We’re going to keep this intro short and short so you can get straight to reading this interview with Alia Bengana, an architect from Paris.Born in Algiers and educated in Paris, it’s often said that her talent comes from their family.
Please share your background with us where are you from?
I was born in Algeria and moved to Paris when I was fifteen. I finished high school in Paris and then started my architecture studies.Moving from Algeria was a great change in my teens, but French was already my mother tongue so I never felt I had to adapt to another culture since French language was already part of my culture. I really started to feel comfortable in Paris at architecture school, surrounded by very open minded students and teachers. During my studies I spent one year in Rome and had my first work in Barcelona. Today I have both citizenships,French and Algerian, and I really feel European with a strong North African heritage.
How did you get into this field? When did you know you wanted to be an architect?
I had the chance to grow up in a house designed by a very talented French architect, Fernand Pouillon, who was working in Algeria in the 70’s. He was a friend of my parents, and helped them to turn an old north African traditional farm they had inherited into a contemporary house, keeping at the same time the spirit of the old construction. Furthermore my parents were great art and architecture lovers,even though they were both lawyers. So I believe I was sensitive to that field since I was a child, and when I had to choose a university after high school I didn’t hesitate.