Architecture – The 2021 Pritzker Architecture Prize went to Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal of Lacaton and Vassal. Through their design of private and social housing, cultural and academic institutions, public spaces, and urban developments, the Paris-based duo reexamines sustainability in their reverence for pre-existing structures, conceiving projects by first taking inventory of what already exists.
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By prioritizing the enrichment of human life through a lens of generosity and freedom of use, they can benefit the individual socially, ecologically and economically, aiding the city’s evolution.
“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.”
“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,” added Jean-Philippe Vassal.
“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.”
All photos: courtesy of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.