Jury-GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN / Published on December 23, 2020
Architect, Urban Planner, Designer, Founder
Wilmotte & Associés Architectes
PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE – PEOPLE OF DESIGN VERSION!
What prescient youthful memory relates to your present career?
As a young child, I used to love playing with my pharmacist father’s delivery boxes. I would build huts, lamps, in short, I’d create a universe for myself. I have always liked to invent, tinker, build, imagine … thankfully some things never change!
What are three basic rules you learned from your mentors?
I learned a lot from my mentors but I mostly retained the idea of construction, volume, composition and finally rigour.
What project launched your career?
The project that gave my career a new dimension was François Mitterand’s apartment at the Elysée Palace.
Any music playing while you work?
Do you work in PJs or three-piece suits?
I ALWAYS get dressed to get to work!
What is your current design state of mind?
These days, I would say my state of mind concentrates on sustainable development with a search for recycled and bio-sourced materials as well as the idea of hybridization of spaces, of crossing genres, of functions.
What living designer/architect do you most admire?
I’d say Renzo Piano or Tadao Ando!
|Carlo Scarpa||Gio Ponti||Luis Barragán – Photo : Tomjc.55, CC BY-SA 4.0|
What is your most marked design quality?
Timelessness or rather sustainability in all its forms.
Coworking space Station F. Photo: Patrick Tourneboeuf.
Paris, France, 2018.
The furniture of the workstations is deliberately similar to that of a workshop for its simplicity and robustness.
The challenge being to offer a flexible and quality work support, all the furniture is specially designed for the Hall.
Its long-term and distinctive values make it an investment for the long term.
How would you like your designs to go down in history?
I’d like my projects to cross time and history through use.
Street furniture Champs Elysée,
Paris, France, 1994.
For this project, it was necessary to design a line of contemporary furniture that would be located along the vast sidewalks, made entirely for pedestrians. It was therefore necessary to create a “family” of functional and coherent urban furniture whose modernity was respectful of the place. This furniture includes a candelabra, a bench, a traffic light, a bus shelter, a Morris column, a newspaper stand and a litter bin.
Champs Elysées lighting,
Paris, France, 1994. Photo: J. Denarnaud.
Installed since 1994, seventy 11.5m candelabra line the Avenue des Champs-Elysées with all four trees. They are fitted with flag supports and very high pressure sodium light sources which provide white lighting on the pedestrian side and yellow on the car side.
What peer quality do you most value?
I admire pertinence and creativity!
Which project is the epitome of your work?
There is none! Every project is unique in its own way!
On July 8, 2019, the Rijksmuseum began Operation Night Watch, the largest and most versatile research and restoration project of Rembrandt’s masterpiece in history. Operation Night Watch aims to optimally preserve the masterpiece for the future. It will take place in front of the public in a glass room that we have created especially for this purpose.
ANATOLE is the result of research that Wilmotte & Associés and its design studio Wilmotte & Industries have been carrying out for several years around workspaces which, under the effect of the development of new technologies and the digitalization of companies, have very quickly gone from a static and sequential operation to a more dynamic and protean organization.
From the multiple variants of each of its elements that it allows to combine endlessly, ANATOLE turns each office layout into a work of movement. Located at the crossroads of architecture, art and design, the collection reconnects the actors of a workspace and adapts to new ways of living and working, thus breaking away from a classic configuration. For the benefit of an organic and intelligent structure.
How are your country of belonging’s values reflected in your work?
A certain French-like elegance, I’d say!
What always inspires you?
I am particularly interested in know-how, especially as it pertains to glass, stone, wood, metal. Materials are always inspiring.
If a spell were to transform you into an object, by all means, what would you like to be, and why?
A Swiss watch … to work forever!
What is your favorite place in the world?
One of my all-time favorite spots in the world are the Carrrare marble mines in Italy.
What design or architecture project do you wish you would have thought of yourself?
Hmmm… the Eiffel Tour!
If you could host any three guests, past or alive, over for dinner, who would you choose and what would you dare serving?
I’d like to have Gio Ponti, Michelange and Charlotte Perriand over for dinner! I’d serve a chard gratin!
Having said that, I’d make a habit of this kind of dream dinner date!
What is your mantra?
To be where I’m unexpected!
What is your dream? THINK BIG!