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Moving Mountains – Carl Fredrik Svenstedt Architects

Building in stone implies carving a mountain. The results are imposing and profound, creating a presence with self-evident materiality. With stone extracted from Roman quarries, the resulting buildings occupy a temporality resonant with the landscape.

Moving mountains is nonetheless a near Herculean task. Getting there requires teamwork, engagement, and perseverance. It also requires intuition to lead the way. The poetry of a pile of stone is how it embodies an idea or an emotion.

The sun warms the surface of the walls, soft as sand. Visitors can measure themselves against the human scale of the blocks, close enough to be touched. It is a meeting of the senses. What remains are the pines, the vines and the mountain.

The first part of the book presents four built projects and their specificity and construction, in each case in some version of solid stone. The second part is meant as a scrap or sketch book, succinctly assembling a number of ideas for projects by the studio that have become, or may or may not become, buildings.

Architects don’t build buildings, they conceive them. If the first part of the book tries to share the experience of visiting a manifestation of ideas in built form, the second part attempts to suggest them by assembling fragments. There is much more to each part than what fills the pages, and the book is an invitation to travel further.

Carl Fredrik Svenstedt Architects is a dynamic studio based in Paris working on select projects. We privilege a detailed-oriented process aimed at guaranteeing quality production. In this spirit, the studio works at many scales, ranging from public projects to furniture design, with an emphasis on innovative construction methods that result in sustainable buildings.

Carl Fredrik Svenstedt Architects was designated Firm of the Year for Sustainable Architecture 2019 by the Architecture Master Prize, presented at a ceremony at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. The firm was shortlisted as Dezeen Architect of the Year 2020 and won the Archdaily Building of the Year Award in 2021.

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