Arriving at the office of MBL architects was an easy task - located in the center of Paris, in the first arrondissement, their space is illuminated by the light surpassing the Seine. Small stairs lead up and down to make way for more work space. Like a typical inner-Paris location, the cellar rooms are also used and stand in quite stark contrast to the beautifully lit upper floors. Sebastien and Florian spoke to us about the challenegs of having an urban office and about the ideas many young offices are having, to move to the countryside. This is driven by the will to expand, live with more fresh air and less urban stress. An interesting point was also that most of them grew up in the so-called "Zwischenstadt", an area of urban sprawl between city and the rural.
The discussion came naturally and easily and we were amazed by their capacity to ignite passion in us for their work. MBL works between teaching and research, designing and building. A central part of their work is also "Plan Libre", a zine edited by la Maison de l'Architecture de l'Occitanie-Pyrenees.
From building a skate park with the means of observing the local flora and fauna, to collecting pebbles on site, in order to make a thermal wall for the upcoming project, there were many subjects that sparked our PIONIRA curiosity. The importance of learning from life was also highlighted -- looking beyond school and education, for the "école buissonière". See the full video to learn more about their practice.