Christophe Hutin Architecture
Communities at Work
The film Communities at Work reflects on the meeting between architectural know-how and the inhabitants’ own experiences of their living spaces through case studies in France, South Africa, Vietnam, and the United States. This transversal approach to the profession is an attempt to shed light on the implications of architecture in a contemporary world subject to massive changes. Representing projects and research around the world undertaken by Christophe Hutin Architecture (CHA), residents narrate the evolution of their living spaces, including planning strategies for the future and improvisational changes, as well as what is at stake behind the management of these spaces. At the Grand Parc Bordeaux—with Lacaton & Vassal Architectes, Frédéric Druot Architecture, and CHA—the project transformed 530 dwellings across three social housing buildings built in the 1960s to yield unprogrammed spaces with more space, light, and views that the residents themselves could define. In Hanoi, the so-called KTT, Socialist-era apartment buildings, ephemeral interventions by residents created new, open, community-driven spaces. The “Learning From” workshops in Johannesburg and Kliptown in Soweto developed interventions that encouraged residents to collaborate to rehabilitate environments based on use, need, and collective future maintenance. In Springwells, a neighborhood in southwest Detroit near the Ford Motor Company River Rouge Plant, a cultural exchange workshop with Hutin and University of Detroit Mercy aimed to reconnect community to place by rehabbing and activating dilapidated buildings and vacant lots. The film invites spectators along on this international journey, to move from one world to another, from Mérignac to Detroit, from Hanoi to Johannesburg without a predetermined path.
Hutin represented France at the 2021 17th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice, and this film premiered in the French Pavilion in response to curator Hashim Sarkis' question—"How will we live together?"