Monograph dedicated to Fernand Pouillon
Curator: Pierre Frey

In collaboration with Bernard Gachet for the design and Daphné Bengoa for the photography

To journalist Jacques Beauffort who asked him “when you were a teenager, what kind of man did you dream of becoming?” Fernand Pouillon had replied: “I would’ve like to become a very great and very powerful man who is very well-liked.” This desire for greatness and the constraints that he assigns to his inner child probably determined the unique life path of the man, as well as the career of the architect. Written after his incarceration, the autofiction Les pierres sauvages might thus represent the turning point on a path of resilience, in which – not without a degree of pathos – the author delivers the testimony of the builder’s solitary wandering. “The man responsible for an action can no longer experience joy,” he said in a radio interview in 1964.

The cellarer Balz, the novel’s itinerant Medieval maestro, assumes here the solitude of the fugitive. Bearers of a mission of a superior order, both the author and his character, both project managers, set out alone to build. The author of the novel projects himself entirely in the figure and action that he presents, to the point of saying: “there is a kind of identity of thought, a humanism, if you will – and the program too [of a housing estate], the program at heart is the same [as that of a Cistercian monastery].”

Pierre Frey


Fernand Pouillon , France


Daphné Bengoa, France-Switzerland
Bernard Gachet, Switzerland