Et soudain surgit face au vent….
Bocabeille Fassio Viaud
Let’s get started, let’s talk about architects. Architects can be harassing, discredited. They are constantly re-inventing their own practice. They take financial risks and bear important legal responsibilities. Yet, ever-lasting youth is one of the most significant virtues of architects. A 50-year-old architect is a young architect. BFV is thus a young architecture practice, created in 2018 by three lively architects in their fifties and strongly animated by the power of youth : on one hand, Jean Bocabeille, who had been running his own studio since 2012, and on the other hand, Olivier Fassio and Jean-Brice Viaud, who established their studio in the 1990’s (Fassio Viaud Architectes). As Olivier Fassio (who is also psycho-genealogist) would say, meeting someone by chance is by nature part of the wider story, even the destiny. BFV perfectly embodies his statement.
Back to the future. Jean Bocabeille studied at Belleville during the “great years” of the school (the Ciriani period). He established his first practice together with Ignacio Prego in 1996 (BP Architectures). At the very beginning of the 2000’s, he and three other studios funded Plan01, a collective of architects and friends. Plan01 designed and completed several buildings, including the Thiepval memorial (2004), the Vendée History Museum (2006) and the Vern-sur-Sèche crematorium. In 2012, Jean Bocabeille and Ignacio Prego decided to put their common practice to an end, and Jean started his solo practice. He built dwellings and a religious center for Vinci in the Batignolles district, dwellings in the rue de Nantes, a school in Courbevoie, a nursery in Epinay-sous-Senart, another school in Paris 18, and the M9C multifunctional complex (dwellings, a school and a theater) for Paris Rive Gauche.
For their part, Olivier Fassio and Jean-Brice Viaud both graduated from the renowned school of Versailles. They completed together several singular and noteworthy buildings, including the first offices made of Corian for PRD (an energy-plus building housing the Cité de l’environnement in Pantin), the Paul Baillart cultural center in Massy, a canine center, a public library in l’Île-Saint-Denis and a sport hall made of stone in Versailles. Repetition is something they banished from their work. Their appetite for new experiences led them to exciting challenges, some of them being addressed for the first time : wooden structure (Pulse), using Corian and stone cladding, original geometries… The three men met in the French Touch, a collective of architects in which they were involved. In 2008, when Goldmann Sachs collapsed and cast a shadow over the world, the collective curated the French pavilion of the Venice Biennale with a project called GénéroCité. More, the collective’s Annuel d’Architecture Optimiste (Optimist Architecture Yearly Issue) made the headlines and has been a matter of debate for several years. Remember?
Optimism, friendship, and, above all, a sense of adventure. For Jean, Olivier and Jean-Brice, this new partnership is part of a long story of collectives and challenging collaborations. In the end, the new team’s strategy is the same as ever : being genuinely alive and sharing ideas and experiences. Do It Yourself is too cynical - they rather go for Do It Together. Their first projects as a team include : Pulse, a 30 000sqm wooden structure office building for Icade in Aubervilliers (completed in 2019), a student hall in Aubervilliers (also completed in 2019), a 6500sqm office building for DCB in Villeurbanne (expected for 2021) and 430 high standard dwellings as part of a transformation-restructuration-extension operation in Suresnes, on the river side (also expected for 2021).
Contractors, urban planners and developers, public bodies, elected leaders… This message is for you. BFV, it’s more than 800 000 sqm of housing, offices and public programs, built in either tense or relaxed environments, from 1 up to Z. It’s a genuine taste for novelty, a deep trust in the human factor, and more than 30 years of experience.
It’s a young team ; look no further.
all of us
BFV Architectes is an architecture studio funded by Jean Bocabeille, Olivier Fassio and Jean-Brice Viaud.
This acronym stands for more than 20 years of experience. It embodies both a historical continuity and a strong desire to grow together and broaden the scope of action. The idea of creating a new practice was obvious to the three men, as much as their will to keep building a consistent, efficient and meaningful kind of architecture.
Together this time.
Bocabeille, Fassio and Viaud’s projects have been carried out either as collective journeys ([BP] Architectures, Plan01 or Fassio-Viaud Architectes) or individual adventures (Jean Bocabeille Architecte). The three architects share a contemporary and expressive approach of architecture and always provide innovating solutions that combine aesthetics and materiality.
BFV Architectes counts more than 50 projects over the past 25 years.
BFV Architectes worked on all kinds of program: mixed-use developments, social housing, private housing, hotels, students halls, nursing homes, offices, public buildings (culture, sport and school facilities) and infrastructures (a tunnel and a highway toll). BFV Architectes experimented a broad range of construction systems using concrete, steel and wood. BFV Architectes also got involved in redevelopment operations of modern architecture buildings. Last, environmental issues and requirements are fully part of BFV architects design process.
Architects scope of action and missions have radically changed throughout the past 10 years. New actors emerged, reflecting new environmental, social and economic requirements (HEQ, project management advisors, promoters, start-ups, residents…) and influencing the design process in many ways.
This evolution can be explained by two key factors. Competitions and calls for projects launched by the city of Paris reshaped the roles of traditional actors of the construction process. Today, private actors such as promoters are assisted by project management advisors, organizations and start-ups. They take a more active part in discussions about the project main lines. They convey new contemporary ideas of what it is to live together , which they enhance through social and environmental proposals. On the other hand, public contractors, assisted by urban planners, developers and project management advisors considerably increased their standards regarding numerous construction features and started to implement labels, prescriptions and procedures to appoint the different actors of the project: architects, construction companies, promoters…
Thus, architectural projects got more and more supervised, shaped upstream and regulated throughout the whole construction process, reducing architects’ scope of action on the very essence of the project. To face these numerous changes, BFV Architectes redefined their architectural practice which they based on their experience and a fundamental skill of the profession: the art of building.
In De Architectura, Vitruvius stated three fundamental conditions to build good architecture: firmitas, utilitas, venustas.
Firmitas, or firmness, implies that “foundations must be carried down to solid grounds, and built with the best and most suitable materials, regardless of the costs”. This definition underlines the durability of buildings, which is based on both firmness and quality of materials, two compulsory features of a good and lasting architecture.
Utilitas, or functionality, implies that buildings must be designed “in a subtle way that responds to the needs of actual users, providing them with spaces offering commodity”. This definition suggests drawing less determined spaces to free buildings from space-related constraints in the future.
Venustas, or beauty, implies that “the overall look must be pleasant and elegant, using adequate and balanced proportions to tie together the different parts of the building”. What if this definition was simply the result of the two concepts defined above?
To conclude, BFV Architectes is driven by a strong desire to share their extensive experience of construction. We want to be reliable and committed partners, to offer our expertise and to foster discussions with all the actors of the real estate world in order to design optimized solutions and smarter developments.