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Site development at the Familistère in Guise - h2o architectes

Site development at the Familistère in Guise - France
h2o architectes


france   40under40


h2o architectes is an office of creative architectural design based in Paris and lead by Charlotte Hubert, Jean-Jacques Hubert and Antoine Santiard. 
h2o works on a wide scope of projects and scales including historical monuments and sites, public spaces, architecture and design.
In every projects and at different scales the office intends to combine a controled duality between a determinated possibility of uses and some situations offering possibilities for appropriation. These somewhat uncharted spaces allow for the invention of any kind of practices and customs, and therefore, for the modification of the individual’s place in a more and more controlled social space. 
The office gained an international reputation through a series of cutting edge contextual innovative projects of different scales. Widely published they reveal a great formal sensitivity directly linked to usage, material, durability and habitable space.   
h2o architectes is today one of the leading practices of the new generation of architects. It has been awarded the Najap Prize 2008 (a recognition of a selection of young European architects organised by French Ministry of Culture). The office has also been selected by the international magazine Wallpaper* for their world architects directory 2009, a selection of the best 30 emerging practices. The office won the international award Total Housing in 2010 with Chatou and Front and Back projects exhibited in Storefront for Art & Architecture NYC.
Recently the office has been shortlisted for the First Building Award 2012 with a 20 flats building in Paris and won the National Award of Wood Construction - Interior 2014 with project The Cabin.

Charlotte Hubert 
Architect specialized in heritage monuments, she graduated in 2003 from the Ecole de Chaillot. She had previously gradued in 1999 from the Ecole d’architecture of Paris -Belleville.
She founded h2o architectes with Jean-Jacques Hubert in 2005.
Prior to joining the studio, Charlotte Hubert was working at Bruno Decaris Architectes. She was in charge of listed project restauration in Haute-Normandie and Burgundy region. 
She is today teaching at the Ecole d’architecture of Nancy and is a member of the French National Commission for Historic Monuments in the contemporary intervention section.

Jean-Jacques Hubert
Jean-Jacques Hubert graduated as an architect from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’architecture of Nantes in 1999. He founded h2o architectes with Charlotte Hubert in 2005. 
Prior to joining the studio, Jean-Jacques Hubert was working at Bernard Tschumi Architectes. He was in charge of the Limoges Concert Hall and several international competitions. 
He has been teaching since 2006 at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts et des Techniques in Paris.  

Antoine Santiard
Antoine Santiard graduated as an architect from the EPF. Lausanne in 2001. He became a partner of h2o architectes in 2008. Prior to joining the studio, he was working at Bernard Tschumi Architectes. He was in charge of the Limoges Concert Hall and the Alésia Museum. 

He has been teaching from 2007 to 2010 at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture of Paris Malaquais and from 2010 to 2012 at Paris Val de Seine. He is currently teaching since 2012 at the GSAPP / Columbia University (NY/Paris Programm).

Site development at the Familistère in Guise

Guise (02), France
Client: Syndicat Mixte du Familistère Godin and SEDA: Société d’Equipement du Département de l’Aisne 
h2o architectes (lead architect), Michel Desvigne Paysagiste (landscape architect), France Aires (Exterior infrastructure Engineer), HDA (structure engineer)
Photo credits: 
Stéphane Chalmeau

The Familistère  is a vast housing complex founded by Jean-Baptiste André Godin in 1859 in relation with the stove manufacturing business. Until 1968, this Social Palace was the theatre of a unique social experimentation in the industrial world: the Familistère was a sort of utopia for an industrial society composed like an urban transition between the town and the park of the city island nearby.

The development suggested by the agency respects three fundamental themes: unity of place, heritage and experimentation.
The project establishes a new readability of the site by creating a new sense of unity between its different existing parts. The great mineral square in the centre for example creates a new tension between the different buildings and reactivates the original axial planning. At the heart of the site, a series of thematic “islands” at a reduced scale allow for an easy and constantly renewed use.   The program of events on these «  thematic islands  » is open to constant improvisation and experimentation, echoing Godin’s philosophy about invention and incompletion.


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