The Brussels-based firm and_architecture is one of the ten craft architecture firms that caviar.archi has decided to portray in film. David Henquinet and Nicolas Iacobellis tell you all about their interest in architecture in front of Mister Emma’s camera. They describe their day-to-day work and practices. Quality architecture, architecture in good taste, but what does creating architecture ultimately mean?

adn_architectures
David Henquinet – Nicolas Iacobellis

a-dn.be
a@a-dn.be

With the support of

Technical sheet of this architecture video clip
Journalist : Emma C. Dessouroux
Cameraman : Emma C. Dessouroux
Photographies : adn_architectures

Editing : Emma C. Dessouroux / Cristina Dias
Direction : Emma C. Dessouroux
Production : Les Délires Productions

Translation : ComTranslations
Subtitles : Les Délires Productions

English subtitles

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My name is David Henquinet.

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I work for adn_architectures.

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I’m an associate architect.

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ADN started in 2003 or 2002

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when we were still students
with David Henquinet.

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If I had to describe
my architectural style,

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I’d say it’s typically Belgian.

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I think that

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what we want to convey
with our architecture

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is an integrated architecture

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that’s understated but detailed.

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A kind of attitude

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where the answers you get
are more like reactions to context.

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And I would say that
what we’ve always tried to do

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is to bring a bit of emotion
into the spaces we create.

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When I talk about detail,

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I mean detail
within the scope of the project.

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So it seems to us

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that it’s possible to have
a very simple architecture

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but which is expressive
in the small details.

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That doesn’t mean
that when you look at a project overall

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you would say it’s no more
than overwrought detail,

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but it’s a search for the little things
which make all the difference for us.

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So it’s not a minimalist project
without any details,

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but it’s work on a threshold,
on an edging,

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on a step,
on a small piece of furniture.

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It’s all of these things together

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which, in our view, combine to make
a seamless project that stands out.

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The creative work
is always done by two people,

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but done quite quickly

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so there is always one of us
in charge of a project,

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and then we have exchange sessions
to develop a project internally.

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I initially wanted to do architecture

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because I think I’m basically a romantic.

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I thought I could bring

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interesting solutions to urban problems,

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this question of living
for individuals that come to us,

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and it’s this question of living, in fact,
that carries on into public projects.

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My definition of architecture,
as a professional and consultant,

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is to provide
interesting spatial solutions

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that have a certain emotion.

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I like to use that word
for ordinary spaces,

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bringing something extraordinary to them.

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Architecture is the interpretation
of the client’s needs

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to bring them more
than they were expecting.

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We accept that…
Well, the blocks are a bit chipped,

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it’s a bit dirty… it’s rough.

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Look there.

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But at the same time, it’s very alive.

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The materials we love to use

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because they give us
an enormous range of possibilities

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with their simplicity,

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is brick and plywood.

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And they went with the furnishings
we wanted to do from the start.

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We do architecture to our taste.

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At times we’ve done it
according others’ tastes,

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because we were obligated to do so.

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Regarding our profession as architects,

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we sometimes decided
to accept doing certain things

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according to other people’s tastes.

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At ADN we build architecture

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that complies
to modern environmental standards,

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while giving it a touch
which is all our own.

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That in itself is a reinterpretation
of environmental standards

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and what it means for a building
to be durable.

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So it’s not just a matter
of energy efficiency

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in the strict sense of the law,

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but rather an economy of durability
in the use of a house

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and the way it was built.

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And that’s with a broader scope
than the regulations,

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so it’s not just aiming to build
a 100% passive building

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with minimal energy consumption,

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but a house that’s been conceived
with the client to be durable,

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and also thinking about
the particular way it’s built.

French subtitles

1
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Je m’appelle David Henquinet.

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Je travaille chez adn_architectures.

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Je suis architecte associé.

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ADN a commencé en 2003, 2002

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même quand on était encore
aux études avec David Henquinet.

