The winners of this year’s Soane Medal have been announced as French architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal. The 2021 Pritzker Prize laureates follow Marina Tabassum and last year’s winner Peter Barber as the three most recent recipients of the award.
Their work was commended for exhibiting an “honest design approach” that critically demonstrates the “importance of architecture in people’s lives.” Fellow Pritzker winner David Chipperfield led the selection of this year’s contest, joined by an expert panel of fellow architects, critics, and curators.
The Medal was established in 2017 in honor of the famed Regency period architect.
In a prepared statement, the pair offered: “What comes after should always be better than what was there before. The buildings that people inhabit — their homes, workplaces and social spaces — should bring pleasure; architecture should be generous and free. We are overjoyed to be awarded this year’s Soane Medal. As Soane furthered the discipline in his own time, we are pleased to join a group of Medallists who demonstrate architecture’s role in each aspect of society today.”
Projects completed by their eponymous firm since 1987 include the much-lauded House in Bordeaux and Grand Parc Bordeux, the Mies van der Rohe Award-winning restoration of a 1960s housing block in the same city.
The duo also spoke to their shared approach to the design of uplifting forms of housing, the growing urgency of adaptive reuse projects, clients' interface, and desire to elevate the needs of the communities for which they design. Three forthcoming projects in Germany, Paris, and Saudi Arabia were also previewed.
A recording of their live-streamed remarks at the Sir John Soane's Museum in London can be viewed below.
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