This text is available in French & English. Even though his viaducts for the TGV Atlantic line and several innovative projects rapidly brought him national recognition, Jean-Yves Barrier, who set up his own practice in Tours in 1990, managed to avoid involvement in fashions and trends. Whether he is dealing with homes, public facilities, offices, industrial buildings or shop design, Barrier approaches each project with a fresh eye, and tries to come up with a powerful idea that is then expressed spontaneously in his sketches. His initial insight is developed in very precise studies, bringing an architectural approach to the technical details. The originality of his buildings is inevitably associated with the renewal of form, a great variety of subjects and blending materials in a way that exploits the value of each to optimise the construction as a whole. Even though he was one of the first to realise a solar building (1978), an automated house (1990) and a low-energy apartment block (2001), these technical innovations are not his chief concern.
The essential feature for Barrier is the correctness of the response applied to the programme and to the context, with consistent respect for the users. He combines generosity in his human contacts with rigour in conception and realisation. In all his exchanges with contractors, engineers, workmen and users, his taste for dialogue promotes a climate of confidence that enables every project to find its own distinctive quality.
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Edition Axel Menges
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Author Biography - Andrew Ayers
Dominique Gauzin-Muller is a French architect and journalist living in Stuttgart. She is the author of Behnisch & Partner - 50 Years of Architecture, published by Academy Editions in 1998, and for Editions du Moniteur she wrote Le bois dans la construction (1990), Construire avec le bois (1999), and L'architecture ecologique (2001).