Materials are at the centre of architecture and construction. Their use requires special care and know-how. Choosing a material is not a decision free of consequences. This choice influences not only the visual, the feeling, the acoustics, but also the behaviour of the building, its durability, its cost and of course its ecological impact.
Each material has its own use or constructive logic, its strong and weak points. Moreover, its characteristics and carbon footprint may vary according to its production and execution. Finally, the same material will not convey the same image, nor the same history, in Europe or Africa.
Based on these observations, it was important for us to be able to make a conscious choice of materials, especially in a new context, in order to develop realistic and coherent projects. Why does Congo, a wood exporting country, use so little wood for construction? What technique is adopted by our neighbour to make his own bricks? Where is the cement produced? Can the soil, so present in the countryside, be used in construction in the centre of Brazzaville?