We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Humble Architecture: Everest Challenge" competition – Guillaume De Pontaud and Zoé Bouillet from France!
Guillaume De Pontaud and Zoé Bouillet from France
We are a couple of two French entrepreneurs. Guillaume is a 32-year-old architect and Zoé is a 31-year-old designer. We are based in the heart of French Alps, in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. We both have around 7 years of experience in our respective field of work.
Guillaume spent his first years of architecture studies in Reunion Island, then went to complete his architectural master’s degree in Bordeaux, on the south-west coast of France. He then worked in different architecture agencies in Bordeaux, Annecy & now he is an independent architect in Chamonix.
Zoé first started studying design in Louisiana (USA), then completed her design master’s degree in Grenoble, France. She’s had professional experience in New York, Stockholm, and now in Annecy & Chamonix. We are now both settled as a freelance architect & designer, respectively.
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 the company/ individuals have been involved?
We are based in the mountains, and we work on projects that are directly linked to our landscape context. Our work is essentially focused on small-scale projects, mostly for individual housing. The essence of our work is to preserve and operate around the existing. It enables us to build with the history of the location and the location itself in mind.
What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?
According to our point of view, architecture & design are professions of freedom and imagination. By thinking and creating places and spaces we can transmit emotions, transport people through a train of thought and work on linking the imaginary and reality.
Why do you participate in architecture competitions?
Competitions allows us to work with fewer boundaries. To first think with our hearts, find the big idea, and then work down from there to a more realistic project.
What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?
Nowadays there are a lot of competitions going on the web. The amount lets us choose between hundreds of different projects. Find what really tickles your curiosity, imprint yourself in the atmosphere of the project, do some research, let your mind go wild, sketch, erase don’t be afraid to start over, little details do count. Then you will realize that what you are working on is important not only for the competition but most of all for yourself.
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