CovetED had the pleasure of interviewing Anne Cécile in Maison et Objet 2020: They say the apple never falls off far from the tree, and Anne-Cecille’s the living proof of it. Daughter of a designer and a mathematician, Anne-Cécille fell in love with the purest symbioses of both: architecture. Twenty years ago, alongside Phillipe Croisier, she began the joyride that is Atelier du Pont’s work. The then tiny atelier who designed bathrooms become one of France’s most prominent architecture and interior design studios who are responsible for quite outstanding work. Enjoy.
etiennemarcel_photo Manuel Zublena
‘’I am the daughter of a designer/architect and a mathematician. Between both of them, I chose architecture’’
Anne-Cecille felt that design and architecture was her calling. Anne-Cécille thinks that there’s a lot of distance between Interior Architecture and, let’s say, conventional architecture. As a marriage counsellor, Atelier du Pont works on reconciliation a troublesome relationship on two branches that are very close to one another. For Anne- Cecile, there was no other path to be chosen. The architecture was truly her calling. Her work completely transcends the notions on the industry. She frees herself of any paradigms attached to architecture and design, thus allowing her on accomplishing the remarkable works she used the world to.
etiennemarcel_photo Manuel Zublena Apartment Rue Etienne Marcel in Paris Photo Manuel Zublena
‘’They complete themselves, architecture and interior architecture/design. In France, both universes are wrongfully apart, and we work towards unifying both of them.’’
Anne-Cécile believes Atelier du Pont works the same way as their peers. What differences them from their esteemed counterparts is the scale of their works. Atelier du Pont’s thorough attention to every single detail and technicality, the materials used in the projects, their ingenious way of working. The fact that Anne-Cécile and her team transports the materials used in exterior architecture onwards interiors makes the Atelier distance itself from the remaining honourable ones.
Boutique for Avril organic beauty products in Paris Photo Daphne Lejeune
‘’What interests us is the reconciliation between these two universes. A global Design, per se.’’
Anne-Cécile describes Atelier du Pont’s concept as an intelligent one. A concept that respects the surroundings of the project, nature, and the overall feeling that the people using the space will feel. An intelligent way of designing. Getting the job done without stepping on any toes.
Santé Publique France Headquarters near Paris Photo Karel Balas
‘’Our concept? Difficult question. It is the intelligence with what we face our projects. The respect towards nature, towards the materials. Towards the clients, with the hope they’ll feel good with it.’’
If Anne-Cécile was to describe the Atelier’s signature style, she would say it’s contemporary with a signature je ne sais quoi. Craftsmanship plays an uber-important role in the Atelier’s projects. The Fait a la main adds, for Anne-Cécile, the authenticity Atelier du Pont’s always strived for.
‘’It’s Contemporary, with an authentic je ne sais quoi. We work a lot with craftsmen. The fact a la main is very important to us, and the bespoke too’’
Space, a broader perspective and the ever-felt dream of exploring the deepest, darkest corners on the universe are the inevitable themes attached to the project. A future dreamed by humanity ever since 1959. As for the hotel in Menorca, contra the modern, futuristic approach of the ESA, sustainability, seascape and self-discovery are the mottos of the project. Self-sustainability was something that concerned Anne-Cécile and her team upon working on this project, and, as far as we can tell, they’re doing quite the job.
House in Cap Ferret, France Photo Takuji Shimmura
‘’I’ve got several projects I’d like to talk about, like the one I’m currently working with the ESA. (..) As for interior architecture, we’re currently working on a marvellous rural hotel in Menorca. A magnificent site resting by the sea.’’
The main challenges that Anne-Cécile faces in her line of duty are to be able to experiment with different things and make them work. Different materials, different ways of working. Matching these new ideas and to deliver incredible results, that’s the challenge that drives Anne-Cécile and all the team at Atelier du Pont. Furthermore, when it comes to retail design, a branch in which Atelier du Pont completely aces, the challenges are understanding the brand, the client and the brand’s costumers. Who they are, what they represent, who they serve, where they are. Those are the core questions deeply inlaid in the bedrock of commercial design.
House in Cap Ferret, France Photo Philippe Garcia
‘’It is fundamental to deeply understand the client in retail design. Understand the client, the brand and understand where they fit in.’’
To speak about dream projects is always fascinating. You never really expect the answer you’ll listen too. For Anne-Cécile, her dream project would be renovating a decrepit, old haunted house. Something with only the essentials, nested in the urban bosom of a big city.
Finca in Menorca, Balearic Islands Photo Karel Balas
We finalized by asking Anne-Cécile if she could share with us just a tiny bit of what’s on her plate right now, and the inevitable ESA and the Menorca Island hotel were on the tip of her tong. These two projects are spiking the curious minds of the design lovers scattered all over the world (ours included), and we ended with tremendous expectations towards them.
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