1955 - 2015
The French architect Françoise-Hélène Jourda, one of the main advocates of sustainable construction and ecology applied to architecture in her country, passed away on 31 May. Born in 1955, Jourda studied in Lyon – the city where she was born –, and from the beginning she was strongly marked by her ecological militancy and the influence of figures like Jean Prouvé, Norman Foster, and Ralph Erskine, whom she considered to be her mentor. All these influences can be found in the buildings she designed throughout her career, first in collaboration with her partner Gilles Perraudin and later on her own; buildings sensitive to energy issues and to the natural characteristics of the materials like the University of Marne-la-Vallée outside Paris (1992) or the Further Education Center of Herne-Sodingen, Germany (1999), among other examples. Françoise-Hélène Jourda combined her studio work with an activist academic career, occupying, since the first years of the 21st century and until her death, the chair of the pioneering ‘architectural ecology’ department at the Technische Universität in Vienna.