Cherish what stands before you. Don’t expect anything more. Keep remembering. Hold onto expectations, smoking above the ruins. Make the most of whatever presents itself. Look for the signs and believe that poetry is more concrete than faith. Content yourself with the world. Fight to preserve it.” Sylvain Tesson

We stand for an architecture that humbly anchors Man in the world and foreshadows a sustainable society.

With this objective we seek to bring about sensitive spatial devices, healthy refuges, which compel us to listen to, to look at and to feel the natural world of the environments we inhabit.

Our work reconciles spaces of a pure and timeless geometrical abstraction, with the poetry and evanescence of natural phenomena. This combination gives rise to moments that set us on the path to a fundamental ecology.

Building with natural materials that are local and have a low carbon footprint, such as stone, wood, fibres and earth, enables us to tune our interventions to the particularities of each locality. Our intention is to make an architecture that is sustainable and harmonious, that displays humility and represents the cycle of life. 

Atelier Serge Joly was born in 2020 from the evolution of the Joly & Loiret architectural agency founded in 2006. Our studio is based in Paris and Marseille, France.

We focuse on projects in the Paris and Mediterranean regions, born of an in-depth understanding of the history and resources of these geographic areas that we study and work in. In the context of today’s environmental and social challenges, the studio that he manages believes that the synergy between practice and research is vital to incite the major and necessary evolution in the way projects are carried out.

Serge Joly trained at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (2003-2006). He is keen to perfect his skills: training in “massive stone construction”, training in “low carbon building and life cycle analysis”, training in “airtightness of low carbon buildings”. In 2015, he obtained the diploma in “rehabilitation of old buildings” issued by the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts.

Serge Joly was one of the winners of the 2005/2006 Nouveaux Albums de la Jeune Architecture (national prize for young architects), nominated for the Prix de la Première Œuvre, 2010 (prize for best first project), winner of the Prix National de la Construction en Bois, 2012 (prize for national prize for timber construction), winner of the Lauriers de la Construction en Bois, 2013 & 2014 (prize for timber construction), winner of the Prix National de la Construction en Terre Crue, 2014 (national prize for building in raw earth), winner of “40 under 40”, 2014. 

In 2016, Serge Joly curated with Paul Emmanuel Loiret the experimental exhibition ‘Terre de Paris, de la matière au matériau’ (‘Earth of Paris, from matter to material’) at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal architecture gallery in Paris. In extension to his research, Atelier Serge Joly is a partner in the ‘Cycle Terre’ circular economy project, winner of Urban Innovative Action (partly financed by European funding), which aims to recycle earth excavated from the building sites of the Grand Paris projects for transformation into raw earth building materials. In 2020 the project is setting up the local short circuit production of a range of geo-sourced materials such as clay panels, raw earth bricks or renders.

For over 15 years Serge Joly has been teaching in France’s Écoles Nationales d’Architecture and at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture. He currently runs a degree-level unit at the École Nationale d’Architecture in Marseille on ‘Materiality and Constructive Thinking’, and a masters-level studio that aims to develop natural architecture in the south of France.