Are We All Architects?
“Look … between you and me, you have to admit, we have done it all together.”
AWAA offers a soft architecture as it dawns from strong dialogues. Interaction with the client brings out unexpected and particular projects. AWAA does not propose a stylistic line but an architecture that takes shape in the dialogue between the client, his program, his desires and his budget, the site, its features and constraints, the nature and space, the gravity and time, the peculiarities of the materials, our know-how... AWAA’s job is to loom all these data to an amplified reality, a shared project. We carve the space of constraints.
In 21 years, 212 open files, including 99 projects built for a total of 39 different clients, including 14 " repeat customers"
That's almost 2 projects a year. We have completed 17 projects for one client, 12 for another, 8 for “X”, 6 for “Y” and 2 to 3 projects for 10 other clients.
Charly Wittock has a Master of Environmental Design from Yale University and a Bachelor of Architecture from the California College of Arts and Crafts, graduating first in his class and where he was awarded a Graduate of Distinction Award. Mr. Wittock is the recipient of the 1998 Young Architect Award in Belgium.
Mr. Wittock founded cwarchitects, an International Firm based in both Brussels and New York, in 1993. From February 1995 to September 1996, he was a founding partner of IGLOO Architects. Previous to that he worked with Mark Horton Architecture, as a project manager, and with William Stout & Associates where he was part of the design team that developed the conceptual scheme and presentation for the exhibition “In the Spirit of Modernism” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Way Stations", a collaborative project with the artist Ming Wei Lee was on exhibit at the Whitney Museum in New York and “Our Labyrinth” at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. At Yale his research centered on creating a database and exploring the possibilities of computer network technologies in the architectural profession.
He has lectured at Columbia University, taught at California College of Arts and is a guest critic at La Cambre in Brussels.
Christophe Bourdeaux has a Bachelor of Art from the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts, graduating first in his class. Mr. Bourdeaux is the recipient of the 1993 Prix d’Excellence from the city of Brussels. Mr. Bourdeaux is the author of large murals for the Passage 44 in Brussels, for the School #3 in Forest, and for the University UCL. His paintings have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Belgium. His work has been published in "ELLE Décor"; “Gael Maison”; “Knack”; “La Libre Belgique”, and "Modern". He is a tenure teacher at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.
Anne Simoens / Arthur d'Aoust / Anna Loreau / Farnaz Moghisi / François Verrier / Romain Balza / Hervé Lucas / Laine Mc Laughlin / Gorka Perea / Michel Parubaj / Oussama el Youssoufi / Johan Louwette / Magali Dufour / Pierre Leclercq / Marie-Laure Humblet / Lucinda Marques / Géraldine De Brauwer / Marie Rouvier / Francesca Crosby / Chiara Pelagatti / Félix de Liedekerke / Boudour Saadaoui / Nicolas Schuybroek / Vincent Pigault de Beaupré / Michèle Verhelst / Claire Bonaventure / Jean Coeckelbergh / Sémir Zouaoui / Diego Carrion / Wissam Salim / Fernanda Guzman / Donatienne du Parc / Frederico Alegria / Laurent Biot
L'Echo 16 February 2019
"Le Chai qui enlace la colline"
The Word - Septembre 2018
La Libre Essentielle 148 - June 2017
"Lorsque l'empreinte de l'architecte s'efface pour laisser la place à la plus simple et juste expression du projet, c'est souvent la qualité du vécu, de l'usage qui gagne en puissance"
Sabato - 16 May 2015
"14.000 oeuvres littéraires et bandes dessinées rassemblées dans une bibliothèque secrète"
The Word - This is Belgium 2014
"Charly Wittock on Brussels landmarks"
A+ 215 - January 2009
"AWAA, le bureau de Charly Wittock, ré-agence l'usine Duvel-Moortgat à Puurs et y introduit une promenade touristique"
La Libre Essentielle 38 - March 2006
"Notre métier consiste à traduire une idée ou une personnalité en lignes et en volumes"
a+u - February 2004
Elle Wonen - January 2004
A+ - December 2003
"Duvel-Moortgat Puurs: huisje, tuintje, pintje"
Architectural Record - July 1997
Thanks to the architect’s excellent understanding of our prefabricated system from the outset, the clean -lines of the concrete walls were brought to the fore. The result was a very high- quality, clean-cut building at a very attractive price per square metre. This cutting-edge building in terms of energy efficiency, costs and liveability, has been used as a model for many other projects.
