Anne Lacaton

Lacaton & Vassal Architects, Paris, France

Event from
08 May
Photo from Anne Lacaton



Lacaton and Vassal Architects claim that the first task of the architect is to observe carefully, to explore, to think, to take positions, to set down intentions, and then to decide what to do, what to build, and sometimes decide whether to build or not.

The challenges of contemporary society all seem, basically, to revolve around a culture of paying attention, interpreting and transforming ­the existing environment. The point is to exalt the capacities of the existing, to look at it in a new light. The existing provides the preliminary structure for all the projects of the architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal.

Transforming, using, what already exists is accurately observing, from inside, as close as possible. Understanding, being curious, being attentive, to the places, trees, people … Looking positively and taking advantage of what is already there, as an opportunity and an additional value. Adding, joining, expanding, superimposing, spanning the existing structure is always more interesting than starting from a place beforehand cleaned and emptied. The project then invents a new situation, enriched of all the previous stories, of all the existing layers.

Anne Lacaton

Lacaton & Vassal Architects were established in Paris in 1989 by Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal. Both also work as visiting professors at universities in Europe. They planned several social housing projects, such as the conversion of the Tour Bois le Prêtre ­in Paris (in cooperation with Frédéric Druot).

All their 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.


Tour Bois Le Prêtre Foto: Philippe Ruault:
Tour Bois Le Prêtre Foto: Philippe Ruault
Tour Bois Le Prêtre