STUDIO KO

ARCHITECT

Studio KO

Since meeting at the Beaux-Arts school of Architecture in Paris and the subsequent creation of their studio in 2000, Karl Fournier and Olivier Marty have applied their elementary assertion to every scale of their projects. Rooted in a classical training, the duo asserts a global and immersive approach to their profession, from architecture to interior design and furniture design. At the heart of their approach is a freedom without compromise and the need to create a unique narrative, the most in tune with the truth of the context.

 

Based in Paris and Marrakech, Studio KO creates contemporary public and residential architecture all over the world, inspired by the intelligence of places. Not confined to a grammar of styles or any systematic methods, the studio is defined by an attitude. An esteem for nature and existing cultures, the audacity of the broad aesthetic differences, an attention to craftsmanship and local skills, a permanent search for the rugged. For an architecture of oxymoron. Radical and archaic. An architecture with a sensibility that, from the foundations to the signature scent, reveals, without arrogance, its uniqueness and mystery.

 

At the beginning of each project, there is an encounter. Human, above all, from the initial conversation that takes place with a patron. Physical and sensory after, through the discovery of a site that imposes itself through its landscape and its social and economic fabric. Then comes the moment of dialogue between the elements and the experimentation of an unknown territory. Working at the edge of archaeology that leads architects to explore the site and its history in order to grasp its essence. This continued creative process allows Studio KO to find its way naturally. A prerequisite for the emergence of contemporary, appropriate and vivid forms.

 

Privileging primary and ancestral materials derived from the hand of man – stone, wood, metal, leather – the studio creates spaces in constant tension. The purity of lines contrasts with the materiality of the textures, the rugged with the organic, the light with the dark, the sophisticated with the bare. The vernacular simplicity with a modernist spirit. The harsh and imposing exteriors of the private villas, mineral monoliths named with a single cryptic letter, contrast with sensual and transparent interiors that engage their proprietors in a symbiotic relationship with the environment.

 

Each of the projects lends itself to a unique experimentation, to new encounters of textures, techniques and light. In a ‘here and now’ that invites, relentlessly, the sensitivity and the humanity.

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Yves Saint Laurent Museum, Marrakech
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Yves Saint Laurent Museum, Marrakech
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Yves Saint Laurent Museum, Marrakech
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Yves Saint Laurent Museum, Marrakech
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Yves Saint Laurent Museum, Marrakech

“I knew their architectural references, their taste and, above all, their rigor. Even though they hadn’t done a museum, I knew we could work together. They listen.”

-Pierre Bergé, Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent

“It’s simple – I wanted something strong, Moroccan, contemporary, and, above all, absolutely uncompromising.”

-Pierre Bergé, Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent
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Chiltern Firehouse, London
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Chiltern Firehouse, London
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Chiltern Firehouse, London
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Chiltern Firehouse, London

“Chiltern is the story of a grand and noble English family that is broke and has to abandon everything. They’re given an old fire station where they’re going to try to live the way they used to even though they have no money. Some things, like the flower carpet, are almost ugly, but they’re perfect together because it’s all part of the story.”

-Studio KO
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Chiltern Firehouse, London
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Chiltern Firehouse, London
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Chiltern Firehouse, London
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Chiltern Firehouse, London

"It's highly controlled: when you look at the details, you see everything is designed."

-Philippe Starck
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Balmain boutique, New York
Balmain boutique, New York
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Balmain boutique New York sketch
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Balmain boutique New York sketch

“We are just very uncomfortable with buildings that are just about gesture. Conceptually and technically, architecture should endure.”

-Studio KO
AMI rue d'Alger boutique, Paris
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AMI rue d'Alger boutique, Paris

RESIDENTIAL

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Villa DL, Ghazoua, Morocco
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Villa DL, Ghazoua, Morocco
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Villa DL, Ghazoua, Morocco
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Villa DL, Ghazoua, Morocco

“Private villas, the core of Studio KO’s architectural practice, offer eloquent but plainspoken dialogues with their remote, sometimes forbidding settings.”

-WSJ. Magazine
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Villa E, Ourika, Morocco
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Villa E, Ourika, Morocco

“Each element carries the notion of time. The time it took to collect each rock and the long hours the craftsmen methodically placed them one after the other. The house is in itself a manifesto.”

-Studio KO
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Villa E, Ourika, Morocco
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Villa E, Ourika, Morocco
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Villa G, Bonnieux, France
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Villa G, Bonnieux, France
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Villa G, Bonnieux, France
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Villa G, Bonnieux, France

“When a project is successful it becomes a portrait of its owner.”

-Studio KO
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Villa K Tagadert, Morocco
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Villa K Tagadert, Morocco
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Villa K Tagadert, Morocco
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Villa K Tagadert, Morocco

“We always try to adapt a project to its place. If there’s a ­common thread, it’s that natural light (how it’s chiseled, how it’s filtered) becomes a kind of intangible building block.”

-Studio KO
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Flamingo Estate, Los Angeles
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Flamingo Estate, Los Angeles

“Meeting those two boys changed my life. They understand how places should feel, not just how they should look. There isn’t a single blade of grass in the garden they didn’t think about. There’s whimsy and mischief, and a real sense of place and time.”

-Richard Christiansen, Founder, Chandelier Creative
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Flamingo Estate, Los Angeles
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Flamingo Estate, Los Angeles
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Flamingo Estate, Los Angeles
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Flamingo Estate, Los Angeles
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Flamingo Estate, Los Angeles
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Flamingo Estate, Los Angeles
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Flamingo Estate, Los Angeles
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Flamingo Estate, Los Angeles

“I will never sell Flamingo Estate – it will be my home forever. But if I ever had another house somewhere else, I would only ever work with Studio KO. They’re exceptional.”

-Richard Christiansen, Founder, Chandelier Creative
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KM33, Morocco
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KM33, Morocco

“The absolute aloneness, the limitless desert sky, the sun’s slow passage and its answering shadows all enter directly into the life of the house.”

-WSJ. Magazine
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KM33, Morocco
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KM33, Morocco
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KM33, Morocco
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KM33, Morocco

“It’s not about erasing the human touch, but highlighting it. Imperfection is part of the process. It’s our ­language, but you can only recognize it if you can feel it.”

-Studio KO
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Apartment Place Du Palais Bourbon, Paris
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Apartment Place Du Palais Bourbon, Paris
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Apartment Place Du Palais Bourbon, Paris
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Apartment Place Du Palais Bourbon, Paris
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Apartment Place Du Palais Bourbon, Paris
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Apartment Place Du Palais Bourbon, Paris

“We work to abolish the border between decoration and architecture. When the architecture is good, the only need is beautiful furniture.”

-Studio KO
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Saint Germain
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Saint Germain
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Saint Germain
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Saint Germain
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Saint Germain

PUBLICATIONS

“A particularly special part of the book is its sweeping look into Studio KO’s residential oeuvre, a collection of materially sophisticated homes nestled into idyllic landscapes around the world."

-Architectural Digest
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SELECTED PRESS

WSJ. Magazine
AD_COLLECTOR_AVRIL19_STUDIOKO
Architectural Digest France
Architectural Digest France
Kinfolk
Air France Magazine
Studio-KO
AD Collector
Studio-KO-
AD Collector

STUDIO KO