We are an architectural practice profoundly engaged in the production of a sustainable, joyous, convivial and resilient built environment. We see our role as designers of buildings, spaces, landscapes and objects as inseparable from the wider roles of acting on the world directly (by initiating assemblies of various forms), and by reflecting and commenting on it critically.
We do not ascribe to a school of thought or a design ideology. We are polymorphously inspired, making no distinction of value between humble and noble, popular and hieratic, past and present, vernacular and official. Our mentors include Ivan Illich, Peter Brook, Bruno Latour and Richard Sennett.
Our experience has led us to counter-intuitive and challenging insights:
that human energy and gathering can be the most effective antidotes to environmental impact; by assembling and sharing, people will necessarily be less impactful
that beauty (and not just ‘performance’) underpins sustainability; buildings and things which are noble and worthwhile, and which insipire affection will naturally endure
that fostering social cohesion is perhaps the most important task in repairing the world; architects can easily impede this, and only -with subtlety and empathy- hope to enable it
Our deep experience with biomaterials and convivial spaces has been recognised through prizes such as the WAN Award for best wooden building in the world (2018, Hardelot Theatre), The European Union -Mies van der Rohe Prize (nominated, 2017), the Villa Kujoyama Prize (2015) and the 40 European Architects Under 40 Prize (2008). Practice leader Andrew Todd is Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
Based in Paris and Southern Burgundy, we have worked in France, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Japan and Switzerland.
Andrew Todd knows every form of theatre space; he is also a fearless explorer.
Hardelot is the most beautiful theatre in the world, where my work flew as nowhere else.
Andrew is a global player and competence in the future of cities - both in terms of impact on our common environment and impact on our living and social development. But on top of that Andrew, as few do - gets this knowledge into a local context.
Director of Strategy and Innovation, the Nordic Construction Company
Flemming Wisler, NXT
Directeur du Midsummer Festival, Chateau d'Hardelot
I especially appreciate Studio Andrew Todd’s ability to establish a true dialogue between architect and engineer without condescension. This reflects their erudite interest in materials, especially bio-sourced materials and their specific implementation. This state of mind seems to me to be the distinguishing mark of too few architects who are able to reconcile Construction and Ecology, despite the urgency of the situation.
Director Dry Construction, ICADE Promotion
Managing Director, Studio Andrew Todd.
Andrew has run Studio Andrew Todd since its creation in 2004 and has been in independent practice as an architect and theatre consultant since 2001.
He studied English at Cambridge where he was director of the touring European Theatre Group, and was awarded a high first for dissertation work on Tennyson. He qualified as an architect in 1995 at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with Ivan Illich, Joseph Rykwert and David Leatherbarrow.
Upon graduating he moved to Paris where he gained professional experience in Jean Nouvel’s office; at the same time he was a correspondent for Giancarlo de Carlo’s review Space and Society. In 1996 he met the legendary director Peter Brook, who invited him to collaborate on a research project which became the book The Open Circle – Peter Brook’s Theatre Environments (published by faber and faber in 2003). Todd has subsequently published a second book of essays on scale, conviviality, domesticity and ecology: Common Sense – Building a World to Share (RightAngle International, 2016).
Andrew remains active as a researcher, writer and teacher.
He has written for The Guardian, Financial Times, Architecture d'Aujourd'hui, Architectural Review, The Enthusiast, Tracés and Parametro, and has appeared as a commentator on BBC World News and Today, France Culture and France Inter.
He has taught and lectured throughout Europe, North America and in India and Japan. He is currently engaged in book-scale research projects on trees, on rhythm, on Shakespeare and on the theatre paradigm in contemporary architecture; he is a jazz drummer playing and recording at professional level.
He is familiar with many of the leading global creators in the performing arts and music, and works regularly with them on research, discussion, debate and design projects. His closeness to the sector and the possibility to listen intimately to its concerns deeply informs his creative work as an architect.
In 2011 he was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture Frederick Mitterrand, for his services towards the synthesis of the arts.
Bridget O'Rourke is co-director of Studio Andrew Todd. She is a renowned artist and educator who studied French literature, architecture and has a master of Fine Art degree from the Art and Architecture School of the University of Pennsylvania. She runs the programme in Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons Paris The New School.
Her personal practice includes painting and video, the former often concerned with conflicts, truces and uneasy balances between colours, especially colours which exist beyond 'naming,' in an uncertain territory. Her architectural training has led to a preoccupation with precision, clarity, depth and design process.
You can see her paintings here.
Her video work is concerned with temporality, particularly of destruction, decline and minute ephemera in the natural world. Her videos can be seen here.
Bridget's intersection with Studio Andrew Todd is multiple, ranging from creative guidance, spatial design and meaning, art and colour consultancy, and the conception and organisation of assemblies such as the Fluidity Seminar in July 2020, which was centred around her personal practice.
COLLABORATORS SINCE 2004
Federica von Euw
Regular consultant collaborators
MORPH, Xue Haochun, Toshi Kubota
ARUP, Terrell, INEX, Skelley and Couch
Acoustics and theatre technical consulting:
PGA, Charcoalblue, ARUP, ATA, dUCKS, Theatre Projects
"Andrew Todd is not only an architect -he is a fearless explorer who has investigated every known and unknown form of theatre building and auditorium."
Director of Innovation and Senior Executive, NCC
"Andrew is a global player and competence in the future of cities - both in terms of impact on our common environment and impact on our living and social development.
But on top of that Andrew - as few do - gets this knowledge into a local context."
Director, Midsummer Festival, Hardelot
"Studio Andrew Todd brought deep empathy to the Hardelot Elizabethan Theatre. Uniquely, they were able to provide creativity and technical know-how at equal and multually-supportive levels, consistently going far beyond the brief in the elaboration of this widely-loved building.
The artists I have worked with there are unanimously laudatory about its acoustics, atmosphere and creative richness."
"Studio Andrew Todd have a uniquely deep conviction and know-how concerning the essential links between ecological, social and creative imperatives in making space. Beauty, function and eco-footprint are conjointly benevolent in the work we accomplished together on my Dreamtheatre project.
And Hardelot is simply the most beautiful theatre in the world. My work flew there as nowhere else."
National Technical Director, ICADE Promotion
"I especially appreciate Studio Andrew Todd’s ability to establish a true dialogue between architect and engineer without condescension. This reflects their erudite interest in materials, especially bio-sourced materials and their specific implementation. This state of mind seems to me to be the distinguishing mark of too few architects who -despite the urgency of the situation- are able to reconcile Construction and Ecology."
CLIENTS, PARTNERS AND GUIDES
Our most valued interlocutors accompany us far beyond the concrete projects we work on together.
With them we engage in an ongoing process of inspiration and inquiry. Buildings, things, objects, assemblies and research projects are manifestations, but not end-points in this process of discovery.