From the age of eleven, Matthieu Delatte knew that he wanted to become an architect. He founded his firm in 2008 with three professors from La Cambre School of Architecture, a bureau in the form of a cooperative that practices architecture as well as urban planning and landscape design. He defines his architecture as the most human possible: the user, the environment and the context are at the centre of his work.

Matthieu Delatte
Karbon’

www.karbon.be
info@karbon.be

Technical sheet of this architecture video clip
Journalist : Emma C. Dessouroux
Cameraman : Emanuel Pinto / EpiProd
Photographies : Mister Emma

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

Translation : Comtrans
Subtitles : Les Délires Productions

English Subtitles

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I studied architecture at
the Victor Horta school of architecture,

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which has now merged with La Cambre.

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Architecture came to me
when I was very young, at 11 years old

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I knew I wanted to be an architect.

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And since then,
I’ve done everything possible to be one.

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And here I am a few years later,
a little less hair

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and a little bit of beard.

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I loved looking at houses.

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I’m always told that
in front of every house I passed,

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I made a little comment.

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I said, « I like it. »

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Or, « This one is not nice, oh that one…

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It’s not worthwhile,
it’s not interesting. »

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Instead of my homework, I was designing

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on my little Rotring A3.

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I have a collection of designs that
I made between 11 and 18 years old

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before going into architectural studies.

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I created Karbon’ in 2008

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along with three other architects,

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Géry Leloutre,
Bernard Baines and Victor Brunfaut

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who are all professors at
the La Cambre architecture school.

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The office was structured
as a cooperative.

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So it’s an office that is
as level as possible

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in terms of work dynamics.

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Karbon’ is an office
which does architecture

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but it also does planning and landscape.

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We give great importance
to the context in which we’ll be building.

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Once the contextual
and urban issues have been defined,

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at that moment,
we start making designs, models.

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We take a lot of pleasure in sketching

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and materializing things
in the form of a model,

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which is a fairly fabulous
communication tool

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to enable the client to understand
an intention, a project.

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We design my architecture
or our architecture

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as architecture that is
as humane as possible,

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as respectful as possible.

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At the same time,

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humans, users,

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and the environment,

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the context in which the project is built.

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On my desk,
there’s a computer first of all.

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Because the designs
are also done on the desk,

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there is also a packet of pencils

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and felt-tip pens.

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A roll of tracing paper,

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loose sheets and loose designs.

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Then the models are done in the office,

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we have a small model workshop

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to create the models.

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The construction of my own home
was an opportunity

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to build a house

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using hempcrete as the material.

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We don’t often get the opportunity

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to build with these materials
because they can

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scare the prospective builder.

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So it was really an opportunity
to build a house

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that is contemporary
and fits with our era,

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using natural materials

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and show that it’s possible
to build a comfortable house

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which meets the current needs
with eco-sourced materials.

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The construction of this house has opened

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many doors,

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both in terms of projects,

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and in relation
to the recognition of our work.

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And so it was very, very beneficial.

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There are materials we use less
or that we try

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to use in moderation,

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and materials
that we allow ourselves to use

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quite often.

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So we pay a lot of attention
to using materials which are

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the most respectful
of the earth and the environment.

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Most are eco-sourced materials,

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local materials.

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We are very lucky to be at a time
when these materials are plentiful.

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We want to be
the most respectful and attentive

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to the needs.

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To have the lowest impact possible

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and the solutions we bring
are going in that direction.

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And we really hope to participate

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in a movement that pushes our profession,

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our jobs as architects

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to develop

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an architecture

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which is the most respectful of humans,
and the environment,

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and which is not purely a formal answer
but a global response.

French Subtitles

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J’ai étudié l’architecture à l’école
d’architecture Victor Horta

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qui est maintenant fusionnée
avec La Cambre.

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Et l’architecture c’est quelque chose
qui est venu tout petit, à 11 ans

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je savais que je voulais être architecte.

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Et depuis ce jour-là,
j’ai tout fait pour l’être.

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Et me voici quelques années plus tard,
avec quelques cheveux en moins

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et un petit peu de barbe.

