We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the Buildner Sustainability Award winners of our "Tokyo Urban Meditation Cabins" competition – Vincent Gillot, Grégoire Vizzari and Leonor Mayoux from France!

Sustainability Award winner from France

V.G.A. – Vincent Gillot Architecture – is an agency founded in Paris in the summer of 2020 and committed to social and environmental innovation. In a context crossed by ever deeper crises, we defend the capacity of architecture to question the ways of life of our societies, and to inspire them. V.G.A. designs multi-scale projects – housing, public facilities, exhibition scenography – serving the community and people. Through the constructed form, we make choices that are at the same time fair, daring and born out of consensus. Our practice is nourished by the dialogue between disciplines, with an essential ambition: the enthusiastic search for an architectural ethic.

Vincent Gillot studied architecture at ENSA Paris-Belleville, from which he graduated in 2008. He began to practice in his own name in 2010, after an experience as a project manager for Pierre-Louis Faloci, (winner of the 2018 Grand Prix National Architecture), for which he notably designed the Charenton Architecture and Heritage Media Library. In 2012 he founded Gillot+Givry, his first office, which he managed between 2012 and 2019. With this first structure he won two wooden construction awards in 2016 and 2017, was awarded the AMI Réinventer Paris 2 on the “Nation 1” site, and worked for many institutional actors, private and public.

Between 2010 and 2022, Vincent Gillot collaborated - as project manager, freelance collaborator or co-contractor - with Pierre-Louis Faloci, Eric Lapierre, Experience, DATA, AAVP Vincent Parreira, LAN, Farid Azib, Franklin Azzi, Antonio Virga, Freaks, Open Architecture, Atelier Georges, Fernandez & Serres, CALQ, Moatti et Rivière, Echelle Office, Franck Hammoutène, Ramy Fischler, Atelier Dots, Atelier Altern, Dépli design studio, Designers Unit.

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?

Muse (public commission) - Cultural project for “Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais”. Multi site project with an immersive space and a parcours on Art history, developed with Designers Unit in cities of Maubeuge, Saint-Dizier and Barentin in France. Current exhibition : Pompei, next to come: La Joconde (Mona Lisa) in partnership with Louvre museum. Construction: 2022 Total cost : 1.5M€ V.G.A lead architect

Ferry (public commission) - Project for the creation of 8 social apartments created from a former office space in a 60’s residency. The existing concrete structure is reused to avoid material waste and 8 apartments are created. Construction planned in 2023-24 Total cost : 1.5M€ / 685 sqm V.G.A lead architect

Hippolyte (private commission) - Situated in the 14th Paris district, the project aims to create a new floor on an existing building. The construction is totally made of wood. Building permit ongoing. Construction planned in 2023-24 Total cost : 150K€ / 40 sqm V.G.A lead architect

Chapelle-Charbon (public commission) - Competition for 45 social apartments in 18th district of Paris. Wooden structure, straw walls and raw earth façades. Competition 2022, 2nd rank. Total cost : 8.5M€ / 3 600 sqm Echelle Office is lead Architect, V.G.A. associated architect.

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

Architecture is the fabrication of reality, it creates the conditions for human existence and materializes its aspirations. It is the receptacle of actions and reflects both the materialistic aspect of human action and its psychological, even spiritual dimension. It is a tool both in its trivial and everyday dimension and in its sacred and transcendent dimension. It doesn’t have to be spectacular to be good, it has to help people to live their life happily, it has to be a quiet servant. The architect has to pay attention to how people live and what the main society changes are: socially or ecologically. He must be aware of technological and scientific evolutions as much as history and heritage and use this knowledge to try to make the world a little better.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Competitions are opportunities to develop other ways of doing things and to reflect on subjects that differ from the demands of traditional sponsors. For the agency, this has always made it possible to freely explore fields of ideas and to shape new concepts. It is also a way to make atypical references that complement the production of more conventional buildings. Even if the buildings are theoretical, the ideas are here and can be used in a real project in the future.

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

Architecture competitions allow you to express yourself in a fairly great freedom, it is an excellent way to improve and develop your own architectural identity and create your own universe as an author.

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