Charly, we have worked for several architects and we can see the difference... I congratulate you and all your team for your project management, your attention to detail and above all your constant efforts to ensure the client is satisfied with the final result.
We have been lucky to be able to spend some time working with AWAA on redeveloping offices and/or retail space as well as private projects. These close collaborations enabled us to refine our services, our thinking and our on-site work, thanks to constant contact and fruitful discussions. I think this is the key to successfully completing the work and creating a finished product that meets the client's expectations.
I remember it very clearly, just as if it were yesterday. I was unable to reach a wasted, upper space close to a 4.4 metre-high ceiling. I could only see one way to get there: a sort of staircase with compartments like you find in the Far East. We talked about it, and you asked for a little time to think about it. Soon after, you brought me a plan that had everything: elegance, practicality and safety. This solution achieved your aim of fitting the location while perfectly fulfilling my wishes. I have ended up with a stunningly simple unit that incorporates a coat cupboard as well as the staircase and bookcase. A great work of art!
'AWAA’s spaces are a series of encounter with light and volume which unfolds like a book in real space and time. The experience is very much like when walking into a garden, a butterfly suddenly landed on one’s shoulder. It is the unexpected encounter which makes the experience magical, poetic, fragile and elusive in the meantime.
Ming Wei Lee
Sex is good, but AWAA is better.
We have worked with Charly and his office to build two houses ; one in 2005 in Knokke , Belgium and one in 2008 in Biarritz , France . Both have been a very, very good experience and we are extremely happy with the services provided and the end result. Charly is an amazing architect who finds the right balance between the customer taste and his own vision. Most architects fail in this delicate balance and go in one of both directions: imposing their artistic taste onto the client or fail to advise the client when his vision will not result in an attractive end product. The second great quality Charly has, is a great combination between artistic talent and logistic/administrative follow-up. Also, this is quite exceptional because many architects have only one of both qualities needed to build a great house. An architect cannot only be an artist and not follow up correctly all details of the construction nor can an architect be a simple executor of plans. In conclusion, we were very very happy with Charly’s great input during the design phase , his meticulous follow up of the construction and also his service and availability long afterwards our houses were delivered. When we had any issues with the builder or construction years after delivery of the house, Charly was always there to help and dig up necessary information.
'In one sentence : I would do it again with Charly and his AWAA team. And I am saying this without being under threat. I really appreciated during all the process : - the sincere effort to truly understand our needs, our dreams, and our nightmares particularly at the start of the project. - the dedicated, nitpicking, precise, boring, tenacious follow-up of all the construction process of our 17.000 sqm project, which allowed me to sleep while others were working overnight. - the capacity of AWAA to accept that circumstances, or better understanding, justified to adapt the project continuously. - and above all the feeling to share a common experience and objective, and to have fun together. So I dare to repeat myself and insist : I would do it again.
Passion, Excellence, Empathy for the client, Perfection, Talented to the extreme, Charming, No words.
Bart van Vooren
'At Awaa, not only do they carefully listen to the needs and expectations of every stakeholder involved in/related to the project; but they also investigate every possibility with the right balance between creativity and feasibility.
