Future-facing: a new monograph explores 40 years of Wilmotte & Associates

Wilmotte is a new monograph on the work of the titular French architect's practice
Published by Editions du Regard, Wilmotte is a new monograph on the work of the titular French architect's practice
(Image credit: Jean-Michel Wilmotte)

‘Wilmotte feels like architecture is a way of organising light.’ Such are the musings that appear in an epic new tome of works by the Parisian architect, Jean-Michel Wilmotte. As one can imagine, a career that spans 40 years makes a meaty book; but this is a worthwhile publication – a photographic journey spanning museums, stadiums, towers and more.

Delineating by types of building, editor José Alvarez has created an in-depth encyclopaedia of Wilmotte's projects, showing off a diverse oeuvre; where his museography for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam boasts striking graphic lines, the skirt of wood wrapped around the entrance of the École de Formation des Barreaux de Paris in Issy-les-Moulineaux evokes femininity.

With a practice that has over 200 employees, the mastery of Wilmotte's success is often shared; ‘When he begins a new project, he does so without preconceived ideas, without recipes, yet armed with axioms built not only on experience but an almost entomological sense of observation,’ the book's text states. This wisdom is applied far and wide, from the oxidised copper of the Seoul Auction House, built in 1999, to the renovated boathouse in Venice that Wilmotte restored into his own foundation gallery.

The pages observe the decades of work via interesting perspectives, zooming in where details of the buildings become patterns, or shooting their silhouettes in the shadows of the city in which they are built. Alvarez closes with a timeline of JM Wilmotte's accomplishments that looks to the future, featuring speculative plans for 2016–2020.

Chateau Pedesclaux winery

Chaptered by building type, editor José Alvarez creates an in-depth encyclopaedia that effectively shows off the practice's 40-year history. Pictured: Château Pédesclaux winery.

(Image credit: Rodolphe Escher)

The tome exists as a photographic journey through Wilmotte's museums, stadiums, towers and more

The tome exists as a photographic journey through Wilmotte's museums, stadiums, towers and more

(Image credit: Jean-Michel Wilmott)

A new monograph explores 40 years of Wilmotte & Associates

'When he begins a new project, he does so without preconceived ideas, without recipes, yet armed with axioms built not only on experience but an almost entomological sense of observation,’ explains Alvarez in the book's text. Pictured: EFB Lawyer School.

(Image credit: Nicolas Fussler)

Richaud Hospital, Versailles.

Richaud (formerly Royal) Hospital, Versailles.

(Image credit: Vincent Fillon)

The pages observe his decades of work with interesting perspectives

The pages observe his decades of work with interesting perspectives, zooming in where details of the buildings become patterns. Pictured: the detail of a ceiling in a private home; 'I like to work with shadow gaps,' explains Wilmotte

(Image credit: Jean-Michel Wilmott)

Private home in Flaysoc, 2005

In contrast to the details, the building's silhouettes are sometimes shown shot in the shadows of city in which they are built. Pictured: private home in Flaysoc, 2005

(Image credit: press)

Russian Orthodox Spiritual and Cultural Centre

Russian Orthodox Spiritual and Cultural Centre, Paris, 2016.

(Image credit: Wilmotte & Associates)

Plans for Wilmotte's Allianz Riviera stadium

Plans for Wilmotte's Allianz Riviera stadium, Nice, 2013

(Image credit: Jean-Michel Wilmott)

INFORMATION
Wilmotte, by José Alvarez, €69, by Editions du Regard. For more information, visit the publisher’s website (opens in new tab)