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FAIRE 2021

Survey on the forest landscapes of the Île-de-France region

Association Altiplano – Iris Andreadis, Théo Imberty, Lucien Kammermann, Adel Mohamedi, architects and Compagnons du Devoir guild apprentices

Critical and prospective study on the tree species of the Île-de-France forests, including an analysis of the constructive capacities of its hardwoods

Critical and prospective study on the tree species of the Île-de-France forests, including an analysis of the constructive capacities of its hardwoods


In the Île-de-France region, forests exist as an experiential space within a vast metropolis, in which multiple uses and affects are projected, the discrepancies of which fuel debate concerning our relationship to the living. In the era of green political discourse, this eminently complex milieu is primarily defined by its capacity to produce wood—a resource that is highly dependent on a globalized market, which tends to process it into a vastly homogenous material. This devitalization of wood, which is both material and cultural, is part of a broader political project that goes hand in hand with a deterritorialization of the means of production and processing.

Such a situation stimulates refocusing on the forest environments of Île-de-France and investigating in detail the realities of their uses, their cultural depth, and the inner workings of the production system they are dependent on. This proposal therefore lends support to the view of a material congruence between the forest as understood as a milieu and the condition of a sustainable production of the city and architecture in the Île-de-France metropolis.

This research is envisioned as an investigative process into its method, divided into three complementary phases and focal areas. The Situated Xylotheque will propose a critical inventory of the tree species of the Île-de-France region, in order to present real portraits of trees by articulating the cultural and material dimensions of each tree species with the challenges of local use. The Forestry Atlas of the Île-de-France Region will report on the factual situation of the visible and invisible landscapes of the metropolis, and will showcase their stories and destinies. Finally, a Critical Corpus of Prototypes will reveal the ingenious bridges that could exist between various production supply chain and construction methods. This prospective and experimental section will aim to highlight the forms and conditions for a timber construction that is both sparing in its use of resources and revitalized in its aesthetic and constructive expression.

This proposal is therefore a research process that is intended to create and disseminate an innovative critical knowledge base, in order to refocus the debate on forests and timber construction and the cultural, social, economic, historical, and constructive conditions shaping it.

Association Altiplano – Iris Andreadis, Théo Imberty, Lucien Kammermann, Adel Mohamedi

After meeting during their studies at ENSA Paris-Belleville, the founders of Association Altiplano developed an investigative gaze on materials supply chains and the conditions and impact of the production, as well as their implementation in construction together during their final year project.
Established in 2021, the registered association Altiplano is intended to serve as a platform for research work into the shared areas of interest of its members. In addition to these joint projects, the team is convinced that a cross-cutting approach is necessary to inform exchanges, which is why each of its members cultivates varied practices and experiences of the architect’s trade.

Iris and Théo are both architects, with Boris Bouchet in Clermont-Ferrand and Simon Teyssou in Châtaigneraie cantalienne, respectively. The issues specific to rural and peri-urban territories are addressed from up close, as is the role of architects with respect to execution and local construction cultures. Adel and Lucien have turned to craftsmanship in order to hone a more direct relationship with making and construction. They both work as apprentices as part of their vocational education with the Compagnons du Devoir guild. One is currently an apprentice joiner in the production workshop Perron et Frères in Pantin, and the other is an apprentice carpenter in the traditional woodworking company Champion-Montier, based in the Pays d’Auge region of Normandy.