"The architecture should disappear and be as simple as possible to let nature express itself and dominate". In the work of the Atelier d'Architecture Bruno Erpicum (AABE), concrete is the undisputed king, while all the technical prowess are hidden in a building which has been rendered silent. To make sure that the picture fade to benefit the landscape, sometimes a visual barrier is installed, like a wall at the entrance of the property "so that the visitor can discover the magic of the place as late as possible".
Whether it is country, desert or coast, the environmental context determines the essence of every architectural project. "We must use friendly materials, create with local products while remaining attentive to the installation and maintenance conditions required by the geographical situation". Along the coast, for example, the Belgian architect prefers to use concrete. "Contrary to what many believe, concrete is a natural material made up of sand and gravel, capable of dealing with the power of the elements while maintaining its character."
Imbued with environmental awareness, the building is erected with the concern to preserve the existing elements, such as the coastal flora. "This type of vegetation has been able to adapt and establish itself over time and that’s the reason why we need to respect it and build around it, without destroying it. Preserving nature is to be cautious". His creations are a tribute to the environment, to the coastline and its diversity. A house should not have a single view but it should rather be open to all its horizons. "You have to create rooms that turn their backs to the sea, spaces that are more introverted to calm the view".
With this spirit of supremacy of the setting on the implementation, Bruno Erpicum dreams of bringing architecture to extreme humility "in contrast with the environment that is more and more beautiful", without enslave it to a project. An ideal that could be achieved in Namibia, halfway between sea and desert. He also dreams of perfection, which he almost reached with his latest creation in Corsica. "In this natural and protected reserve, the work is almost invisible but it is there". A building marked by modesty, perfectly integrated in its natural environment, because in the eyes of Bruno Erpicum "this is how architecture must be expressed in such places".
Translated by Dafne Inzaina – Meretdemeures.com.