Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal win the 2021 Pritzker Architecture Prize
By Alexander Walter|
Tuesday, Mar 16, 2021
The Pritzker Architecture Prize jury just revealed that French architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal of Lacaton & Vassal will be the 2021 laureates of the coveted recognition.
"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 jury citation, in part.
"Good architecture is open — open to life, open to enhance the freedom of anyone, where anyone can do what they need to do," said Anne 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."
Jean-Philippe Vassal added: "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."
"This year, more than ever, we have felt that we are part of humankind as a whole. Be it for health, political or social reasons, there is a need to build a sense of collectiveness. Like in any interconnected system, being fair to the environment, being fair to humanity, is being fair to the next generation," commented Alejandro Aravena, Chair of the Pritzker Architecture Prize Jury. "Lacaton and Vassal are radical in their delicacy and bold through their subtleness, balancing a respectful yet straightforward approach to the built environment."
Lacaton and Vassal will join the Pritzker's honorary list of laureates, which in recent years included Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects (who collectively won the 2020 prize), Arata Isozaki (2019), Balkrishna Doshi (2018), RCR Arquitectes co-founders Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta (2017), Alejandro Aravena (2016), the late Frei Otto (2015), Shigeru Ban (2014), Toyo Ito (2013), and Wang Shu (2012).
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