The Walloon-based firm LRArchitectes is one of the ten craft architecture firms that caviar.archi has decided to portray in film. Serge Landtmeters and Pascal Rahier 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?

Serge Landtmeters – Pascal Rahier
LRArchitectes

www.lrarchitectes.com
info@lrarchitectes.com

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

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

Translation : Comtrans
Subtitles : Les Délires Productions

English Subtitles

1
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My name is Serge Landtmeters.

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I am the managing architect
of LR Architects.

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Serge and I did our internships
in the same places.

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We gradually began to appreciate
each other, to work together,

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and we also worked together
in the evenings, at night, on weekends,

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on a project, an annex, or a house.

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And in 2007, we decided to leave the nest

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and start out working,
just the two of us,

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and then little by little
we created a team.

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Now seven of us work together

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on projects
that keep us busy every day.

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This is our office, located in Walhain,

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in the heart of Walloon Brabant.

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But the visitors who come to the office,

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coming from Brussels,

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see a workplace
that is quite foreign to them.

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It’s our daily life,

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and so, basically, the center of action

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is, above all, a rural area.

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This rurality has nothing to do
with the farmhouse,

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it’s just a way of settling
into a very specific territory

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that combines the natural landscape
and the constructed landscape.

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So our work takes into account
the context you fit into,

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the same way it would in the city.

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So I think maybe
what characterizes us

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is perhaps a more precise sensitivity

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in relation to existing issues involved
in building in a village,

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and in sometimes giving
a more frank answer

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with a clearer commitment to architecture

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that not only expresses itself,

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but is also integrated
as much as possible.

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So we look for this kind of balance
in many of our projects.

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Maya!

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We have the luck or bad luck,
I don’t know,

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to have a rather normal clientele,

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and so the budgets are often tight,

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and therefore we instead have to use
simple, raw materials.

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We work with concrete, wood, steel.

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We try to showcase them for what they are,

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really giving them that raw character,

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and that’s what gives the architecture
its contemporary feel.

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Perhaps what is also characteristic

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of an evolution in our thinking

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is the durability of our constructions.

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It’s more and more present now,

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and if you look at traditional buildings,

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the stone and bricks are materials

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which guarantee long-term durability.

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So today our work
is very focused on this durability.

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For the tone, the green takes this one.

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We’re looking at these three samples,

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they’re roughly at the same level, and…

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a little lighter, more sky blue,
and here, it’s more black.

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But I’m afraid it’s a little dark …

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When I was little, you could say
I kind of fell into it.

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I had an uncle
who was an architect, and I liked…

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I liked to go and see him
on building sites.

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And since I was very young,

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I always wanted to be an architect
and I didn’t deviate from that idea,

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and I’m very happy about it today.

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I was going to say
it’s as much a passion as a job for me.

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We draw a lot, we make many models.

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We work a lot as a team,

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and projects are usually the team’s answer

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to a request from a client,
a site, or a competition.

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We work on anything
that has to do with architecture,

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that is, all issues are of interest to us,

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from a very small area in a garden

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to public buildings, sports arenas,
and social housing.

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I think the client has to trust us,

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and we have to try
to form a relationship

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where we can create what they ask of us

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and, thanks to the skill
of our architects,

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show them what architecture really is.

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I think that with the project
we’re working on,

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or with a specific example,
we can show what real architecture is

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more through our work
rather than explaining it in words.

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And at first, it will be
through using plans and models.

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And then I think we can be
happy with our work

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when the client,
in their own house, tell us:

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« Yes, I understand the value
your work has brought »,

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because they feel good in their house
and it has character,

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it fits well on the site,

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and it offers them
an interesting living environment.

French Subtitles

1
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Je m’appelle Serge Landtmeters.

2
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Je suis architecte gérant
du bureau LR Architectes.

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Il se fait que Serge et moi avons fait
notre stage aux mêmes endroits.

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De fil en aiguille, on a appris
à s’apprécier, à travailler ensemble,

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et puis, on a travaillé ensemble
le soir, la nuit, le week-end,

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sur un projet, une annexe, une maison.

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Et en 2007, on a décidé
de prendre notre envol

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et de travailler à deux au départ,

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et petit à petit, on a créé une équipe.

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Maintenant, on est sept
à travailler ensemble

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sur les projets qui nous occupent
tous les jours.

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C’est notre bureau,
il est implanté à Walhain,

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en plein milieu du Brabant wallon.

