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architecture studio



ouvroir de lieux potentiels

OulipO is a transatlantic think tank and award-winning architecture studio, WBE certified, founded by Anne Carcelen and Vinciane Albrecht in Paris and New York City. Our unique expertise combines European excellence in sustainable construction with informed experience in the American context. For over 15 years, we have innovated to design buildings that are both low-carbon and cost-competitive while offering people a resilient, healthy and inspiring environment. This is why we use timber, an ancient yet contemporary material, low-carbon and biophilic, the ideal material to harmonize human habitat with biodiversity. Each project is a journey on which we embark with experience and optimism. Along this journey, we find what is as essential as function: beauty.


OulipO solves complex challenges with creativity, innovation and generosity to create inspiring places for people. Through various scales, we explore the meaning of inhabiting and the interactions between space and beings. We draw from the program and the client’s wishes the chance to exalt the variety of uses, responding to both current needs and (un)predictable changes. Site specifics - memory, materiality, culture, atmosphere - are the substance of our reflection. We design with meticulous attention to detail, a profound awareness of materials and a respect for the craft of construction. Sustainability is both our goal and our source of inspiration to protect resources and energy equilibrium. We imagine spaces whose poetic and evocative qualities invoke the senses and celebrate a genuine experience.

OulipO’s portfolio spans various scales and programs with an integrated blend of design skills and technical knowledge. The Nelson Mandela education complex in Nantes (FR, 2015), the largest mass timber structure school in a seismic area in France, was awarded the “Grand Prix National” of Wood Construction. The URSSAF headquarters in Paris (FR, 2021), an eight-story mass timber structure, received 3 design awards, is included in “The 100 best projects of the year in France“ in Archistorm magazine and was published in Architectural Record. The France-Uruguay student housing in Avon (FR, 2022), a mass timber modular building, allowed the 206 home-modules to be installed within only 8 weeks without disturbing the site. In Los Angeles, we are designing a multi-family residential project to be Phius certified. This year, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) selected us to be part of their contractors pool for the next four years. 

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tOward the Optimization of resOurces 

“the right material in the right place”


As each year comes with new records of heat waves, wild fires and other disasters, the use of timber rather than concrete or steel is a matter of urgency. However, we don’t use timber in a dogmatic way for a hybrid assembly often provides the most performant solution. We aim to use the minimum of resources to create the maximum of impact. OulipO’s mantra ‘‘the right material in the right place’’ acts as a guide toward the optimization of resources:

- passive house, durable and biophilic design 

- bio-sourced, renewable and reclaimed materials

- hybridization of materials and techniques

- architecturally exposed structural materials

- prefabrication, offsite manufacturing

- adaptive reuse of existing constructions


tOward the hybrid city

“inter-building” with timber 


The necessary optimization of resources is a chance to rediscover the benefits of an ancient material, low-carbon and healthy: timber. The climate crisis is an invitation to imagine more meaningful ways of living in a resilient environment. We have embarked on a journey of timber architecture toward the hybrid city in three acts:


demolish little | the existing building fabric as a rich heritage to awaken

We believe that the future no longer lies in demolishing and rebuilding, for existing structures offer the priceless advantage of having already amortized their carbon footprint. Furthermore, an existing building is a precious witness of the history, holds the identity of a site, the lessons of the past, the soul of our stories. We make it play an integral part of the formal and functional recomposition of the city.


build little | the lightness of timber as the instrument for targeted interventions 

We believe that the future lies in renovating and extending existing structures through targeted interventions. With its high strength-to-weight ratio and off-site, dry construction process, timber allows to carefully build the interstices: build within, above, in between... low-carbon extensions within the existing building fabric to densify while minimizing both carbon and ground footprints.


draw a bridge | the creative act as the link between past and future

We hybridize the periods, the materials, the techniques to unite the old with the new, reveal their joint potential and enhance our cultural wealth. Faced with the climate emergency, we architects must not give up our creativity, our capacity to innovate, to open the potentials of our aging heritage toward a resilient habitat. Building the hybrid city of the future is our responsibility.

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