Dominique Jakob (*1966)
Brendan MacFarlane (*1961)



Established in Paris since 1992, Jakob + MacFarlane Ñ both professors in 1998 at the Special Architecture School in Paris Ñare also the co-founders of "Périphériques" which organises expositions, conferences or publications, as well as "36 models for a house" (1998). Among other projects, they are the designers of the Maison T in La Garenne Colombes (1994-98) and the Monument for Remembrance and Peace at Val-de-Reuil (1996); they are currently in charge of redesigning the restaurant at the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris. Although retaining the architectural framework of Piano & Rogers' design, they have developed a surface which swells up from the ground, forming opaque aluminium volumes which play with the light and create a flowing and interactive topographical space.
  jacob et macfarlane  archilab        
The T house

The T house, the first 1994 project at La Garenne Colombes in the suburbs of Paris, was designed as an absorption box--volumes steeped in the texture and skin of the local setting in which it happens to exist.
This question: how is an object to be situated in an alien environment? leads us towards another: how is an object to be attached to its site? how is it to be brought out, and stitched in?
This quality of stitching recurs in the project of the monument in memory of, and in honour of the peace of, Val de Reuil, where the wall is read together with the surrounding landscape. The geometry of the volume starts to fall apart, and then becomes immersed in the landscape.
The extra floor of the T house, a second commission placed three years after the initial one, is a project which abandons reference to the object; the project creates a series of spaces, possibly initiated by turbulences made by wind, for the dwelling and its new rituals.
There are no longer any rooms for the boys as such--at the root of the programme of the second commission. These spaces have shed their usual bedroom connotation--there is no door. The space is left available and even larger, for sleeping, and other activities. The private spaces have become ambiguous, interlocked with one another, giving rise to a new urban space actually within the house.
Through all our projects the wall appears as a major element. From the early more right-angled works like the monument, which, in some ways, is a project created solely around a wall, to the latest project involving the additional floor on the T house, which creates a series of walls/ceilings, which unfold and change shape. This packaging of the floor-wall-ceiling is currently being worked on for the project to restructure the Maxim Gorki theatre.
With the project for the restaurant at the Georges Pompidou Centre, the floor-wall-ceiling wall is an unbroken skin. All the surfaces have the same value, the floor becomes sky, becomes a physical experience, a flotation in a neutral space, where the usual references of scale are upset.
This constant interest in working the site for all our projects comes across in the fact that a surface is hewn out or removed based on a reference plan. With the monument, the ground level +/- 0.00 is the fixed datum based on which there is a drop to -2.00m. to then re-emerge at +/- 0.00 once again.
With the puzzle house, there is again a drop below the reference level, ending up looking at the sky.
In the restaurant project for the Georges Pompidou Centre, the reference is the level 70.50 (the height of the 5th floor), based on which the bubbles take shape. The reference is still marked by a continuity of materials.
The temptation involving a disappearance of the architecture in the site, like camouflage, is sought; it is no longer possible to define where the beginning of the end of the project lies; the surface of the architecture is treated like a conceptual mirror. This interest is spurred with the first T house and becomes more and more developed in the various projects, including that of the restaurant where the skin of the bubbles envelops the functional programmes.
We have no particular heroes. Our references are varied, and are always evolving. We are interested in the work of architecture as a unique work. We are very suspicious of all systems, responses, dogmas, and premature answers. We are happier broaching new technologies and new ideas, even if they come later; we prefer not to find ourselves locked into procedures which end up hampering the imagination. We want to be able to develop and evolve in a world that is as open as possible, with projects driven by ideas.

  jakob & mcfarlane image    
  jakob & mcfarlane image    
Puzzle House - 1996-Project

This project was submitted as an alternative to the mass-produced individual home. It was the outcome of a line of thinking undertaken by the Périphériques association. Jakob & McFarlane developed the Puzzle House concept around the idea of reinforcing the private space and incorporating it in a more real way within the landscape. The house was organized around a patio, allowing movements and views inside, and encouraging reflection and family life. The materials used are generic - coated concrete and natural aluminium structural elements. Outside, there was no private garden: Jakob & McFarlane preferred a continuous "fabric", which was common to and shared by the different households. On the basis of this definition of public and private, house, nature and access roads were interpreted like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that was put together in a deformed and fractured space. The interlocking pieces of this puzzle in the landscape offered a variable composition of places, but one that was invariably structured in relation to the connection to be made between public and private, inside and out.

  jakob & mcfarlane image    
5th floor Restaurant, Georges Pompidou Centre
Paris, France
Completion in 1999 - 1998 competition

