AW2 – Architecture Workshop Paris
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An invitation to a journey without borders
Sometimes seen as an “outsider” in France or as French in Vietnam, where, amongst other places, it has built much of its reputation, AW2 has many arrows in its bow, exploring architecture in the four corners of the globe. The contextual architecture that is at the heart of AW2’s program is generously nourished by local expertise and practices. Entering a territory both natural and cultural, adapting to the topography and climate of the site, AW2’s projects materialise beautiful lines of force: matter, light, emotion and landscape. This special edition dedicated to AW2 offers, I hope, a framework for it all. It explores five themes that run through the passionate and eclectic path taken by the architectural duo of Stéphanie Ledoux and Réda Amadou, and by their team, spread between Paris and Hô-Chi- Minh City.
AW2 take a pluralistic cultural approach, designing projects in distant lands, such as the Lycée français of Amman (Jordan), Ani Villa (Sri Lanka) and Phum Bkaitang (Cambodia). Diversity in expertise, materiality, light and local spirit are essential factors in the success of the architectural design. Added to these is the intelligence of the site, often expressing itself in paradisiacal or vertiginous landscapes, within which the architects create a luxurious experience that, notably, blends the indoors and the outdoors: Chedi Dhapparu (Maldives), Siversands (Grenada, Caribbean), Six Senses Con Dao (Vietnam), the Lycée Marguerite Duras (Hô-Chi- Minh City) and Comporta (Portugal). The innovative architecture of the Lodges in Seine-et- Marne, designed by AW2 for the Bouygues group, or NOMAD, a pop-up architecture, is a way to apply the concept of the “ready-made” house in France or in a temporary shelter; a research and development approach based on the knowledge of the terrain established on sites in tropical and extreme climates. While seeking beauty, AW2 projects also always offer an emotional function. The human scope, the idea of well-being and the relationship with the users are incorporated within projects such as the ESMOD fashion school in Paris, the FV Hospital in Vietnam, the “open space” of Rochefoucauld, the offices located at 118 Elysées and the future development project of Brooklyn’s John Street, in the USA. Finally, the architectural design goes hand in hand with a keen sense of art and staging, in projects such as The Nam Hai, the open-air museum of Dar Sabra, and the jewel box that is the exclusive London boutique of Patek Philippe, on New Bond Street, London’s most fashionable thoroughfare, in the Mayfair district.
TLmag makes it all accessible to you, with a very visual format enriched by testimonies from those marked by the projects of AW2. The values and visions shared by the two architects, Ledoux & Amadou, are also seen through the eyes of this bold architectural duo, for whom the journey allows them to find the source of, and the resources for, their inspiration, today and in the future.