, museums, and cultural centers), office buildings, housing, commercial and leisure facilities. Her C42 Citroën showroom on the Champs Élysées brought her international recognition. In 2008, she converted the Gaîté-Lyrique Theatre into a centre for modern music and digital arts and received a commission for the AVA Tower at La Défense. Internationally, she has designed a car showroom in Cairo and has recently taken part in the competition for the new Munch Museum in Oslo. In 2010, Gautrand became a chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur. In 2005, she was elected a member of the Academy of French Architecture. In 2002, she was awarded the Academy’s Silver Medal. In this video we can see Flores Zanchi interviewing Manuelle Gautrand in her Paris studio. During the interview, we can learn more about one of the most interesting architects of the French architectural scene.
The architect asked about the change in her approach towards architecture answers that the more she does in architecture, the more her vision on it has changed, because of the experiments she is making. This work is full of different parts of stories and each time a different kind of programs. She adds that she tries in every new project to find something different. She tries to do more ambitious things but availability of this possibility depends on the client.
Photo from arnewde.com
Gautrand describes her recent project of AVA Tower – La Défense in Paris. She thinks that it is a dream for architect to do a tower and when she began the project she was very happy to have that opportunity. She explains that she is really excited about it mostly because of its interesting district, because it is full of modernity, completely in opposition to the centre of Paris which is like a museum. She thinks that this part of the city is a little bit disconnected from the rest of it. Some of the towers are quite old and not fully safe. She points out that designers of this district made some mistakes in terms of infrastructure, because there are a lot of problems connected to security. Fortunately, thanks to this project she had opportunity to modernize public spaces and the area around the tower. She thinks that it is very important to establish connections between the different levels, lobby, spaces inside the tower and public spaces around it. Her goal in this project was to to make a strong relation between the tower and the context around it.
Gautrand asked about the difficulties related to the work in construction as women answers the woman always needs to fight for her point of view and in terms of constructions it is really difficult to do this, because projects are very complexed.. Sometimes they require a lot of relationships between the constructor, the client, the architect, the engineer. She convinces that an architect is always in the middle of those relationships and they have to focus on their goal if they want to succeed. She thinks that if the architect wants to keep the strength and the pureness of the first sketches of the project he always has to be a warrior.
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