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J’adorais regarder les maisons.

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On me raconte toujours
que devant chaque maison

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devant laquelle je passais,
je faisais mon petit commentaire.

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Je disais: « Ça j’aime bien. »

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Ou « Ah celle-là n’est vraiment pas belle.
Oh celle-là…

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Elle ne vaut pas le coup,
elle n’est pas intéressante. »

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À la place de faire mes devoirs,
je faisais mes plans

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sur ma petite Rotring A3.

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Et donc j’ai une collection de plans
que j’ai faits entre 11 et 18 ans.

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Avant de me lancer
dans les études d’architecture.

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On a créé le bureau Karbon’ en 2008

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avec trois autres architectes.

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Donc Géry Leloutre,
Bernard Baines et Victor Brunfaut

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qui sont tous les trois professeurs
à l’école d’architecture de La Cambre.

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On a structuré le bureau
sous forme de coopérative.

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Donc c’est un bureau
qui se veut le plus horizontal possible

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au niveau de la dynamique de travail.

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C’est important de rappeler que Karbon’
est un bureau qui fait de l’architecture

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mais c’est aussi un bureau
qui fait de l’urbanisme et du paysage.

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Donc on apporte une grande importance
au contexte dans lequel on va construire.

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Une fois qu’on a défini les enjeux
contextuels et urbanistiques,

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à ce moment-là, on se lance
dans des dessins, une maquette.

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On prend beaucoup de plaisir à croquer

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et à matérialiser les choses
sous forme de maquette,

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qui est un outil de communication
assez fabuleux

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vis-à-vis des maîtres de l’ouvrage pour
faire comprendre une intention, un projet.

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On conçoit mon architecture
ou notre architecture

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comme une architecture
qui se veut la plus humaine possible,

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la plus respectueuse possible.

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À la fois,

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de l’homme, de l’usager,

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et de l’environnement,

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du contexte dans lequel
le projet se construit.

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Sur mon bureau,
on va surtout retrouver un ordinateur.

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Parce que les dessins se font
aussi sur le bureau

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mais donc c’est un paquet de crayons

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et de feutres.

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Un rouleau de calque.

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Des feuilles volantes
et des plans volants.

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Et puis les maquettes se font plus
dans le bureau,

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on a un petit atelier maquettes qui permet

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de réaliser les maquettes.

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La construction de mon habitation
personnelle a été l’occasion

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de réaliser une maison

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construite avec la paille
du béton de chanvre-chaux,

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on n’a pas tous les jours l’occasion

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de construire avec ces matériaux-là
parce qu’ils peuvent

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effrayer le candidat bâtisseur.

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Donc c’était vraiment l’occasion
de construire une habitation

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contemporaine et ancrée

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dans notre temps
avec des matériaux naturels

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et montrer que c’est tout à fait possible
de construire une habitation

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confortable qui réponde aux besoins
actuels avec des matériaux bio-sourcés.

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La construction de cette maison a ouvert

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plein de portes.

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Tant au niveau des projets

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qu’au niveau de la reconnaissance
de notre travail.

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Et donc ça a été très, très bénéfique.

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Il y a des matériaux qu’on utilise moins
ou qu’on essaie

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d’utiliser avec modération

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et des matériaux qu’on s’autorise
à utiliser

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avec plaisir.

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Donc on fait très attention
à utiliser des matériaux

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qui soient le plus respectueux
de la terre et de l’environnement.

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La plupart sont des matériaux bio-sourcés,

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des matériaux locaux.

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Et on a la grande chance d’être
à un moment où ces matériaux foisonnent.

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On se veut le plus respectueux
et le plus attentif

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aux besoins.

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Avoir un impact le plus faible possible

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et les réponses qu’on y apporte vont
dans ce sens-là.

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Et on espère vraiment participer

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à un mouvement qui pousse

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notre métier, notre métier d’architecte

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à développer

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une architecture

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qui soit la plus respectueuse
des hommes, de l’environnement,

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et qui ne soit pas une réponse purement
formelle mais une réponse globale.