clustered volumes open with sloping skylights
The architect Didier Fiuza Faustino creates an artist’s studio in a rural environment France, in search of an architecture that is both innocuous and “completely unavoidable”. Located outside the north-west village of Saint-Langis-lès-Mortagne, the project is designed for French conceptual artist Jean-Luc Moulène and marks the architect’s continuation of experimental investigation by “centering the body in all the preoccupations of an architect today”.
The work introduces 365 square meters (nearly 4,000 square feet) of workshop space, taking the form of a set of identical volumes. These massive forms are organized “in constant shift” and are enveloped in a skin of black rubber. The architect notes that the architecture is “intentionally in dialogue with the bodies that inhabit its space above all; then with the Norman nature that surrounds it.
pictures © David Boureau | @urbanmutability
learn from the habits of an artist
Didier Fiuza Faustino’s Artist’s Studio comes to life near an old agricultural complex in the French countryside. The large studio functions as a spacious new outpost for the artist outside of Paris.
The architect describes his client’s routine and habits, which had influenced the design of the space: ‘Every moment of the day, Jean-Luc changes activity: from six to eight he draws, from nine he makes models, etc. Its activity is a kind of choreography, from one moment to the next, to the next. So my point was to create a space that allows him to adapt his trajectories according to his needs..’
The use of Didier Fiuza Faustino’s scale
While conceptualizing the Artist’s Studio to meet the client’s needs, Didier Fiuza Faustino develops a precise and minimal language “around the gesture, the work and the creation”. It involves the artist’s varied modes of production, the use of his tools, and the scale of hand and machine.
Noble and open spaces interact with more intimate spaces for rest and reflection. All are illuminated by different lighting methods – both natural and artificial – and all create unique perspectives of space. The architect comments: ‘At night, the structure and its open windows are almost reminiscent of a collection of solar panels, alluding to its outward look and environmental approach to the interior..’
planning and construction
The assembly of identical volumes is spread over five parallel spans, each four meters (thirteen feet) wide. Each volume is truncated to create an inclined and translucent façade. Inside, the studio is organized as a large open space covering 265 square meters (2,850 square feet), while the mezzanines introduce an additional 100 square meters (approximately 1,100 square feet) of studio space.
Didier Fiuza Faustino made the walls and roofs of prefabricated wooden frame boxes fixed to a reinforced concrete slab, all finished with a waterproof black rubber membrane. The team comments: ‘This uniform matte black skin turns the building into a shadow, making it disappear into its surroundings like a building that is not meant to be seen; only used. Structure is reduced to the bare essentials – in this case, referring to an ultimate site for creative practice.’