Caroline Barat and Thomas Dubuisson founded Agence Search in 2005 in Paris, after studying abroad in Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro, and a professional journey at international firms throughout Europe and the USA. At Agence Search, they strive for each programmatic space to find its clearest and most efficient expression. They believe that the discovery of optimal relationships between programmatic entities is at the root of great architecture. They intentionally let each space take its ideal form, while exploring how the juxtapositions and interconnections between different parts of the program can challenge in a fun and thoughtful way the manner in which they inhabit their spatial environment.

Model making, especially large-scale models, is at the heart of their practice. Models ground the sometimes abstract realm of sketches, floor plans and perspectives in a comprehensible physical form. Their clarity informs the architect/client dialogue, and empowers the client to play an instrumental role in the design process. Their concreteness incites all members of the team to ask the right questions and to develop concise cost-effective solutions.

Agence Search’s commissions cover a wide range of building types including cultural institutions, sports facilities, housing, educational facilities and art exhibition. Notable projects include the Mantes La Jolie Water Sports Center - a signature urban renewal project along the river Seine, the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme - a social sciences and new-media research center and the pioneer building of the future Condorcet Campus north of Paris, Le Bal - a center for contemporary documentary photography located in a former dance hall in the Paris’s 18th arrondissement, and the François Pinault Foundation’s travelling exhibitions in Lille and Moscow.

In August 2012, in conjunction with the development of IQ Properties, a new residential development in Mauritius, the firm opened its Indian Ocean office, Agence Search OI. This past year Agence Search has also had the opportunity to broaden its scope with the commission for an office building in Paris’s 17th arrondissement. The firm is currently working on the Pyramid Project, a major renovation of the Louvre Museum. The project is two-fold, first restructuring 11 000 sq m of the infrastructure under I. M. Pei’s signature Pyramid, and second an interior, graphic, and multi-media design intervention on the scale of the entire museum whose objective is to guide the visitors through the palace and the collections. Agence Search was recently chosen to participate in the second round of the competition to redesign the lighting of the Eiffel Tower.

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