Transformation of 530 Homes – Grand Parc Bordeaux by Lacaton & Vassal architectes, Frédéric Druot Architecture and Christophe Hutin Architecture has been awarded the 2019 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. The innovate renovation of three large blocks of social housing in Bordeaux was praised for “radically improving the space and quality of life of its occupants” and for optimizing their economic and environmental cost of living.
Lacaton & Vassal: The Latest Architecture and News
As industry has shifted over the past century, in format, location, and type, the manufacturing and industrial spaces scattered across the western world have been repurposed. You have no doubt seen these structures, though perhaps without realizing. The large windows, high ceilings, and open floor plans optimized for factory work now mark the territory of the “creative class”. Such spaces have been disproportionately appropriated by creative industries such as arts and architecture; think of Herzog + de Meuron’s renovation of the Tate Modern (from a former power station) or the recent collaborative transformation of a locomotive yard into a library in the Netherlands.
Five finalist projects have been shortlisted for the 2019 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, an award given jointly by the European Commission and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation. The biennial prize, for which ArchDaily is a media partner, recognizes the Europe-located projects that demonstrate excellence in "conceptual, social, cultural, technical, and constructive terms."
For those in the northern hemisphere, the last full week in January last week kicks off with Blue Monday - the day claimed to be the most depressing of the year. Weather is bleak, sunsets are early, resolutions are broken, and there’s only the vaguest glimpse of a holiday on the horizon. It’s perhaps this miserable context that is making the field seem extra productive, with a spate of new projects, toppings out and, completions announced this week.
The week of 21 January 2019 in review, after the break:
In this video from the Louisiana Museum, Anne Lacaton from the award-winning practice Lacaton & Vassal describes the importance of building upon existing conditions to create new architecture. She shares the firm's approach to architecture, which is to "never withdraw, always add" and their focus on generosity of space, care of the users, and utilization of existing natural resources to create a more affordable architecture.
Lacaton & Vassal have gained worldwide acclaim for their transformative social housing work. They were awarded the Grand Prix national de l'architecture in 2008, the Heinrich Tessenow Medal in 2016, and the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2018, to name a few. Their projects such as the 23 Semi-collective Housing Units in Trignac, France, and Ourcq Jaures Student & Social Housing display a dedication to social responsibility in architecture. In Anne Lacaton's interview, she describes how they mine the richness of existing architecture and the surroundings to create beautiful and affordable designs. Interpreting history as "an addition of layers," she articulates their stance against the idea of tabula rasa and the importance of utilizing the found beauty of existing environments: "We don't see [the existing conditions] as a constraint, we see it as a chance."
Anne Lacaton (France) is an award-winning architect and part of the duo Lacaton & Vassal, having made reuse of existing materials and integration of daylighting in standard construction their signature architecture and adding a social dimension to architectural design.
In honour of its 10th anniversary, the Curry Stone Design Prize will recognize a large group of the world’s most socially conscious and active design practices, in what the Foundation has coined as the Social Design Circle.
Over the course of the year, 100 firms will be added to the Circle for their sustainable, socially inclusive and impactful design work, under twelve specific themes. Each month, select firms’ work will be highlighted individually on the Prize’s website, while also featuring on the Curry Stone Foundation’s new podcast, Social Design Insights.
The following seven practices were selected for the month of February, in response to the theme “Is The Right to Housing Real?”:
Lacaton & Vassal and UMWELT Awarded the 2016 Lisbon Architecture Triennale's Lifetime Achievement and Début Awards
French studio Lacaton & Vassal and Chilean studio UMWELT have been revealed as the recipients of the 2016 Lisbon Architecture Triennale's Lifetime Achievement Award and Début Award, respectively. An award ceremony will take place on the 15th November 2016 at the Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB), followed by a conference convened by Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal.
Kerez, Herzog & de Meuron and Studio Gang Shortlisted to Design London's Royal College of Art's Battersea Campus
London's Royal College of Art (RCA) have revealed seven invited shortlisted practices for its new state-of-the-art £108million Battersea South campus. Featuring a smattering of architects from Europe, including Herzog & de Meuron and Lacaton & Vassal, and from the USA, such as Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Studio Gang, the organisation intends to announce the winning scheme in October 2016.
