Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée is a collective of architects who transform urban spaces through collaborative, localized endeavors. Founded by Franco-Romanian architects Constantin Petcou and Doina Petrescu in 2001, AAA has become an engine for engaging citizens in shaping their own cities through experimentation and renewal of derelict urban space.
With an ever-evolving cast of collaborators, including architects, designers, social scientists, artists, and activists, the design collective stages creative urban interventions, whether establishing a community hub in a pass-through between buildings, or planting a vegetable garden at the base of a high-rise. AAA acts as a creative instigator, empowering local communities to carry out and sustain their own ideas for urban regeneration.
In a project titled Rhyzom the team started with a survey of models of sustainable community living around Europe. After mapping examples of co-housing, small-scale agriculture, and cottage industry, they translated their observations into workshops in green roof design, rainwater collection systems, waste recycling, food growing, and handicrafts.
Taking their findings further, AAA is developing R-Urban, a prototype for sustainable city life on the outskirts of Paris. In the working-class suburb of Colombes, the team is creating a living laboratory for the local residents to produce their own food supply and recycle waste, closing the local loops of consumption and production. The multi-year plan includes ecological construction, urban agriculture, a recycling program, and cooperative housing.
This is a very important idea: architecture that is self-managed by its users.
— Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée