Cecile Bonnifait

212, Taranaki Street, Wellington
BONNIFAIT + GIESEN, Atelierworkshop

BONNIFAIT+GIESEN -Ateleirworkshop Architects is an NZIA Registered Architectural practice that was founded in Wellington in 2001 by French Architect Cecile Bonnifait and NZ Architect William Giesen. Based on this duality of thought and language as a working process, our approach is orientated towards reconnecting people with a cultural context, a territory and its collective memory and history. Our architecture seeks to reveal the landscape and the environment through innovation and common sense. Over the past 13 years, we have developed a portfolio of work that has as a common thread, a concern for forming one body with the site. Without compromising on design, we put priority on finding sustainable solutions. Our international experience has developed in our practice a strong sense of dealing with Cultural and Natural Heritage at diverse scales within a contemporary context, in France, Finland, China and New Zealand and more recently in the Pacific: French Polynesia and Samoa. “Giesen and Bonnifait, who met as students at the Bordeaux School of Architecture and Landscape Design have been trained in a research tradition and enjoy devising innovative responses to architectural challenges. They have designed quite a few well-considered houses, and are at that stage in their careers when their talent and ambition should be applied to larger-scale work. If that happens, the care taken with projects such as this house will serve the architects and their clients well. The house shows what can be achieved through the clever disposition of straightforward materials.”- extract from “Big House, Small House” by John Walsh & Patrick Reyolds, Random House NZ, 2012. Cecile Bonnifait (1971), architecte DPLG, studied and worked in Bordeaux, France (89-95); Helsinki, Finland (1996); Wellington, New Zealand (from 2000). Granted scholarships from Ministry of Youth and Sport (94), Ministry of Culture (95-97), Foundation Besnard de Quelen (98) and Foundation de France (99) for operational and research projects in sustainable development in China and Tibet (93-99).(http://www.atelierworkshop.com/keshatang-village) Cecile was also curator for "Art&Fact Artists Residency 2005" (http://www.atelierworkshop.com/artfact-artist-residency & is principal investigator for " Managing Risks for Adapted and Considerate Architecture in Samoa 2012-2015" (http://www.atelierworkshop.com/samoa) Cecile won the Whirihana Emerging Leardership Award 2014 (http://www.architecturewomen.org.nz/archives/aw•nz-awards-2014).

Project Title
Cora House
A holiday bach of 90m2 nestled in the bush and overlooking Hekerua Bay. photo by Russell Kleyn
Year of Completion