Architecture Competition Paris Affordable Housing Challenge Honorable mention - Aubéry De Bretteville and Sophie Ponthieu

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of the Honorable mention of our “Paris Affordable Housing Challenge” competition - Aubéry De Bretteville and Sophie Ponthieu from France!

Aubéry de Bretteville and Sophie Ponthieu
 from France

Aubéry De Bretteville and Sophie Ponthieu from France

Both graduated from ENSA Marseille - in 2016 for Aubéry and 2017 for Sophie - we started our professional experience as architects in Marseille agencies. Aubéry, at OH!SOM architects, discovered public competition with urban planning, housing and school projects. Sophie, at BauA, also worked on public competitions in the field of sports, education and housing. In 2019, we decided to enrich our architectural culture by going to work in Santiago de Chile. We both discovered a sensitive style of architecture, closely linked to its environment with a particular attention to materiality.

Our vision as young architects is to multiply our experiences abroad in order to develop our skills and stimulate our architectural thought by participating in architectural competitions with the aim of opening our own agency in a few years' time.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where company/ individuals have been involved?

This is our third competition as a team. Besides that, each of us has already participated in other competitions, whether in a professional or personal context: Chile Pavilion for the Dubai Universal Exhibition, High School in Patagonia, community centre in the French Alps, primary school in Mozambique, rehabilitation of a historic village centre in southern France. The housing issue is a programme that interests us particularly, as we have had the opportunity to experiment during our studies, in our respective agencies or in contests. In addition to the practice of architecture competitions, we also addressed the constructive aspect through construction, the renovation of an apartment or even the execution drawing.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society? ​

Architecture is a passion that is lived. Experimentation, research, discovery, the diversity of the discipline are all things that make it complex but interesting. We believe that architecture has a major role to play in people's lives and in the functioning of our society. Architects have a responsibility to respond to the problems facing our societies, whether they are social, economic or environmental. Through his architecture, the architect takes a position on his vision of the world and must position himself.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Participating in ideas competitions is, for us, a way to question how our society works and to seek solutions to improve people's lives, or to respond to current problematics that are less obvious to be implemented in the professional world. The architecture competition makes it possible to develop radical ideas that can lead to changes.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?

Architecture competitions allow participants to question issues that will be important in the future. This helps to shape architectural and critical thinking. It is always beneficial to participate in competitions, whether it is to develop your skills and culture, but above all it is an opening to the world.

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