We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 3rd prize winners of our “Gauja National Park Footbridge ” competition - Michel Boucquillon and  Donia Maaoui from Italy!

GNPF 3rd prize winners from Italy

Michel Boucquillon and  Donia Maaoui from Italy

Michel Boucquillon was born in Belgium in 1962. He graduated with a degree in Architecture at Saint-Luc in Brussels in 1986. Then worked for two years in Florence. In 1988 at the age of 26, he won the architectural competition of the Chamber of the European Parliament in Brussels, which signed the beginning of his architectural and design career. In the year 2000, he opened a second workshop dedicated to industrial design products and very exclusive architecture in Lucca - Tuscany in his home and office "CASA BOUCQUILLON" where he often collaborates with his wife Donia Maaoui also architect, sculptress and painter. Michel Boucquillon actually works for exclusive clients in architecture and with world-famous international design companies such as ALESSI, ARTEMIDE, ANTONIOLUPI, AQUAMASS, AUERHAHN, FIAMMETTA.V, FREDDI, MARTINELLILUCE, NESTLE, SAVATORE FERRAGAMO, SERRALUNGA, TECNO, TECHNOLUX, VALLI ARREDOBAGNO, VALLI&VALLI. 

He won many international awards and his design creations are exposed in many design museums all over the world.

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

"Architecture, or the art of confining space" Michel Boucquillon 

Architecture is the art of designing and building buildings. These buildings are and will be the image of the place where they were built, or they were built. 

These buildings have a very significant impact on urban planning but also on society. Architecture and sociology are very much related. 

Man and animal have in common the need to create landmarks in space: places. This is to better dominate, reassure or protect oneself. If the animal needs only a few primary signs, man, to respond to all his personal complexity and cultural diversity, has recreated a multitude of places to meet his ever-growing needs. 

The primary role of the architect is to make his knowledge available in order to recreate these places, to confine them and to reorganize them in harmony with man, nature and the environment. 

Our office is very sensitive to integration in the city but also in nature. The return to meaning, the return to nature, the search for organic integration. The well-being of the people who pass through or live in our buildings is essential to our work.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Gauja National Park Footbridge architecture competition perfectly matched our philosophy. We also work in industrial design and have developed the organic design bark for the Italian firm Alessi, and also for our office house "casa boucquillon" bathed in the heart of Tuscan nature. We could not have imagined a better integration into nature this organic motif that represents the tree bark in Gauja National Park.

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

We can only wish the contestants good luck. In life, to succeed, you need courage, passion and above all, not to count your working hours.

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