French architecture duo Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal have been named the 2021 laureates of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The architects have championed considerate, sustainable architecture since they set up their practice back in 1987. Lacaton and Vassal are the first French recipients of the prestigious award since 2008 when Jean Nouvel took home the prestigious award. Take a look at the complete story after the jump.
In their three decades of work, Lacaton & Vassal have completed over 30 projects throughout Europe and West Africa. The duo has always prioritized the “enrichment of human life”, benefiting the individual and supporting the evolution of the city.
“Not only have they defined an architectural approach that renews the legacy of modernism, but they have also proposed an adjusted definition of the very profession of architecture, the modernist hopes and dreams to improve the lives of many are reinvigorated through their work that responds to the climatic and ecological emergencies of our time, as well as social urgencies, particularly in the realm of urban housing. they accomplish this through a powerful sense of space and materials that creates architecture as strong in its forms as in its convictions, as transparent in its aesthetic as in its ethics.”
states the 2021 Pritzker prize jury.
This year, more than ever, we have felt that we are part of humankind as a whole. Be it for health, political or social reasons, there is a need to build a sense of collectiveness. Like in any interconnected system, being fair to the environment, being fair to humanity, is being fair to the next generation. Lacaton and Vassal are radical in their delicacy and bold through their subtleness, balancing a respectful yet straightforward approach to the built environment.
– Alejandro Aravena, Chair of the Pritzker Architecture Prize Jury.
“Good architecture is open — open to life, open to enhance the freedom of anyone, where anyone can do what they need to do,” says Lacaton. “It should not be demonstrative or imposing, but it must be something familiar, useful and beautiful, with the ability to quietly support the life that will take place within it.”
“Our work is about solving constraints and problems, and finding spaces that can create uses, emotions and feelings. At the end of this process and all of this effort, there must be lightness and simplicity, when all that has been before was so complex.” says Vassal.
“Transformation is the opportunity of doing more and better with what is already existing, the demolishing is a decision of easiness and short term. It is a waste of many things — a waste of energy, a waste of material, and a waste of history. moreover, it has a very negative social impact. for us, it is an act of violence.” ads Lacaton
All Images Courtesy of the Pritzker Architecture Prize