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Pierre-Louis Leclercq lockdown journal

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Taken by surprise during holidays on the Kennedy corniche in Marseille, the architect Pierre-Louis Leclercq (Leclercq Associés), started a shutdown Instagram diary @pilouleclercq_. Without computer, away from the office but facing the sea, he went for a slow and meticulous renovation of the former residence of famous French actor and singer Fernandel. « It’s an archaeologist task, I scratch the late 19th century ornements plasters in order to understand the methods and skills used by Les Compagnons (French organization of craftsmen and artisans dating from the Middle Ages). It’s like and antique car or and old ship, everything can be repair manually. The wood windows, the faience (/architectural ceramics / Glazed architectural terra-cotta), it’s not about changing everything but rather carefully replace, cherish. I tinker with what I have ; a tree branch to fix a broken board in a Hardwood floor, concrete block and earthenware tiles to design a bench, paint cans to refresh an old chair or an entire room and also this garden becoming a potager (/kitchen garden).

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This moment where time seems to stand still allows to slow down and to observe things at another scale, to look into and at the details. To consider the work of the Compagnons is essential for the architect Pierre-Louis Leclercq, son and collaborator of Francois Leclercq the founder of the Lerclercq Associés firm, where he has to conceive large architectural and urban projects. « Architects shall all accomplish a kind of construction site training course, a journeyman years, a ‘Tour de France des Compagnons’ to reconnect with construction away from the big groups of the building industry.I strongly believe in the crafts and its specialities in each region. » It a talking point and a shared interest with the painter and glazier Mathias Kiss who masters the ability to transpose his craftsmanship in a contemporary manner. « He can elaborate different paint formulas on the window-frame or the wall according to the light exposure ; his skies, his Faux marble are fascinating.
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A downtime which is also a time to think and conceive the city of tomorrow. « This privileged lockdown put things back in order to me. I’m thinking about people lockdown in small spaces. Everyone should have access to natural light and green spaces. We, as a architects in our firm, make a point in offering open space areas for every housing in most of our projects but we have to go further. The monoblock concrete facade is something of the past.

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Pierre-Louis Leclercq @pilouleclercq_