A territorial architecture
Paris, FR; Zürich, CH

Marion Mouny and Katia Naouri founded the mmnk architecture and urban planning workshop between Paris and Zürich in 2018. The studio’s production is defined as a territorial architecture. The projects resonate with the same attention for landscape, kow-how, materiality and uses. Their process results in an architecture anchored in its territory composed of simple forms and devices draped in poetry.

Finding a rhythm

We both met during our studies in architecture school, during which we strangely never had the opportunity to work together and test our collaboration. After our degree we both took different directions, Marion worked in an architectural conservation studio and then specialised in retail architecture with the brand Aesop, while Katia went to work abroad in agencies with a research dimension and working on large-scale territory and landscape. We were never far from each other, had a mutual admiration for each other's work and a great desire to do something together. We got started fairly quickly with a first hotel renovation project which gave us a good start in finding our own rhythm together.


Sticking to flexibility

Being an architect is very time consuming and often involves a high level of investment. This is something that is encouraged during studies and often leads to forgetting oneself in favour of the project. We have created our studio with the ambition to find a better balance between quality of life and quality of project: saying no to extreme overtime, walking barefoot in the office, taking a nap, working remotely... and even if it's not always easy, we always try to stick to it!


Maintaining a certain freedom

Our physical workspace is now located in Belleville in Paris. It is first of all a discussion space, full of materials and prototypes, where we go to meet and exchange. Alongside this, we like to work in different places, to immerse ourselves in different locations, to be open to other environments. It is very important for us not to remain constantly fixed and to have this freedom of movement. It is of course a freedom that is linked to the rhythm of our lives and the way we both work.


A resourceful materiality

We were conscious of the polluting dimension of the building sector, which uses a lot of energy and materials. Very quickly we were directly confronted with this logic of "destroying in order to rebuild" in the renovation field: replacing beautiful materials dexterously implemented by composite and polluting materials that do not require any craftsmanship. These are well-established mechanisms that are difficult to interrupt, but it really made an impression on us and that is why we have been concentrating on these themes of materials and resources saving ever since. To try to put less material but more meaning into our projects.


Fostering a nurturing community

Our ambition and desire for the studio is to surround ourselves with people with whom we enjoy working. Our profession as architects is at the centre of a lot of tensions, which burst out especially at the time of the construction work and which can be hard. The important thing for us is to do this job with people who have the same desire to share and build something together, while being respectful of the planet and of each other's work and, above all, having fun!

mmnk portrait 1 Katia Naouri

mmnk studio 1 Katia Naouri

mmnk studio 2 Katia Naouri

mmnk project 2 Katia Naouri

mmnk project 1 Katia NaouriImages courtesy of mmnk

a project powered by Itinerant Office

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