above/below > cap ferret house. photography: lacaton & vassal
in a timely nod to planet earth’s need to support life, french social housing architects, anne lacaton and jean-philippe vassal, founders of studio lacaton & vassal, have been named the 2021 winners of the pritzker architecture prizepritzker architecture prize.
their recognition marks the first time a french female architect has won the prize, with lacaton becoming the sixth woman to receive the award since it was established in 1979.
“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,” explains vassal.
above > anne lacaton and jean-philippe vassal. photography: laurent chalet
above / below > residential and office building, photo courtesy of philippe ruault
above > site for contemporary creation, phase 2, palais de tokyo, photo courtesy of philippe ruault
above >129 units, ourcq-juarès student and social housing. photography: philippe ruault
above > école nationale supérieure d’architecture de nantes
above > 53 units, low-rise apartments, social housing. photography: philippe ruault
above / below > latapie house. photography: philippe ruault
above / below > frac nord-pas de calais | image courtesy of philippe ruault
above > house in bordeaux. photography: philippe ruault
[ jury citation ]
“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 jury citation, in part.
[ 2021 jury ]
alejandro aravena, chair , barry bergdoll, deborah berke, stephen breyer , andré aranha corrêa do lago, kazuyo sejima, wang shu, benedetta tagliabue, martha thorne, executive director, manuela lucá-dazio, advisor
[ purpose ]
to honor a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture. awarded each year, the international prize is often referred to as the profession’s highest honor.