Odile Decq by Ellen Johanne Gleditsch

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French award-winning architect and academic Odile Decq started her career with the project Banque Populaire de l’Ouest in Rennes, in 1990. Odile Decq and Benoit Cornette created the studio ONBC together, which is seen as the most important part of her career. Decq’s passion and interest for technical process is to be seen from the beginning of her success. Since then, she was the architect who questioned the technical aspects of the design process from a technical point of view.

Her curiosity towards the technological knowledge of her projects helps her to get a broader understanding of the product from start to end. Questioning things before positioning is one of her most important parts when it comes to researching her projects, usually, each object have to remain an adventure for her and the people. Decq wants a reaction and a satisfaction from the people visiting her buildings, which she hopes will give them a different reaction than other buildings. Black is her absolute domestic color and the color she thinks is the neutral color of the project. Red is her way of brining life into the building, as well as it appears to contrast the black in a “rock’n’roll” attitude with movement and energy screaming towards you.

Decq completed the MACRO (Museum for Contemporary Art in Rome) in 2010. Researching some of her projects from her online website, her project is written about from the artist point of view. “The rooftop is a landscape, a projection screen for the art garden. The museum is a continuous path that runs fluidly from public to private. By the nature of the flow and movement of this space, the exhibition room is also a landscape, but in contrast to the dynamism of the surrounding areas, the interior of the exhibition spaces remain neutral providing an appropriate setting for the art”. [1]

After four years, the Opera Restaurant in Paris was done. Considered to be one of the greatest works, also with a huge difference from her other projects within mostly school or museum buildings. “Like a Phantom, silent and insidious, the soft protean curves of the mezzanine level float above the dinner guests, covering the space with a surface that bends and undulates. The façade of the restaurant is a veil of sinuous glass, sliding around each pillar. The red carpet flows down the steps of the main staircase dramatically, running under the tables until it arrives at the edge of the glass façade”. [2]

In an interview by Designboom, the interviewer asks her to describe her own style. “What I am very interested in when I design and conceive something is thinking about the close relationship between body and space. That’s why, for example the macro, I really wanted people to travel through the volume, to take different routes, moving the body through the museum and have a sense of discovery”. [3]

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[1] Odile Decq. Odile Decq Studio: Projects, Architecture.

[2] Ibid

[3] Andrea Chin. Designboom: Odile Decq Interview. Retrieved July 5, 2011.

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