2021 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laurates
Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal (France)
ANNE: When we are thinking, designing a project,
when we are starting to work on the site,
We never think in terms of forms.
So it’s what we call ‘From the Inside Out’.
It means that we think the project from the inside.
Of course, it’s important this principle
of looking on what we have in hands
and what we could do with this.
JEAN-PHILIPPE: We are all talking about
the existing city, the existing situations
and we are inside the situations.
It’s a different approach to urbanism.
Not more from above, but from inside.
—with this curiosity and this precision
ANNE: And we are really interested in this
process of transformation, addition,
because for us this is an opportunity
of doing more with what we have.
JEAN-PHILIPPE: We call it “plus”, that means we should
never demolish, never demolish, because always
we have to consider what it’s already there:
this memory, this life that people spend in there
even in difficult conditions.
ANNE: We did some projects of transformation
and, especially, of social housing.
This is a transformation of three big blocks of
530 dwellings and we did it without removing
any family from the building.
But we set an ambition of transforming the
space of living in a much better way into
to give another fifty-years life of this building
and we transformed this into a beautiful housing
with much more space for every inhabitant.
Here at this scale, [the project] was really
a part of the city
and we were expecting that
it could really show the relevance of
this process of transformation,
instead of demolition and rebuilding.