When one artist hires another artist to design their atelier, magical things happen. Didier Fiúza Faustino has recently completed a studio for his friend, the artist Jean-Luc Moulène, that reflects the experimental sensibilities of both creators. The French-Portuguese architect calls his latest project “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” The 365-square-metre building, located next to an old farm complex in the countryside outside the village of Saint-Langis-lès-Mortagne, in Normandy, is a tranquil retreat for the Paris-based artist.
The artist studio‘s five, four-metre-wide bays glow like lanterns when the lights (elemental fixtures also designed by Fiúza Faustino) are on at night. Each has a north-facing, translucent sloping facade with an opaque glass window, supported by zigzagging grilles, that meets the roof. The spaces within are designed to correspond with Moulène’s daily schedule: drawing from six to eight, making models from nine onwards and so on.
“His activity is a kind of choreography, from one moment to another, to another,” explains Fiúza Faustino. “So my point was to create a space that allows him to adapt his trajectories according to his needs.” The ground floor is a vast open space of 265 square metres, and the mezzanine provides an additional 100 square metres.
Throughout, workmanlike OSB walls framed in solid wood of a slightly contrasting tone delineate the interior, which includes workshop areas and relaxing zones. Altogether, the slanted bays, textured surfaces and their beams and columns make the space a dynamic, light-filled environment. It’s a shed-like atmosphere, rough and ready – and befitting the practice of making art.
A waterproof black rubber membrane clads the building, transforming it “into a shadow, making it disappear into its environment like a building not meant to be seen, only used,” Fiúza Faustino explains. And yet, as the architect himself expresses, the atelier is completely unmissable.
In Normandy, French-Portuguese architect Didier Fiúza Faustino crafts an unusual atelier for his friend, the artist Jean-Luc Moulène.