By Gregory K Hunt, FAIA, former Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning; the Catholic University of America.
Educated in both France and America, Michel Gauthier is an architect whose practice has produced design work of conceptual sophistication, studied composition and adroit craftsmanship. With commissions that have included designs for residences in Europe, Switzerland and United States, furniture, and a number of commercial and institutional interiors,
He has continually sought to conceive and execute work of high quality and architectural consistency. His designs possess a thoroughness of detailing that always reinforces strong formal concepts of striking clarity and experiential richness.
It is indeed clear that there is a creative reciprocity that relates Michel Gauthier’s paintings to his architecture - a reciprocity which simply reinforces his strong desire to create design of material integrity, spatial nuance and impeccable detailing. His work as both an architect and an artist share a professional motivation which stresses design authenticity over fashionable appearance and style.
The clarity and richness of Michel Gauthier’s architecture undoubtedly relate to his significant achievements as an artist. Exhibited widely in the United States and in Europe, his contemporary paintings explore nuances of colors and painterly form and reflect a precision of execution that echoes the most essential characteristics of his architectural work, the beauty of well selected materials, assured compositional skills and refinement of proportions. In many ways, adroit proportional relationships, elegance of form and luminosity of color are readily observed in both his paintings and his architectural designs.
Michel Gauthier played a key design role at one most prominent American firm, generating design concepts and providing firm design oversight as a member of the firm’s Design Committee. His unique multidisciplinary approach embodies syntax of design revealing an unforeseen dialogue between detail, structure and meaning.
When undertaking projects as diverse as interior display components for The Louvre Museum in Paris, The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian Institution, embassies in Washington, or private residences, Michel Gauthier’s creative sensibilities have produced works that clearly reveal his consistent respect for conceptual significance and architectural quality.