The approach adopted for the project was aimed at conserving the particularly unusual Beaubourg area. It thus showed a preference for dialogue with its specific architectural vocabulary. Dominique Jakob and Brendan McFarlane decided accordingly to leave the structure's glass sheath untouched as well as the ventilation ducts and tubing for various liquids, wherever possible. Where the programme involving the restaurant was concerned, this remained well removed from the façades, both to give them clearance, and to highlight them. The floor itself, with no structural supports in the restaurant and on the terrace, formed a very extensive smooth surface (14000 sq.m), on which Jakob & McFarlane would decide to use aluminium. This would be locally "inflated" from the ground, and wrap the whole plan like an under-surface, thus turning the project's volumes into fluid forms.

  jakob & mcfarlane image    
  jakob & mcfarlane image    
House Additional Floor - La Garenne Colombes, France - 1998

After an initial 1994 project, which involved absorbing an existing house in the suburbs of Paris, this second project has to do with adding an additional floor to this initial extension, creating a 40 sq.m loft space for the children. Dominique Jakob and Brendan McFarlane decided to highlight the extra floor on the already built extension by giving it a different identity. They would offer the two small children two igloos made of zinc, perched on the roof of the existing house. In the end of the day, the completed project involves an enclosing envelope made of zinc, broken up into several volumes. This achieves the goal of turning a loft into two igloos, while at the same time taking into account the dictates imposed by a large number of views. The dovetailing of the volumes thus creates a series of openings with complex geometric forms, offering both skyward views and views towards the street, which introduce a diagonal dialogue with the views, this being the intention with regard to the initial extension.

Dominique Jakob (1966)
1991 - Diplômée de l'Ecole d'architecture de Paris-Villemin.
Brendan McFarlane (1961)
1984 - Bachelor of Architecture, Sci-Arc, Los Angeles.
1990 - Diplômé de Harvard Graduate School.
1992 - Fondation de l'agence à Paris.
1995 - Création avec E. Marin-Trottin & D. Trottin l'association Périphériques.

Enseignement :
1999 / 1998 - B. McFarlane : enseignant à la Bartlett School, Londres.
1999 - Enseignent l'un et l'autre à l'Ecole Spéciale d'Architecture, Paris.
1999 / 1994 - D. Jakob : enseignante vacataire à l'Ecole d'architecture de Paris-Villemin.
1999 / 1995 - B. McFarlane : enseignant à l'Ecole d'architecture de Paris la Villette.
1988 - B. McFarlane a enseigné à Harvard (USA) et Sci-Arc (USA - Calif.)

Principaux projets et réalisations :
1998 - Restaurant du Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (en cours) ; 14 Logts, Paris (en étude) ; Surélévation de la Maison T, La Garenne-Colombes (réalisée).
1997 - Restructuration du théâtre Maxime Gorki, Petit-Quevilly (lauréat) ; Modernisation du théâtre de Pont-Audemer (en étude) ; Centre national de la Danse, Pantin (concours) ; Café- Musiques, Savigny (lauréat avec Périphériques) ; 10 maisons individuelles, Turquénieux (en étude).
1996 - Maison Puzzle (projet) ; Monument à la mémoire et la paix, Val de Reuil (lauréat avec F. Vialet, réalisé) ; Aménagement du quartier des Millons à St-Cloud (concours).
1995 - Monument de la libération, La Rochelle (concours) ; Aménagement de trois places à Coutances (concours).
1994 - Maison T, La Garenne-Colombes (réalisée).
1992 - Atelier Riegelman, Los Angeles. (réalisé).
Expositions récentes :
1997 - Arc en Rêve, Bordeaux ; Pavillon de l'Arsenal, Paris ; Bartlett School Gallery.
1996 - Galerie Philippe Uzzan, Paris ; Institut de Bellas Artes, Mexico.

Conférences récentes :
1997 - Ecole Spéciale d'Architecture, Paris.
1996 - Berlage Institute, Amsterdam ; VIe Mostra Internationale d'Architecture, Venise Off ; Ecole d'architecture de Paris - Villemin ; Illinois Institute.
Principales publications de Dominique Jakob et Brendan Mc Farlane :
1997 - "36 modèles pour une maison", ouvrage collectif, édité par l'Association Périphériques.
Principales publications consacrées à Dominique Jakob et Brendan Mc Farlane :
1998 - Casabella (oct) ; Axis (vol. 75 - Sept / oct) ; D'architecture (Sept) ; Quaderns (été) ; Le Monde (21-22 mai) ; Le Figaro (27 avril) ; D'architecture (Mars).
1997 - Catalogue de l'exposition "Réhabilitation, reconversion" Pavillon de L'Arsenal ; Le Moniteur (n°4896) ; Architecture d'aujourd'hui (n°310) ; Architecture New-Zealand (Juillet).
1996 - Techniques & Architectures (n°429) ; Arca International (n°9) ; "Maisons d'architectes", Joël Carriou, édit. Alternatives ; Casas International (Paris) ; Le Moniteur (n°4839) ; "Concours perdus" - "Huit murs", texte de Thom Mayne / Morphosis, édit. Périphériques.