Above all, wanting to preserve its freedom to conceive, Espace libre refuses any sense of confinement and claims to be a specialist in all types of landscaping. Green wall for upscale shops, foot of water tower, residential area ANRU, playground, square, lighting mat lined with a trellis …
In its 12 years of existence, Espace libre has delivered more than 1,000 projects in France and abroad, addressing the multiplicity of design issues from design to urban planning. Red thread of these various interventions, the control of a material, the plant, and the constant concern of the use. “We prefer a space that works to a photogenic space”, summarizes Maxime Saïsse, founder of Espace Libre.
The agency’s projects share the same desire to minimize the extent of mineral surfaces, and the replacement, as soon as possible, of infrastructures by natural sanitation systems. In addition to careful observation of uses, Espace Libre makes the historical study of a site a prerequisite for any project, based on the principle that one can derogate from history only if one knows it.
“The important thing is to stay humble. Nothing is acquired in a project, we must be surprised, adapt to customs and customs while remaining in its place. The temptation of authoritarianism is often a reptilian reflex of the designer, who fears that one changes the intentions and its design. On the contrary, we think that every space is constantly changing. Once delivered, the designer is no longer master and must let it change, at the risk of seeing it almost disappear.
Today, with 12 people with complementary profiles of town planners, architects and landscapers, the agency is based in Rouen and has two branches in Paris and Lille. More latitude and curiosity, to continue to maximize outdoor life, and to make open spaces truly open spaces, conducive to imagination, play, health, and enrich our relationship to the environment, that take the word in the sense of nature or context of living.
Trained at the ESAJ, Maxime Saïsse has conducted various professional experiences before devoting himself entirely to landscape design. In 2006, he bought the agency Gibet Espace where he had entered a year earlier. It gives the structure the name of Free Space, reflecting its new orientation. He is the sole director of Espace Libre until 2018, when he associates two of his long-time collaborators, Anaël Maulay, and Johan Galhaut.
Optimistic and voluntary, Maxime Saïsse could sometimes be presented as rebellious. He dreamed of working on a ski resort, one of the few programs not covered by Espace libre.