Interiors project of the year “resolves space through furniture” say Dezeen Awards judges

Ecole Camondo Méditerranée by Emilieu Studio

Ecole Camondo Méditerranée by Emilieu Studio won Dezeen Awards 2022 interiors project of the year because “students can define the spaces according to their needs,” says judge India Madhavi in this movie.

The design school in Toulon by interior architecture practice Emilieu Studio beat 10 other project winners to win the overall interiors project of the year award, as well as being named civic and cultural interior of the year.

Ecole Camondo Méditerranée by Emilieu Studio
The school’s sofas are upholstered in old boat sails

Featuring moveable storage units and furnishings made from old ship sails and plywood offcuts, the design school is spread across 2,000-square-metres. Paris-based architect Madhavi said the judges “felt that resolving space through furniture is a good alternative today”.

“Actually having this modularity I think influences your way of thinking and it allows you to be more open, to be more free and to interact in a very different way,” she continued.

Joining Madhavi on the interiors panel was Lore Group creative director Jacu Strauss, Studiopepe co-founder Chiara Di Pinto, London-based fashion designer Mary Katrantzou and Design Haus Liberty founder Dara Huang.

Ecole Camondo Méditerranée by Emilieu Studio
The wheeled furnishing creates a flexible working environment

Wheeled plinths made from marine plywood can be transformed into mobile trolleys, whiteboards or work tables to facilitate flexible working methods.

The school’s modular sofas, upholstered in old boat sails from the harbour in Marseille, also sit on wheeled plinths. These can be regrouped and stacked in a series of seating arrangements in the space.

“There’s an openness and a mobility and a sobriety of the space, which I think is quite contemporary,” said Madhavi. “Sobriety doesn’t mean minimal, it means just meaningful in the right way.”

Ecole Camondo Méditerranée by Emilieu Studio
The storage units nod to the local marble and rock found in Toulon

The boxy storage units interspersed throughout the space were also made from marine plywood offcuts sourced from a nearby factory.

Artist Pierre-Yves Morel painted the surfaces of the units to emulate the different types of marble and rock that are local to Toulon.

“There are these big faux marbles, which are absolutely beautiful, and are kind of dividers in the space,” said Madhavi.

Ecole Camondo Méditerranée by Emilieu Studio
The space features blown up magnetic maps of Toulon

The decoration in the space is limited to a few blown-up maps of Toulon which Emilieu Studio mounted on walls. The studio designed the maps to encourage a better understanding of the local territory and they were designed to be annotated, as well as magnetic, to stimulate interaction between students.

The judges commended the project for “its sense of openness and mobility, embodying what a school should be all about and setting a new example of how to approach education design”.

“Its modular design is one that nurtures individuality and imbues its openness within its students,” they added. “The modularity allows students to create their own spaces according to their needs at any one time.”

Tomorrow we will feature a movie on the Dezeen Awards 2022 design project of the year.

The photography is by Antoine Huot.

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