They draw inspiration
from their clients

Nicolas Verraver and Gauthier Desplanque receive us in their office, a hangar of the former paper mills of Genval renovated into a pure and engaging space, to talk about inspirations and projects – with due pride, because NG-Architectes guarantees a rigorous work that invariably serves as a reference.

Gauthier Desplanque earned his stripes in Belgium; Nicolas Verraver, in South Africa (he left for 3 months and wound up staying for 6 years!).

Back home, Nicolas met Gauthier through a common godmother. A sign of destiny?

In 2005, the two thirty-somethings decided to merge their activities and created NG-Architectes. “Our world wasn’t built in a day,” they say from the outset. “After six months, we were convinced that the synergy between us would work. It another 6 months to find a name – (laugh)! “N for Nicolas, G for Gauthier: NG-Architectes. Simple and effective!

NG-Architectes defines itself as a generalist architectural firm, public and private, but, they point out “our core business is mainly private, new construction, renovation, rehabilitation, expansion, retail, the hospitality industry, paramedical, real estate promotions … “.

For example, this 64-unit housing complex on Avenues Dolez and des Paturins in Uccle, for an exacting client, Eaglestone Management. “A project sold off-plan! the duo exclaim enthusiastically, “proof that we have won them over!” The building site was delivered in 2020, and all the flats have been sold. “We take part in many developer competitions and win 90% of the contracts! ”

Another project of which NG-Architectes is particularly proud?

Dôme, in Rhode-st-Genèse, the renovation and extension of a house in a programme based on the benefits of water, using natural, ecological and innovative materials. NG-Architectes worked with specialists in geobiology, feng shui, and habitat biology, to be as close as possible to the client’s requirements.

The DNA of NG-Architectes

“We do not work with preconceived notions: our main source of inspiration is the client. Nicolas has for that matter created a word file of needs and wishes for them. We then translate the client’s answers into plans.”

For NG-Architectes, it is the interaction with the client that makes the projects rich in innovation and creation, plus a desire, shared by the trio (Aurélie Lefebure has become the third partner) and all the staff, to give overriding priority to well-being. “People must feel good at home. Better than anywhere else.”

And tomorrow?

NG-Architectes has grown since it was founded in 2005 (“today we are seven architects and a secretary, but we remain a firm on a human scale with a vertical management structure where everyone knows each other’s projects”) and even if COVID-19 has made future prospects uncertain, even if all the hospitality industry projects are temporarily frozen, the tandem has kept all its staff and the phone continues to ring! “We have become a household name in Walloon Brabant.

There is one (big) downside, however: “In real estate, all the indicators are green, but the administration is lagging behind! It now takes a year to get a building permit! What happened to the notion of (town planning) service?

Moreover, because of the slowness and complexity of the administration, building sites are taking longer and longer. And yet we work on a fixed-price basis; as a result, the profitability of our firm is increasingly lower! “Gauthier and Nicolas complain.

To each his own

Rome was not built in a day. Nor was it done alone! To build NG-Architectes on the foundations of Gauthier Desplanque’s company, integrate Nicolas Verraver as a partner, put together a financing package for the banks, manage the new company on a day-to-day basis, decipher Belgian tax legislation, etc., the duo called on ODB. For Gauthier and Nicolas, “it was mission impossible!

To each his own. “With ODB, we feel they have our back. That’s essential if we are to move forward!”

Crisis or not, recession or not, the experts at ODB are always available to advise you.

Vous souhaitez avoir l’esprit libre pour consacrer toute votre énergie à bâtir ou développer votre entreprise ? Les experts d’ODB sont vos alliés pour affronter l’économie en mouvement dans laquelle nous vivons.????

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