We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our “Sleeping Pods On A Cliff” competition – Gabriela Rolka, Jonathan Bourhis and François Barcelo Chatellier from France!

François Barcelo Chatellier, Gabriela Rolka and Jonathan Bourhis from France

studionativ was founded in 2020 by François, Gabriela, and Jonathan, who met 10 years ago at the University of Architecture of Nantes, France.

After developing a solid experience in Nantes, Copenhagen, Rotterdam, Milano, and London, they have decided to foster their respective know-how and appetite for architecture into a studio based both in Bordeaux and Brest, two iconic cities with a strong cultural and historical identity feeding their imagination.

Beyond a true friendship, what connects the three, partners is a multidisciplinary and creative approach which lies at the edge of architecture, design and craftsmanship.

Today, studionativ is in the process of developing projects within various environments, scales, and programs, while strongly believing in a more sensible and responsible approach from a social and ecological perspective.

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?

After experiencing large-scale projects, like residential schemes, metro stations, urban planning, and educational buildings, the three partners had a strong appetite for coming back into a more sensible, approachable, and creative field. studionativ focuses on smaller scale projects, from furniture and interior design to micro architecture, while also demonstrating through rehabilitation how to reduce the impact of new build. In that perspective, they have recently delivered a house rehabilitation and extension in Brittany, offering a new relation to the coastal environment, while also delivering a renovation of an old apartment in the historical center of Bordeaux. Today, the practice is developing a new extension project in Brittany from reclaimed timber, as well as working on the rehabilitation of a listed countryside house by the Garonne river in the South West of France.

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

We believe architecture must care about the relationship and the synergy between humans and their environment. It can be translated into questioning the uses and their new definition facing our evolving lifestyles, as well as assuming a more responsible role through the use of relevant and durable materiality. We like to think that architecture, like the seasons, is made of movement and must be able to adapt to the changes of tomorrow. It is essential that architects are involved in society, in its broadest expression, in order to draw new relationships.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

An architectural competition is an extraordinary opportunity to take a step back and challenge our capacities to deliver a new project. Even though some ideas are deeply anchored in our conceptual reflex, we have to go beyond and reshuffle the dice.
It is an exciting time to open ourselves to new subjects, new landscapes, and new practices. What we particularly enjoy is debating our ideas to turn them into a vision which would eventually become a built project.

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

Even though sometimes it seems complex to enroll in a competition because of its program or specific needs, it always leads to unexpected responses, which enhances our reflections.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Enter Architecture Competitions

Curious about the value of architecture competitions? Discover the transformative power they can have on your career - from igniting creativity and turning designs into reality, to gaining international recognition.

Learn more