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Architecte, architecte d'intérieur à Lyon et Shanghai - aotu architecture

Our history

Discover Aotu Architecture, an agency born of the passion, determination and expertise of its founder, architect Hugues Leclercq. With an international background and a fascination for cosmopolitan cities, mobility and urban density, Hugues opened his architecture studio in 2006 in Shanghai, one of Asia’s most dynamic megacities.

After ten years of success in Asia, Aotu, supported by a team of talented architects, opened its first office in France, in Lyon. With two decades of experience in architecture, the agency has completed large-scale, customised and innovative projects for international clients such as Renault, GSE, Ledger, Xenocs and Disney.

Find out more about our offices in Lyon and Shanghai :

Origin of the name

The search for the agency’s name and logo was based on a three-pronged approach: graphics, meaning and pronunciation, in French, Chinese and English.

In English, the letters “aotu” stand for “architecture office technic & urban-planning”.

In Chinese, the characters 凹 (ao) and 凸 (tu) literally translate as “convex” and “concave”. They also represent the concept of fullness and emptiness. Philosophically, this symbolises the work of the full to generate the empty, space, which reflects the nature of our profession as architects.

Our logo is designed to be readable in French, English and Chinese. It embodies the very essence of our profession as architects: construction and assembly, symbolised by the image of “two profiles clipped together”.

The logo is designed in the form of a horizontal golden rectangle, made up of the two Chinese characters 凹 (ao) and 凸 (tu), which are among the simplest Chinese characters from a graphic point of view. These symbols reflect our architectural practice’s vision of pure, simplified and expressive architecture, characterised by clear spaces, geometries and construction systems.