Wilmotte & Associés is a multi-disciplinary architecture firm. The firm takes on an impressive range and scale of projects from large plants, stadiums, service sector programmes, high-rise buildings, hospitals, residential properties, wine stores, hotels, theatres, museums, congress centres, and shopping malls to private residences. Jean-Michel Wilmotte's architecture is characterised by great care given to a building's integration within the site it occupies, to clean lines, quality of materials, and attention to detail. In addition to new constructions, Wilmotte excels in the restoration field and often carries out redevelopment projects in historic town centres. Keen to respect heritage as well as a certain modernity and sobriety in his architecture, Jean-Michel Wilmotte developed the concept of “contemporary grafting” to demonstrate that the meeting of old and modern is at the heart of the issue of urban regeneration.
Wilmotte & Associés exerts true expertise in developing museums and exhibition scenography. Whether dealing with an old building or a new build, it is a question of cultivating deep connections between three distinct axes: art, space, and the visitor. Jean-Michel Wilmotte's firm is renowned for its expertise in planning a certain “flow” through a museum, managing the connections between rooms according to a number of elements that affect a visitor's experience during their visit. The way exhibits relate to one another, the positioning of a display, convergence lines, views and pathways, crossing from the interior to the exterior, among other things. The subtlety in the firm's space planning – a certain touch of restraint – can truly highlight the value of a museum piece. The result of this work is ultimately a culmination in a real sensation of ease and comfort for the visitor.
Some of the greatest museums have enlisted the services of Jean-Michel Wilmotte and his team, including the Louvre (Paris), the Chiado Museum (Lisbon), the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar (Doha), the Museum d'Orsay (Paris), and the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam).
One of Jean-Michel Wilmotte and his team's great areas of expertise is the seamless design of spaces and the creation of ambiances that tell a story full of the spirit of the place, be it old or new. This interior design is characterised by an ordered succession of events: the interior space is structured into sequences, weaved together according to themes to establish a functional logic and give the design excellent clarity and unity. Wilmotte & Associés provides a bespoke service, characterised by great commitment to detail, and dedication to the “connection” – the transition between two spaces, between two materials. Great attention is paid to lighting, the connection between interior and exterior, the link with the environment and the landscape. The connection with the material is essential: textures and finishing details are forms of expression that are relied upon to give life and depth, and must resonate as best as possible with the spirit of the place, as well as serve their purpose to those who will live there. The team's listening and understanding skills are invaluable in this regard.
Wilmotte designs head offices, institutional buildings, luxury boutiques, restaurants, and hotels, and completes house and private apartment renovations, among other projects.
How should public space, its limits, and its uses be laid out? Extending the principles of architecture to urban planning, Wilmotte & Associés takes for its starting point the city's purpose above all else: it is a living space for all its inhabitants. The firm's approach consists in treating the public space, squares, streets, and building facades as though it were a private space; lighting, and furniture, and garden design must be planned just as they would be for a private residence in order to give a sense of comfort, of “feeling at home”. No longer thought of as an agglomeration of discordant places, the public space demonstrates a sense of unity and can become a masterpiece of true “urban interior design”. Wilmotte works regularly on historic town centres, where the firm always retains a respect for the history of the place and its heritage. The results of the firm's work in these spaces are timeless, as they must remain ageless public spaces that everyone can enjoy.
Over the last few years, Wilmotte & Associés has also developed true expertise in master planning. It is at this stage that the scale and shape of the city is defined in answer to its functional needs, mapped out according to projected use. In September 2012, the firm was awarded the New Greater Moscow commission in partnership with Antoine Grumbach and Sergueï Tkachenko.
Spun out of the architecture firm, the design studio Wilmotte & Industries SAS explores “environmental design” fields, and has developed a strong reputation in the worlds of industrial and object design. The studio works with a great number of producers in France, Italy, Germany, and the United States. Characterised by great concern for composition, with an acute understanding of materials and their subtleties, this “architect's design” with clean, pure lines aims to bring back the clarity, coherence, and authenticity of the object, and nods toward a certain form of timelessness. This process must, however, remain conscious of practical limitations, and it is often the case that the production process itself dictates the object's form. Experts in furniture design, and most notably furniture designed specifically for head offices, company buildings, and hotels, the studio has also designed a number of lighting products (for Artemide, Zumtobel, and iGuzzini, for example), which have built it a name in the sector. The studio is furthermore famous for street furniture design (for Hess, JC Decaux, Comatelec, Eclatec) and for objects relating to the domestic arts (La Cornue) and the cutlery industry. Wilmotte & Industries SAS has won many international prizes, including several IF Design Awards.