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Europe 40 Under 40 Awards ARCHIVE 2016 40under40
Police Station - Agnès Chryssostalis/ Agnès Guillemin - France
  • Police Station - Agnès Chryssostalis/ Agnès Guillemin - France
  • Police Station - Agnès Chryssostalis/ Agnès Guillemin - France
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Police Station - Agnès Chryssostalis/ Agnès Guillemin - France
Agnès Chryssostalis/ Agnès Guillemin - France

Agnès Guillemin and Agnès Chryssostalis share the same name and the same formation: Architecture Schoolof Paris-La Seine. They discover complementary, sharing the same sensitivity that forges their duo. After school, they continue their journey in Parisian offices, separately this time: a practical apprenticeship in teamwork, an economic and programmatic synthesis of the projects on which they work. But the envy has just developed a vocabulary of its own. A choice that led them to create in 2005 their own workshop : Agnès & Agnès architecture. Design “from the inside out”, use by touches of color, sensitivity for the interiority and vision of any “object” as a small architecture - they also create a furniture design unit. Gradually the agency turns to public places (with several restaurants, hotels and shops) and then the public commands: the contact with different contractors - from the individual to the single control to the large-scale developer - develops their capacity to adapt to a wide range of demands and budgets. The agency draws from these multiple experiences to renew its models and methods, always with the motto of continuity between the interior and exterior spaces, the quality of use of the places of life and the reversibility of the solutions proposed.
 
Project Description

Giving a little soul and humanity to a police station might seem a daunting task, for it is a place that usually has a dark, not to say hostile, image even though many people pass through it every day. But that was the goal of the refurbishment completed in 2013 in Cergy, a city to the west of Paris, by the Parisian architecture firm of Agnès & Agnès. The agency was hired to renovate the station's reception area, its complaints offices and the victim-support office, i.e. all the areas visited by the public, the contact points between citizens and police officers. What is distinctive about Agnès & Agnès' solution is its willful use of color and its sensitivity to interiors. The intention was to work with furniture to partition space without compartmentalizing it, thus avoiding darkened rooms. To achieve this, they designed a custom-made piece of furniture that would work alternately as a chair, a counter or storage space. The dominant color of this new arrangement contrasts sharply with the somber, often gloomy, tones associated with police stations. It is unusual without being out of place and eclipses the very strict security rules that dictate the organization of such a place. At the end of the round-the-clock, seven-days-a-week job the staff and users applauded the new look because it shakes up the stereotypes and helps combine joy, light and ergonomics.
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