The scale and substance of an international agency
The agility and creativity of a start up company
At Arte Charpentier Architects, we like complex projects. Since way back in 1969, they have continued to bring out the best in our expertise, innovation and reactivity. Striving to bring a fresh approach to each new challenging brief means adapting and renewing our practice of architecture, urbanism, interior design and landscape on a daily basis.
This uncompromising attitude is what unites more than 120 employees of 15 different nationalities, including 20 associates, in our Paris, Lyon and Shanghai agencies, and resonates with the constantly evolving issues of urban and territorial design in France and further afield.
A sixth sense
Our multi-faceted approach has come about through the analysis of the transformation of different regions. It provides a working method for urban development and the design of commercial, office and residential spaces which will form the resilient towns and cities of tomorrow, in Europe, in the Maghreb, in Africa and in Asia, where the agency has been involved since its creation.
Each projet, as well as assuming its responsibilty towards the environment and catering for its functional requirements, is the opportunity to give meaning to a place and reinforce its identity. The appropriate creative response depends on the local, technical, human and cultural aspects of urban living, of densification, of diversity of uses, of sustainability and transformation and this applies in equal measure to buildings, the city, public and private spaces. Quality, timescale and budget form an important part of the equation.
Long live the human factor!
It is present in each plan, on every screen, spreadsheet, and site decision ; it is often the most intricately complex thing to resolve and we are passionate about it : the human factor is at the very heart of what we practice. It directs the way we interact with clients and territorial stakeholders. It reinforces our conviction in the efficiency of collaboration and shared creation, with building industry partners as well as with colleagues, where individual talent is harnessed for the benefit of team synergy. It forms a keystone of the overarching framework governing how work is carried out in the agency, which has been certified ISO 9001 for project design and execution. Whatever the size of a project, it is first of all calibrated with regard to human scale.
Arte Lab, research as a driving force
Using anticipation in design is the key to aptness and efficiency for the way regions, towns, districts, buildings, working and living spaces operate. For this reason experimentation plays a crucial role within our social and urban commitment to a sustainable, affordable, and ecological architecture.
In addition to our working knowledge of BIM, CIM (City Information Modelling) and virtual reality, our research and development programme makes available the most up to date information on construction methods, materials and lifestyles for the benefit of projects. So how best to describe Arte Lab? It is a means of satisfying a desire for knowledge and inspiration, at the service of not only architects, urbanists, landscape architects, and interior designers but also the client and end user.
Appropriating a site, revealing its essence and giving it sense, imagining the spaces, putting human scale and aspirations at the centre of the design; these are the things of architecture. Every project is different, its situation, urban context, and client objectives, and requires total commitment to its successful delivery.
Inventing ecologically responsible cities, reorganising and revitalising territories, assisting in the transformation of the urban landscape, imagining new equilibriums, articulating the transport networks, and designing convivial spaces. Such are the challenges to address through knowledge of place and culture.
Creating a unique character for each project, embodying the original aspirations of the project. Respecting studiously the user requirements and acknowledging and enhancing the specific qualities of each space.
Making liveable cities, placing people at the heart of the design process to define uses in harmony with environmental sustainability and biodiversity. Using planting to improve the quality of living spaces and promote well-being.
ISO 9001 certification (2008 version renewed) for project design and execution.
The agency adopted a Quality Control System in 2006. This entailed the establishment of a ‘quality plan’ for all projects, to enable tracability and determine working methods, with an aim to ensuring a constant level of quality.
This initiative led to a change in the way all teams approached their work whether in architectural design and execution, interior design, landscape or urbanism, and enabled Arte Charpentier to gain ISO certification in 2008 for their Paris head office and their sister agency in Lyon. The certification is reviewed annually and is renewed as necessary.
The aim is to be able to offer systematically valuable solutions to all requirements and constraints set by the client and deliver projects of all scales and technicity on time and on budget. The increasing transition from paper media to digitisation of data allows a significant saving of energy and means.
One indication of the success of our implementation of Quality Assurance certification is that our internal quality control director, who managed our transition, is also a member of the Certibat France Certification Committee, from 2012 to 2013 as part of the ‘collège Maîtrise d’oeuvre’ and since 2014 as a member of the strategic committee.
BIM (Building Information Modelling) is a method based on a comprehensive three-dimensional model of a building in all its aspects (architectural,technical, structural, economic etc.). All members of the design team have access to and contribute to a single shared model. This renders communication between partners more efficient and the building model is more accurate in its representation of the finished work.
Designing using BIM has many advantages over traditional methods which give only a partial view of the project in the form of plans, sections, elevations and details. BIM, on the other hand, where the building is modelled in its entirety, gives a much more complete view. Plans, sections, elevations and details of any part of the building as necessary can be printed off and each and every corner can be viewed in two or three dimensions.
Potential sticking points during the constructon phase can thus be spotted in advance, which helps make considerable savings in time and energy.
Arte Charpentier began its transition towards BIM in 2013 and now half of our architects have received Revit training. We are therefore in a position to accept the increasingly frequent demands from client organizations.