Metropolis has released their list of five design thinkers leading the world in innovation for their 2016 Game Changers issue. The Metropolis Game Changers issue was created in 2011 to showcase transformational changes that are national in scope, but global in impact, and can be awarded to individuals, firms, projects or ideas within the various spheres of design. Past nominees from the realm of architecture include Michael Maltzan, MASS Design Group, Edward Mazria, Vincent Scully, SOM’s Great Lake Century Project, and former SHoP Principal Vishaan Chakrabarti.
With two architectural firms, an architecture curator and a co-working space driving urban renewal all making the five-strong list, this year's Game Changers issue offers plenty of interest for architectural readers.
BIG, SANAA and Lacaton & Vassal Preselected in Competition to Design the New Aarhus School of Architecture
After receiving applications from 42 teams to pre-qualify for participation in a competition to design the new Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark, three teams have been selected: Lacaton & Vassal, along with Powerhouse and Kristine Jensens Tegnestue; SANAA, along with B+G Ingenieure and Sasaki and Partners; and BIG along with Transform, Rambøll and SLA.
At the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the theme selected by directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda was deliberately wide in scope, with the expectation that more than one hundred exhibitors would each bring their own perspective on what is “The State of the Art of Architecture.” But where does that leave one of architecture's most widely adopted missions of the 21st century: sustainability? In this article, originally published on her blog Architectstasy as “Chicago Architecture Biennial: The State of the Art of Sustainability,” Jessica A S Letaw delves into five projects that take on sustainability in the context of Chicago's biennial.
At North America's inaugural Architecture Biennial in Chicago, “The State of the Art of Architecture,” architectural firms and practices from all six inhabited continents have been invited to display their work. Spanning all sizes and kinds of projects, the Biennial is showcasing solutions to design problems from spiderwebs to social housing.
US buildings use around 40% of all the country’s energy consumption. It is a disconcerting truth that even if every new building starting construction tomorrow were to be net-zero energy and net-zero water, we’d still be on a crash course, draining more naturally-available resources than our one planet can permanently sustain. In this environment, architectural designers have a special responsibility to educate themselves about innovative sustainable design techniques, from those that have worked for thousands of years to those that, as the Biennial’s title hopefully suggests, are state of the art.
So what does the Biennial have to say about sustainability? Five projects on display demonstrate different approaches at five different scales: materials, buildings, resources, cities, and the globe.
Last October, Oris - Croatian magazine for architecture and culture of living, had a great pleasure of hosting an internationally recognised Chilean architect – Smiljan Radić. During his visit to Zagreb he delivered a lecture entitled Bestiario at the Days of Oris 15 symposium where he also received ORIS ACO Award and was present at the opening of the exhibition Ilustraciones in the Oris House of Architecture. Among lectures that were held at Days of Oris 15 were ones by Anne Lacaton, Terunobu Fujimori, Fabrizio Barozzi and other architects.
Our friends at the Pavillion de l'Arsenal have shared a collection of videos from their"Paris Architectures" series. Dive into these short films that document remarkable architecture around France's capital city.
This week we get a glimpse of Lacaton & Vassal Architectes' Ourcq Jaures Student & Social Housing.
The French duo of Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal are known for their delicate interventions, repurposing neglected structures with apparent effortlessness. Originally published on the Harvard Gazette website entitled "They Build, But Modestly," this article recounts the lessons which they offered students in a recent lecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Around 1980, two young architects finished their training in Bordeaux, France, and moved to Nigeria. In that African nation’s remote regions, they were inspired by the simple structures they saw amid the stark, stunning desert landscapes. The houses were open to the air, had utilitarian thatched roofs, and were made with bits of local wood. Modesty prevailed in structures that also invited beauty.
The lessons of building in Africa stayed with Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal in their Paris-based practice, Lacaton & Vassal: use what is there, stay simple, embrace open air, and honor light, freedom, and grace. They practice social architecture based on economy, modesty, and the found beauty of environments.
The Guangzhou Bureau of Science and IT has announced the shortlists for two major projects in Guangzhou. The two museum projects - the Guangzhou Museum and the Guangzhou Science Museum, each worth over $160 million - will be the latest in a host of high profile projects in China's third-largest city, a list which includes Zaha Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House, the 600m tall Canton Tower, IFC Guangzhou by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and the Guangzhou Circle, among others.
The Guangzhou Museum will be located to the West of Lingnan Square near the Canton Tower, while the Guangzhou Science museum will be located to the East. Practices making the two lists include Bjark Ingels Group, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, TFP Farrells, MAD Architects and Steven Holl Architects. Read on after the break for the complete shortlists.