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Sophie Delage

  • A rationally intuitive architect!

12.2018

“Dance and architecture are closely connected by the ideas of bodies in space and the relationship with time.”

She dreamt of being a ballerina, she became an architect. Second choice? No, first: “When it came to deciding on my path, I asked myself some big questions. I could either torture my body and mind to achieve my dream or figure out what my real skills were and make a realistic decision.” She did the latter and went to Marseille’s Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture. “I wanted to work at something I could be passionate about and in the course of my studies I found everything I wanted, because architecture is expressed through two facets, scientific and artistic.” We should point out that Sophie’s mother is both a mathematician and a musician. “Dance and architecture are closely connected by the ideas of bodies in space and the relationship with time.” So it is with “two brains” that she tackles each project. “My thought process is rational. Although I always start from an intuition, I then verify it, validate it and confront it with reality. That’s how I deconstruct the work. The way I take decisions is analytical, scientific almost, but my goal is artistic, even if I don’t really feel I’m an artist because often we only reinterpret – by exploring local resources – what our elders used to do.” Sophie believes building with local materials is of prime importance and makes the act of construction meaningful. “Quite apart from the positive impact – environment, costs – it allows us to create an on-site economic fabric. We need stone? Let’s source it from a nearby quarry and call in a stone cutter. It also establishes a different relationship with time, very obvious in the case of wood since the material imposes its schedule of growing, maturing and seasoning. These aspects are fundamentally necessary to sustainable, qualitative construction.” Auguste Perret said that “architecture is what makes beautiful ruins.” No more to say.

Par Alexandre Benoist / Photo Jean-Michel Sordello