Exercice
Our own way of doing architecture
Paris, FR

Exercice is an architecture and design agency that strives to decompartmentalise disciplines in order to make them dialogue, to develop projects combining technicality with creativity, rigor and freedom, in which the know-how of craftsmen are placed at the heart of the process. Founded in 2018 by Edouard Danais and Gwendal Le Bihan, they currently work out of an adapted factory in Saint-Denis, Paris, France.

 

Understanding the simple things

We (Edouard and Gwendal) met during a university exchange in Brazil. After a few years of working on our own, we finally decided to join forces and start working together on Standards sur-mesure, our first project together. For several months we were living in a Jean Prouve House in the north of France, carrying out a research project on craftsmanship in architecture. The pleasure we take and the one we offer are for us the most important things in a project; an attraction to materiality, understanding how things are done. We spend a lot of time on communication in order to understand things. The simplest things are often the most complex to build.

A diverse workday

We try to make different things everyday. The worst kind of day is when we are caught eight hours in front of a screen. We are now drawing and working a lot with models. It really helps to handle the materials in order to understand it. Every moment of the day is important to us. For instance, we take our time to cook well. And when we have time, we even like to play music (we have room in our studio with different music instruments).

Building an inventory

We are working in an old factory in Saint-denis near Paris. We are surrounded by craftsmen from a background that is different from ours which it’s very stimulating. They give us some very precious advice about materials and construction details. In the studio, we have enough space to experiment and to prototype. With time, we have accumulated different tools that allow us to manipulate wood, steel and concrete.

Constantly entertained 

As a small office, we have to do pretty much everything by ourselves, from communication to accounting, business and customer relationship. We are constantly looking for new projects and it takes a lot of time. It is sometimes exhausting but it’s part of the job. Being an architect never gets boring because everyday is different.

Inventing a methodology

We would like to collaborate with people that inspire us; to choose the projects we work on; to continue exploring new programs, new scales, new techniques and new materials; to cross the boundaries between related disciplines like art and design; to invent our own way of doing architecture. 



Exercice

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DSC02311 Gwendal Le Bihan

Monolog Exercice 1 Gwendal Le Bihan

Photography Courtesy of Exercice






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