We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winner for our  "MICROHOME/ Edition 3 (2021)" competition – Mathieu Mainoldi from France!

Mathieu Mainoldi from France

ATO – Architectural Thinking Office - Founded in 2020 by Mathieu Mainoldi in Paris, 85, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011

French-trained, and in the interests of openness, it was in Denmark, in 2015, that he completed his apprenticeship at the Aarhus School of Architecture. He then confronted another educational system, another language, and a more advanced vision of the environmental issue dear to the Scandinavians. Graduated from the National School of Architecture in Paris Val-de-Seine in 2016, he took advantage of the end of this academic cycle to take stock of his vision of architecture. Thus emerges a reflective and introspective writing called "A caring architecture" which addresses questions of style, territorial anchoring, stimulation of the senses, and the place of man in a resolutely artistic discipline that takes on its meaning through use. It was within the Chatillon architectes agency, as Chief Architect   of   Historic   Monuments,   that   he   discovered   an   immensely practical   and  fascinating   world,   which   questions   the   future   and  the compatibility of heritage buildings in a world geared towards progress. Curious about the acquisition of complementary skills in the practice of architecture, in 2019 he joined the School of Architecture of Brittany, in Rennes, in order to take the HMONP. To complete his training,  he implemented new design logics in the realization of new projects within the Valero Gadan Architects & Associate agency. Eager to found his own structure since the first year of studies and willing to defend a personal vision of architecture, he founded ATO in 2020.

So far, no employees.

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?

So far working on a rather small project scale, from houses to small public facilities. Since the French system requires references in order to build new public buildings, ATO is gathering references in the private domain: mainly refurbishment of apartments, houses, medical centres, shops, but also at the moment working on adding a storey to a family house. The ambition is to reach the public market in order to build new buildings. Therefore, ATO is also associated with well-established firms to participate in public competitions.

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

Architecture is an art that people can live in and walk through. Therefore, it shapes our lives and habits. Within itself, there is a public purpose highly oriented towards the society. Architects must take it into consideration and design spaces that have the ability to enhance our daily life.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Since the projects ATO is working on are constricted due to client’s budget and regulations, participating in competitions is a way to keep being innovative. They are the opportunity to keep on working on conceptual approaches and being more sensitive and poetic. The idea is, little by little, to merge the conceptual approach and the real-life constraints.

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

Just go for it, it’s a perfect way to keep on thinking about what the world is becoming.

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