Anne Lacaton was born in France in 1955. She graduated from the Bordeaux School of Architecture in 1980, and gained a Diploma in Urban Planning at the University of Bordeaux in 1984.
Together with her partner Jean Phillippe Vassal, they established their practice, Lacaton & Vassal, in Paris in 1989. Since then, they have completed over 30 projects throughout Europe and West Africa.
The office has an international focus, working on public buildings, housing and urban planning projects. All the projects are based on a principle of generosity and economy, serving the life, the uses and the appropriation, with the aim of changing the standard, and a strong commitment for sustainability and social impact.
For more than 30 years, their critical approach to architecture has embodied generosity of space, ideas, uses and economy of means, materials, and also of shape and form. This approach has resulted in innovative projects for residential, cultural, educational, and commercial buildings.
Last year both Anne and Jean Philippe were named the 49th and 50th Laureates of the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2021.
In the announcement citation, the Pritzker jury noted the duo’s “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.”
The citation especially notes the pair’s dedication to housing projects and their practice of maintaining and adapting buildings instead of turning to demolition.
“In their housing projects for the transformation of the Paris block, Tour Bois le Prêtre, and three blocks in the Grand Parc neighbourhood in Bordeaux (both realized with Frédéric Druot), instead of demolition and reconstruction they carefully added space to the existing buildings in the form of generous extensions, winter gardens and balconies that allow for freedom of use and therefore are supportive of the real lives of the residents. There is a humility in the approach that respects the aims of the original designers and the aspirations of the current occupants."
They were also appointed co-chairs of the inaugural, three-year Rothwell Chair at the Sydney School of Architecture, Design, and Planning in 2020 to explore their topic: ‘we propose to deal with contemporary urban conditions of living in the city’.
Anne is also a Professor at ETH Zürich, and a visiting professor at the EPFL Lausanne in 2010-11. She lectured at Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2011 and 2015, at TU Delft in the Netherlands in 2016.
Since 2007 Anne has been a workshop leader in the Master of Architecture in Collective Housing, MCH. A postgraduate full-time international professional program of advanced architecture design in cities and housing presented by Universidad Politécnica of Madrid (UPM) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). After thirteen editions, it is rated as one of the best architecture master’s programs by architects and experts.
Lacaton & Vassal’s current projects include the renovation of the Kampnagel theatre in Hamburg, Germany's biggest independent production venue for the performing arts, and the transformation into housing of the former Saint Vincent de Paul hospital in Paris.
Anne Lacaton is proudly sponsored by: