The Pritzker Architecture Prize released a special ceremony video honouring the 2021 laureates Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal. Previously held in person, each time at a different architecturally significant venue around the world, this year’s ceremony is the second pre-filmed event in the history of the Prize, following the one in 2020. The ceremony features filmed remarks from various speakers, among which are several jury members, Jury Chair Alejandro Aravena, the 2020 Prize recipients Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farrell, as well as this year’s Laureates themselves. The video also pays tribute to the achievements of Lacaton and Vassal through footage of their built work.
Once again, due to the pandemic, the Pritzker Prize ceremony is a pre-filmed one in which speakers have shared their thoughts on this year’s Prize remotely from various locations from around the world. Members of the jury like Deborah Berke, Kazuyo Sejima, Benedetta Tagliabue, or Wang Shu give their insights into this year’s selection, while the 2020 Laureates Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farrell deliver a tribute to this year’s recipients. Additionally, French President Emmanuel Macron also addresses the winners.
We are at a point in the history of architecture where the question of inhabiting becomes an essential subject. We do this by constructing the conditions for freedom through space, in a positive and open relationship with the climate, and by starting from the existing, without ever demolishing anything. This is the essence of our work - Jean-Philippe Vassal.
The video created by the Pritzker Architecture Prize for the official award-giving ceremony also takes viewers on a journey through the built work of Lacaton and Vassal from the contemporary art venue FRAC Dunkerque to the Palais de Tokyo, the largest centre for contemporary art in Europe. The projects illustrate the architects’ commitment to social responsibility and the existing built environment, qualities weighted in their nomination for the award.
Such unpretentious architectural language may be the reason why their buildings encourage unexpected instead of predefined functions. To be humble does not mean to be shy. Actually, a rather bold and self-confident character is required for subtle operations. And this may be one of the most delicate balances that Lacaton and Vassal’s architecture has been able to achieve - their careful yet straightforward approach to the built environment.- Alejandro Aravena, Jury Chair
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. Their body of work includes the Transformation of 530 Dwellings in Bordeaux, the Nantes School of Architecture, 23 Semi-collective Housing Units in Trignac, France, or the Ourcq Jaures Student & Social Housing in Paris.