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Si je devais un peu caractériser
mon architecture,

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je dirais qu’elle est typiquement belge.

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Je pense que

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ce qu’on veut transmettre
par notre architecture,

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c’est une architecture intégrée,

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sobre, mais du détail.

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Une sorte d’attitude

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où les réponses qui sont apportées
sont plutôt des réactions à des contextes.

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Et je dirais que nous,
ce qu’on a toujours essayé de faire,

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c’est apporter un petit peu d’émotion
dans les espaces qu’on crée.

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Quand je parle de détails,

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je parle du détail
dans l’enveloppe du projet.

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Donc il nous semble

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qu’on peut avoir une architecture
extrêmement simple

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mais qui s’exprime par des petits détails.

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Et ce n’est pas pour ça
que quand on voit le projet global,

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on se dit que ce n’est que
du détail ultra-léché,

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mais c’est la recherche de petites choses
qui font en fait la différence pour nous.

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Donc ce n’est pas un projet minimaliste
où on ne voit plus rien comme détails,

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mais c’est le travail
sur un seuil, sur une rive,

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sur une marche d’escalier,
sur un petit élément de mobilier.

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Et c’est toutes ces petites choses
qui, mises ensemble,

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font à notre sens un projet
qui est intégré,

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qui se différencie des autres.

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Le travail de création
se fait toujours à deux

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mais de manière assez courte

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et donc il y a toujours
un des deux qui gère un projet

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et puis on fait des sessions d’échange
pour faire évoluer le projet en interne.

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J’ai voulu faire de l’architecture
à la base,

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parce que je pense que je suis
un homme romantique, à la base.

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Je pense que je pouvais apporter

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des réponses intéressantes
à des problèmes urbains,

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des questions d’habiter

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pour les particuliers
qui viennent nous trouver.

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Et la question d’habiter, en fait,
elle a continué dans les projets publics.

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Pour moi, la définition de l’architecture,
en tant que professionnel et conseiller,

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c’est apporter
des réponses spatiales intéressantes,

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qui apportent une certaine émotion
et j’aime bien utiliser le mot

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par rapport à un espace ordinaire,
apporter quelque chose d’extraordinaire.

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L’architecture, c’est la réinterprétation
du programme du client

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pour lui apporter plus
que ce qu’il ne pensait avoir.

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On accepte que… bah voilà,
t’as des blocs un peu ébréchés…

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c’est un peu sale… c’est brut.

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Voilà, quoi !

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Mais en même temps,
je trouve ça très vivant, en fait.

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Les matériaux qu’on utilise
avec joie, c’est parce que,

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dans leur simplicité, ils donnent
un panel de possibilités assez énorme,

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cela reste la brique et le « multiply »,
le bois, le multiplex.

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Et ils ont suivi sur le mobilier
qu’on avait envie de faire dès le début…

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On fait l’architecture à notre goût.

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Ça nous arrive de faire de l’architecture
au goût des autres

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parce qu’à certains moments,
on est obligés de le faire.

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Par rapport à notre métier d’architecte,
on a décidé à certains moments

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d’accepter de faire certaines parties
de l’architecture au goût des autres.

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Chez ADN, on construit de l’architecture

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qui correspond aux normes
de l’écologie actuelle,

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tout en essayant d’apporter
un point de vue qui est le nôtre,

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qui est une réinterprétation là aussi
de la règle écologique,

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et de ce que peut être
la durabilité d’un bâtiment,

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et donc pas une question
d’économie d’énergie

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au sens strict et au sens de la loi,

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mais plutôt une économie de la durabilité
dans l’usage d’une maison,

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dans la manière dont elle a été construite

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et avec un point de vue
plus ouvert que les règlements,

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et pas forcément une volonté
de faire une maison 100 % passive

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avec une consommation d’énergie minimum,

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mais une maison qui a été pensée
de manière durable avec le client

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et dans la manière particulière
de la construire.