ESAIL Lab

Created in 2013, it looks at operations conducted to renovate old buildings. These operations have given rise to discussion on interior architecture, a discipline taught at ESAIL. The objective of using this kind of empirical material as a starting point is twofold.

The first objective is to analyse the discipline and its practices by looking at projects completed in the not-so-distant past.

One must scrutinize a project in order to be able to explain it. The work involved is complex, and seeking to bring to light the intellectual processes of the discipline seems more than right. If lessons are to be drawn from good examples, we must take the time to dissect and better understand them.

First and foremost, it consists in attempting to explain all the work undertaken to bring a project to completion – by shedding light on a design process that was able to disentangle itself from various constraints, by bringing attention to agency documents that were not necessarily hitherto published, by obtaining explanations from project developers, by understanding their intentions – in order to achieve the highest level of understanding possible.

 

It also entails explaining completed architectural works, when ideas take form and when people live in, use, take ownership of and interpret spaces. Spaces that were once in the mind’s eye become a physical reality that engages the senses of those who them and who, conversely, experience this spatial reality.
The aim is thus to explain an architectural work both in terms of the “backstage” part (the design stage) as well as the “public” part (when a work is adopted by various publics).


The second objective seeks to contribute to a more general discussion on the possible theoretical tools of architectural renovation. ESAIL LAB will focus on this in a series of case studies. Our ambition is to successively analyse multiple projects to form a more general analysis of spatial transformation processes.

 
Mons Memorial Museum
Atelier Pierre Hebbelinck

« Toutes ces réappropriations de la MAE, ces processus de substitutions, ces glissements de sens, vont permettre à notre édifice de rebondir. Pierre Hebbelinck a su imaginer en lui d'autres possibilités de faire sens. Il a sans doute aussi le mérite de pousser le concepteur vers la formulation de réponses spatiales inédites ou pour le moins non attendues. »

L’Opéra Restaurant
Odile Decq

"Tout commence avec un cahier des charge des Monuments Historiques (...) et tout se termine par un projet totalement imprévisible."

Musée Champollion – Les écritures du monde
Moatti & Rivière

"Pour qu'une solution soit pérenne dans le temps, je pense qu'elle doit avoir énormément de niveaux de significations." A. Moatti

Matadero Madrid
Le projet d'un centre de création contemporaine

Réhabilitation de constructions rurales
Savioz Fabrizzi

"Ce sont des projets qui débordent des seules questions architecturales, avec la recherche d'un ancrage sur d'autres valeurs."

Torre Di Porta Nuova
MAP studio

« Cet escalier doit pouvoir rivaliser avec la puissance des éléments architecturaux en place. C’est d’abord par le choix d’un système structurel judicieux que se joue la force de la réponse. » Ouvrage paru en 2017