Pritzker Prize 2021 Laureates, French architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, founders of Lacaton & Vassal, are known for their “never demolish” principle and their notion of sustainability embodied in a three-pillar balance: economic, environmental, and social. In this exclusive video for ArchDaily, Martha Thorne, executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and Dean of IE School of Architecture and Design, shares some of the reasons why Lacaton & Vassal has won the Pritzker Prize 2021.
As founders of the Paris-based architecture firm, Lacaton and Vassal have completed over 30 projects throughout Europe and West Africa, ranging from private cultural and academic institutions to public spaces, social housing, and urban developments. One of their most relevant works, the transformation of 530 dwellings in Bordeaux, won the 2019 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award by proving how far their “never demolish” principle can go.
The Pritzker Prize 2021 Jury has praised their "humility in the approach that respects the aims of the original designers and the aspirations of the current occupants.", regardless of the scale of the project—from a small plaza in Bordeaux to a contemporary art gallery in Paris.
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While Martha Thorne states:
Lacaton & Vassal approach each project convinced that what already exists (a building, site, surroundings) has value and that their role as architects is to appreciate, understand and embrace the existing, while respectfully adding new value through each project.