The architects Dries Rodet and Charlotte Truwant are based in Basel. They position themselves as architects without value judgment vis-à-vis of an economic, ecological and urban context. Rodet and Truwant each have their office, and also work as assistant at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). In the past they collaborated with Pascal Flammer, Miller&Maranta or Bas Smet. Since 2013 they have worked on several projects, such as exhibition installations, a house, a territorial study and competitions, e.g. a competition of the Monument des Belges in the Netherlands in 2016. Together with the artist Fabian Marti and CClab they won the first prize for an installation in Bern university.
SAA: What fosters architecture?
RT: Unconsciously, everything influences our architecture, but in our practice we work with ideas that get synthesized into abstract forms. By confronting this form with its context, we translate ideas into space. As a result we propose an architecture that is at the same time universal and specific.
SAA: Must architecture be built?
RT: As soon as an idea crystallizes in a plan, a section, a text, an axonometric projection, an image, a model or a set of detailed drawings we consider the project “built”. If an architect is lucky, maybe 30% of his projects will be built. The remaining 70% will be systematically archived or published on websites or in publications. The drawings or models of these “unbuilt” projects are part of the discourse of the office. There are countless examples of paper projects that changed the course of architectural history and influenced generations of architects.
SAA: To whom is the architect subordinate: client or society?
RT: We don’t think it’s necessary to define a hierarchy between client and society. We consider both being part of the context of a project.