It is a unique experience to have meetings with Charly and AWAA. Unique in its perfect balance of amicability and ease and professionalism and structure. Unique is the way AWAA takes in what each partner expresses with equal attention. As a woman, I found this to be a rare experience. Their listening is impeccable. Their Art is in their ability to hear our story, our desires and our dislikes and translate them into a Living Space. It is quite awesome. They sincerely work to Serve us: the client. In the xx years together AWAA never had the ambition to impose a certain signature. I think of the word Ego-less. This allows for a fearlessness and a generosity in their presentations. I feel AWAA sincerely seeks to create a material reflection of the clients’ aspirations and soul purpose, yet never losing light of the practical! (how will you bring the shopping in?)( how many steps will you take to go to the loo at night?) My only criticism is that they are too nice, and it’s too hard to let them go so ... you just have to continue building. Or in our case drawing. Perhaps it is the Beautiful Humanity that is communicated through the entire process of creating with Awaa that I respect the most. Awaa is sincerely rooted in a space of Compassion and Mindfulness.
The feeling you get when working with AWAA is of “being in good hands”. Not only when looking at the whole factory to transform into lofts, their choice of space division was very smart and provided for great living spaces. But then, and quiet importantly in my opinion for an architect (and unfortunately not wide-spread), their command of the technical elements of execution of the works gave me as a client great confort that the decisions taken were the most durable ones - an important factor in real estate which is a long term oriented sector. And the diligence they demonstrate in following up the execution of the work, documenting all aspects at each phase, ensures me that in case of conflict with a contractor, my interest will be defended with strength. Finally, cherry on the cake, their insights into sustainability make them one of the relevant architects for the 21st century.
François de Borchgraeve
My kitchen was designed by 'my dear' Awaa team more than14 years ago.
Since then, it is my favorite room in the house, because it precisely reflects what I love, ideally, in the organization of a space : functionality , lightness, quality, and a special spirit that relates all of these qualities to the past. The conservation of this charm, essential to my eyes, was very much respected, and harmonized with the contemporary refreshment that I was equally looking for.
All this to say I felt absolutely answered by the very intuitive ears of Charly Wittock and his team, and I sincerely saw my whole family blossom in this kitchen.
From our collaboration I keep in mind an enrichment in regard to new architectural visions as well as new technologies.
Awaa : Ah, Waoow !
Passion, attention and excellence at the service of art-chitecture. The culture of the beautiful, for the long term. The marriage of aesthetics and functionality. A dream comes true thanks to the passion and excellence of a team of multi-skilled architecture artists. A passionate commitment from Charly and his team to achieve an exceptional result together.
We asked to Charly and his team to help us in the renovation of our house. This was heavy work as we needed to fully automate the house to be in line with the most up to-date systems, to include new lighting systems, new bathrooms, a new kitchen, new wooden floors, new acoustic ceilings, new heating systems and a new staircase including a new lift... We received a very close follow-up from Charly and his team thru the whole process, with creative solutions when needed, maximum availability and opened minded spirit. Indeed, they followed the work on a day to day basis of all the different groups of skilled workers with a lot a professionalism and they intervened when necessary when it was not up to our standards. They followed the execution of the contract and the financial conditions through the whole process and negotiated for us all the necessary adaptations when necessary. In conclusion, Charly and his team do their job in an outstanding way, they are extremely hands-on, almost available 24h a day and 7 days a week. They react very quickly when there are some issues. They are very focused on the work while creating a very friendly atmosphere. It is a pleasure working with them. We can only advice to our friends to work with them.
Isabelle Schulling & Pierre Drion
14.000 books create a critical mass; can one fathom the amount of characters these books, essentially of literature, history and politics may contain? And possibly release? Hundreds of thousands.. So, to tame the books and all their stories, large empty spaces needed to be build, so as to allow for mediation and meditation. A world for many drawings also, some friends and a single reader. I remember less the works than the long conversations we had with AWAA. The main room was suddenly called the Observatory, though it has no windows; it says it all. Less a library for books than a study for the reader. The Pavillon is a nutshell. A place to read, to write, perchance to dream.