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Mais les visiteurs
qui débarquent au bureau,

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venant de Bruxelles par exemple,

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découvrent un milieu de travail
qui leur est assez étranger.

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Nous, c’est notre quotidien,
et donc effectivement,

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notre territoire d’action,
c’est avant tout un territoire rural.

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La ruralité n’a rien à voir
avec la fermette quatre façades,

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c’est juste la manière de s’établir
dans un territoire très spécifique

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qui allie le paysage naturel
et le paysage construit.

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Et donc, notre intervention tient compte
du contexte dans lequel on s’inscrit,

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de la même manière
qu’elle le ferait en ville.

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Donc, je crois que peut-être,
ce qui pourrait nous caractériser,

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c’est une sensibilité
peut-être plus précise

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par rapport aux questions existantes
dans le bâti d’un village,

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et parfois aussi, peut-être,
une réponse plus franche

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avec un engagement un peu plus clair
en direction d’une architecture

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qui s’exprime, tout en cherchant
autant que possible à s’intégrer,

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donc c’est cette espèce d’équilibre
qu’on recherche

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dans beaucoup de nos projets.

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Maya !

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On a la chance ou la malchance,
je ne sais pas,

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d’avoir une clientèle
finalement assez normale,

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et donc effectivement,
des budgets souvent assez courts,

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et donc, on a plutôt
des matériaux bruts assez simples.

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On travaille avec du béton,
du bois, de l’acier.

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On essaie de les mettre en valeur
pour ce qu’ils sont,

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en leur rendant vraiment
ce caractère brut,

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et c’est ce qui donne, je pense,
à leur architecture son côté contemporain.

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Ce qui, peut-être aussi,
est caractéristique

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d’une évolution dans nos réflexions,

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c’est la pérennité de ce qu’on construit.

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C’est quelque chose
qui est de plus en plus présent,

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et c’est vrai que si on regarde
le bâti traditionnel,

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la pierre, la brique restent des matières

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qui garantissent une tenue dans le temps
à très, très longue échéance.

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Et donc aujourd’hui, notre travail
est très attaché à cette pérennité.

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En ton, le vert emporte celui-ci,

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et en ça, on a demandé
ces trois échantillons-là,

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c’est-à-dire en gros
le même niveau, et…

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plus clair un peu, plus bleu ciel,
et là, on sent qu’il y a plus de noir.

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Mais j’ai peur que ce soit un peu foncé…

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Je suis tombé dans la soupe
quand j’étais petit, on va dire.

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J’avais un oncle qui était architecte,
et que j’appréciais…

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enfin, j’appréciais quand j’étais petit
d’aller voir avec lui des chantiers.

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Et j’ai toujours eu envie de faire ça,
depuis que je suis tout petit,

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j’ai toujours voulu faire architecte
et j’ai pas dévié de mon idée,

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et j’en suis très content
d’ailleurs aujourd’hui.

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Après, voilà, c’est autant
une passion qu’un métier, j’allais dire.

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On dessine beaucoup,
on fait beaucoup de maquettes.

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On travaille beaucoup en équipe,

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et les projets sont plutôt en général
une réponse collégiale

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à une question posée par un client,
par un site, par un concours.

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On travaille dans tout
ce qui touche à l’architecture,

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c’est-à-dire que toutes les questions
nous intéressent par définition,

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depuis la toute petite annexe
dans un jardin

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jusqu’à des bâtiments publics,
des halls de sport, des logements sociaux.

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Je pense que le client,
il doit nous faire confiance,

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et on doit essayer de créer,
effectivement, une relation

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dans laquelle on va pouvoir lui apporter,
en fait, ce qu’il nous demande

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grâce à notre savoir-faire d’architectes,

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lui expliquer ce que c’est,
l’architecture.

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Je pense qu’on va plutôt lui montrer,
par le projet qu’on va faire

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et par un cas concret,
lui montrer ce que c’est, l’architecture,

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plutôt par notre travail
que vraiment lui expliquer avec des mots.

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Et dans un premier temps, ça va être
avec des plans, avec des maquettes.

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Et puis, je pense qu’on peut être
contents de notre travail

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quand on voit que le client,
dans sa maison, là, nous dit :

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« Eh bien, oui, j’ai compris la plus-value
que vous avez apportée par votre métier. »,

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parce qu’il se sent bien dans sa maison
et qu’elle a un caractère,

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et qu’elle s’intègre dans le site,

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et qu’elle lui offre
un milieu de vie très intéressant.