Off the record: Valode et Pistre

Jean Pistre and Denis Valode © N. Guiraud

In the way of the Proust Questionnaire, AA asks today’s architects about their profession, their projects, their vision of the future. Today, we meet Denis Valode et Jean Pistre, founding architects of Valode et Pistre in Paris. They were appointed Knights of the Arts and Letters in 1997, and two years later won the silver medal of the Academy of Architecture for the sum of their work. They are both member sof the Academy of Architecture since 2001. Their Commercial Centre in Beaugrenelle, inaugurated in 2013, was rewarded with the Pierre d’Or 2014, the excellence prize of the CNCC trophies 2014, an ICSC Award 2015, and at last the Global Award for Excellence 2015 of the Urban Land Institute.

Tour Saint-Gobain, currently in construction at la Défense © Valode & Pistre architectes

Being an architect is …

DV : Helping people to live a bit better … more poetically on this planet.

JP : The art of transforming ideas into built spaces.


My ideal commission

DV : The next one.

JP : A new city, in a new landscape, with new people.


My job in 20 years

DV : The same, except for the technique.

JP : Difficult to make prophecies, especially for the future…

The Airbus Group campus at Toulouse Blagnac, 2016 © Philippe Chancel

The advice I would give a young architect

DV : Listen and hear, look and see.

JP : Stay young, and good sailing !


What I wish to pass on to our collaborators

DV : The coherence of the project around an idea.

JP : Take advantage of difficulties to enhance projects.


The rising architect we should follow

DV : Wang SHU.

JP : He is surely African.

The new Gonesse hospital near Paris, 2016 © Philippe Chancel

The project I’d like to have done myself

DV : The Oslo Opera House by Snøhetta.

JP : The Institute of France.


Another career I’d have liked to pursue

DV : Carpenter, Mountain Guide.

JP : Sailor.

Hall of the new bioMérieux head office, near Lyon, 2016 © Philippe Chancel


A book, an object, a piece of art I particularly like

DV : La vie secrète des arbres, by Peter Wohlleben.

JP : La révolte des anges, by Anatole France.


A place that inspires me

DV : The Aiguilles de Bavella massif, in Corsica.

JP : Venice.

Vue d'ensemble du centre commercial Beaugrenelle, Paris © Philippe Chancel
Global view of the Beaugrenelle shopping centre, Paris © Philippe Chancel


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