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Europe 40 Under 40 Awards ARCHIVE 2016 40under40
Paul Le Quernec - France
  • Paul Le Quernec - France
  • Paul Le Quernec - France
  • Paul Le Quernec - France
Paul Le Quernec - France
Paul Le Quernec - France
After a scientific bachelor’s degree and one year study in the field of mathematics, Paul Le Quernec has been admitted by competitive examination to ENSAIS (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts & Industries de Strasbourg – National Grad School of Art and Industry of Strasbourg). Oftenly missing lessons, annoyed by the teaching given there, he had re-sit exams every year, and he has repeated his second year during which he has met Dominique Coulon, architect who made him understand some of the fondamental elements of architecture and who has afterwords overseen his diploma. Passionate, he would not wait to get his diploma to carry out his business. He as seized every opportunity to design projects for acquaintances. That is how he has achieved his very first building before finishing the grad school. After the graduation, his work has consisted of small sized private assignments, small sized architectural open competitions and small sized subcontracting for other architecture firms as a graphic designer drawing perspective images and presentation boards. He has worked as an employee during a few months in a firm and then an other one. In both cases, he has lefted the firm before the end of his contract. This turn of events has made him decide to work alone from then on, and he established his own firm in january 2003. Despite the strong competition and the difficulties related to his lack of references in this field, his work has been focused on public contracts because of the diversity of architectural programming and the scale of buildings that they allow to build. He won his first architectural competition in 2005 and his project has been published in the selection of «Top 100 buildings of the year 2008 in France ». At the same time, he has been teaching art and structure lessons in both of two architecture schools of Strasbourg. As the projects have succeeded each other, a leitmotiv has been brought out : « Freedom and pertinence » Forgetting about all certainty with each project… Trying to be as deaf as possible to trends and ignoring the « politically correct » when the surroundings impose it. This kind of choosen innocence leeds him to propose giant cardboard boxshaped or star-shaped buildings in the most serious manner possible. Two details related to innate and acquired charateristics are revealed in the conception of Paul Le Quernec‘s projects. The first one : Born of parents who were both graphic designers, the visual impact and the evocative power of architecture are permanent features of his work. The second one is his lack of sens of direction which results in an obsession of functionnal organisations that he wants to be as clear as possible. His aim is to make every building a synthesis of obviousness and complexity.

Project Description

Nursery school and primary school
For this project, we made our priority the ease of location and orientation in space. The main functional entities of the program are organized around the common hall located in the heart of the establishment, in order to form a three-leaf shaped “clover” shaped volume all connected to the common hall : the Kindergarten, the Elementary school and the restoration space. This last volume has a privileged position in the south of the Hall and separates the outdoor spaces of the two playgrounds of the Kindergarten and Elementary Schools.

Socio-cultural center
A socio-cultural space embodies the spirit of initiative and solidarity. It is then fundamental to value the container and the content, which is why it takes a building with expressive architecture. The ground floor consists of two parts that can be operated together or separately. The latter are wisely aligned with each other and on the boundaries of the parcel. By rising, these two parts twist on the floor, escaping the grip of the plot, they seek to orient themselves towards the park as the flowers twist to seek light. The result is a volume deformed by a positive force, evoking the countenance of an energy demanding to express itself.

Childcare facility in Boulay
For this project, we exploited the great contextual freedom of the site by giving the building a very organic shape dictated by the functionality and ergonomics necessary to this type of program. The cribs and houses of childhood welcome not children but still babies. In our opinion, then, we should consider the fragility and need for protection of young children and integrate this fact into our architecture. That is why we chose to develop an organization based on a uterine concept, which the freedom offered by the respective sites allowed us easily. The centripetal organization of the program makes it possible to drastically reduce the circulation ratio, while improving cross-views and visibility.

Tennis hall in Strasbourg
The design of this project was based on two issues:
- Implementation of a prefabricated tennis hall
- Extension and renovation of the existing clubhouse

Concerning the clubhouse, it is these multiple accesses that inspired its new form. We organized a common hall with a double entrance, one open to the south, naturally located between the two halls, the other to the east, sharing a terrace with the clubhouse. This place has for vocation to welcome users in movement almost permanent. It is on a principle of maximum fluidity that we have designed this modification of club house.