Lacaton & Vassal Architectes
Anne Lacaton was born in France in 1955. She graduated from the school of architecture of Bordeaux, in 1980, and got a diploma of urban planning at the University of Bordeaux in 1984. She is teaching as visiting professor at the University of Madrid since 2007, in 2010-11 at the Ecole Polytechnique in Lausanne, and at Harvard Design School, studio in Paris in 2011.
Jean Philippe Vassal was born in Casablanca, Morocco in 1954. He graduated from the school of architecture of Bordeaux in 1980. He worked as urban planner in Niger from 1980 to 1985. He is teaching as UdK Berlin since 2012, and has been visiting professor at the TU in Berlin in 2007-2010, and in 2010-11 at the Ecole Polytechnique in Lausanne.
They have received several awards among them, the Grand Prix National d’Architecture, France, 2008, the International Fellowship of the RIBA in 2009, and have been shortlisted in 2003 and 2007 for the Mies Van der Rohe Award, European Prize for Contemporary Architecture.
Anne Lacaton and Jean Philippe Vassal created the office Lacaton & Vassal in 1989, based in Paris. The office has a practice in France, as well as an international practice, working on various programs of buildings and urban planning.
Since 25 years Anne Lacaton & Jean Philippe Vassal develop their projects with the aims:
to produce conditions of life the most generous,
to build spaces which create the freedom, serve the life, the uses and the appropriation,
to change the standard,
to use the existing qualities of a site as a chance and a strength,
to work with the climate in a simple way and with common sense, far from sophisticated technologies,
and to make that affordable.
Their personal design philosophy is based on the idea that buildings are beautiful when people feel good in them, when the light inside is beautiful, and the air pleasant, when the exchange with the outside seems easy and gentle, when life is simple in them, uses and sensations unexpected.
The main works completed by the office are the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Site for contemporary creation, the Café for the Architektur Zentrum in Vienna, a Management School in Bordeaux, the architecture school in Nantes. They built significant housing projects in France such as the House Latapie, Bordeaux, the House in the trees, on the Arcachon Bay, an innovative social housing program, the “Cité Manifeste” in Mulhouse. They are also involved in the transformation of the modernist heritage of social housing and defend the transformation against demolition. They have recently completed the transformation of a tower of 100 social housing apartments in Paris
All the projects, built or unbuilt, form a continuous process of accumulation, addition, re-interpretation, which reformulates each time recurrent themes and issues : capacity, flexibility, superimposition, climate, comfort, pleasure, appropriation, shells, structures, economy, generosity of spaces, optimism…