Architects of a Possible Future
Sometimes, an artist’s first work heralds the rest of his or her career. In the case of Cédric Petitdidier and Vincent Prioux, their Villefranche-sur-Saône housing programme certainly established a point of reference in their career, one that crystallised their vision of the articulation between indoors and outdoors, form and function, private and public.
Since this career-defining project was delivered in 2009, they have used their designs to express their reflections on usage – one of the reasons why all of their buildings suggest a sense of empathy, for residents as well as neighbours.
Each project is singular, but, leaving aside the specific context of each site, the diversity of approaches they develop is first and foremost the result of a thorough, yet continuous thought process. Cédric Petitdidier and Vincent Prioux are architects who favour method over recipes.
Driven by a creative mindset, they have developed an anti-dogmatic attitude towards concepts and values, knowing full well that there are many ways to implement them for any given result. Their work is not about building; it is about planning.
Recognition led to success and Cédric Petitdidier and Vincent Prioux soon had to hire and put together a team in order to continue growing without compromising on their vision of architecture. They organized their practice in much the same way they design buildings – using their innate capacity to challenge rules and preconceived notions to overcome the dichotomy between private and public commissions. Their projects systematically centre on the common good.
In 2017, they moved into new offices, in an old parking structure. The building provides large open floor plans, but also offers a number of nooks and crannies found on mezzanine floors and out-of-the-way staircases. The result is perfectly consistent with their commissioned work, which always focuses on producing a new perspective on the project’s environment: a connecting alleyway here, a pedestrian pathway there, or the edge of a lot turned into a lush green ditch to blur boundaries. Whichever programme they are working on, their greatest priority is to create or recreate an urban community, guided by the notion that an architect’s role is also to organise the way we live together.
“The way we design buildings is necessarily influenced by the pursuit of spatial solutions to provide every resident with a sense of intimacy and help everyone feel comfortable sharing the public spaces. These two dimensions are the key to striking a balance between the quality of the buildings and the project’s consistency with its surroundings,” the architects explained.
And despite the challenges of density – a notion they advocate –, their expertise, inspiration and unwavering generosity hold the promise for each project of a possible future.
Christophe LERAY, editor and founder of Chroniques d’Architecture magazine
PETITDIDIERPRIOUX is an architecture firm that works in a variety of fields with three key principles:
– Having a positive and lasting impact on the social and environment context of the project
-Refusing the ordinary by researching innovative architectural solutions
-Dedicating the same unwavering professional commitment to every project
Every new situation is carefully analysed with an open mind and we approach every project with an ever-fresh but experienced eye. Our strategy is to question the project from social, economic, technical or theoretical angles, which guarantees an innovative result informed by a realistic process.
From the earliest sketches to the last steps of construction, the project is regularly discussed both in substance and form, repeatedly tested and modeled to reflect the process. To each project a new approach, whether the project is similar to previous works or has not precedents at the firm.
The firm boasts a highly collaborative and proactive staff of about 30, led by Cédric PETITDIDIER and Vincent PRIOUX:
- Cédric Petitdidier, associated architect
- Vincent Prioux, associated architect
- Nadège Bonnet, assistante de direction
Communication and business development board
- Yann Aubry, business developer
- Flore Meurisse, head of communication
- Léo Simbron, graphic designer
- Julien Raffard
- Asmaa Aberchih
- Tarik Ballouch
- Sébastiane Behaghel
- Thibault Cérèze
- Marc Cervera
- Louis Chabod
- Antoine Courdy
- Maxime Darde
- Julien Denis
- Raphaël Domanger
- Nicolas Fromageot
- Caroline Jobard
- Adeline Klein
- Arnaud Leconte
- Mathilde Lenoir
- Tom Locatelli
- Laure Petit
- Jean-Baptiste Pierru
- Baptiste Rambaldini
- Bertrand Rodange
- Lola Rotschild
- Ksénia Stepanova
- Raffaele Tieri
- Laurent Thierry
- Adeline Tort
We regularly make contact with new talents – graphic designers, photographers, landscape designers, cost planners, engineering consultants, energy and environment consultants – who then become part of our network, and whose skills can prove invaluable for specific project needs.