The peasant is the one who must make the land more fertile year after year. The architect is the one who must construct buildings that improve the life of man year after year. These are two professions that seem to have an interesting synergy.
My wife is an architect, I am a farmer, and our project is to put nature back at the heart of our business. Here are a few sentences that summarize the values we would like to share if you decide to work with Astrid & Armand Heitz Architecture.
Have you ever visited a village forgotten by the modern world? No subdivision, no village hall, no roundabouts, no industrial zones, no buildings. These villages are the vestiges of the architecture of common sense where nature still had its place in construction. There were no made in china or profit-hungry real estate developers. The materials were stone when there was stone nearby, brick when there was no stone but there was clay.
There was no metal fence. When someone passed in his yard, he was offered a meal and the next day he participated in the work of the farm. In each house there was a cellar, a wine press and a trough for the animals. It's not nostalgia or it was better before that I'm talking about, it's just that at that time, there were links between the land, people and climate.
Today we live disconnected from nature. The houses are designed in the same way whether one lives in the north or the south of France. The most fashionable tool at the moment is the heat pump so that we imagine ourselves comfortably installed in our Phoenix house. I can also mention solar panels so that we imagine ourselves autonomous and resilient.
The project of our agency A&A Heitz Architecture is to put environmental common sense at the heart of our constructions. Purify all that is not necessary and that is not virtuous, for the planet as for Man.
We have known how to make wine for thousands of years without thermoregulation. We therefore designed a vat room without air conditioning and without thermoregulation. This is how I have worked since my first vintage. I sell local wines and not wines constrained by technology. I prefer that my wines follow the influence of the weather outside rather than deciding the course of fermentation on a computer. The planet is on fire and air conditioning will not help us find the solutions.
Another example, we made our Cellar of sale in Pommard in an old family house. Before this project, the house was rented to individuals. In order to respond to a so-called comfort, it was fitted with linos and PVC windows. As a result, the house suffered from humidity and a bad smell. Not very glamorous to make a place of sale of our products. On the floor, we removed the linoleum to reveal the old slabs of Burgundy. An earthen concrete was poured and wooden carpentry came to send the horrible PVC windows back to China. The house was cleaned up immediately and we found an aesthetic harmony that our customers are delighted to share.
We took over the Château de Mimande in 2021. The environment of this Château is perfect. Two arms of Dheune and a wooded park help to calm the strong summer heat. In order to be able to organize weddings, banquets and seminars, we had to do work in the barn. The building is impressive, about 200 m2. Contractors and hardware vendors have been quick to try to pervert us so that it becomes practical and up to standard. We hastened to answer them that the practical and standard is good for a party room. This barn was built in the 19th century, let's respect it. The two presses have been sandblasted in order to get a makeover, they illustrate the old wine-growing activity that there was on the site.
A&A Heitz Architecture uses local materials and skills. This is what the government should help, a luxury that everyone must allow themselves. Our wish is to reconnect our buildings to their territory. The climate will become more pleasant.
- Tags: architecture