The duo behind Studio KO is Karl Fournier and Olivier Mart. The two met and fell in love while studying at the École des Beaux‑Arts in Paris, launching Studio KO shortly thereafter. Their shared aesthetic values, they discovered, allowed them to play well together. Marty is the draftsman, and Fournier is the dreamer. “Olivier has a tendency to add things, and I follow behind him and subtract,” says Fournier, pressed to make a distinction. But everything they do, he adds, ends up as a “musical score for piano for four hands.”
Studio KO, which Fournier and Marty established in 2000 when they were just out of architecture school, has been praised for its narrative-driven design. But narrative takes you only so far, and the pair have never defined themselves too rigidly. With offices in Paris, Marrakech, and London, and projects across the globe, Studio KO is one of the most sought-after design firms we know of.
“We always try to adapt a project to its place,” says Fournier, noting that if there’s a common thread, it’s that natural light becomes a kind of intangible building block. “Imperfection is part of the process. It’s our language, but you can only recognize it if you can feel it.”
“Our job should be about reaching timelessness and staying away from trends. Otherwise, you’re a has-been”.