The French studio led by Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal has been distinguished with the Soane Medal of this year. The annual award is given by Sir John Soane’s Museum in London in acknowledgement of professionals who “encourage a better understanding of the central importance of architecture in culture and society.”
“Lacaton & Vassal’s priority is to avoid unnecessary waste by transforming buildings in ways that will be beneficial for the occupants, the local community and its ecology,” said Soane Medal jury chair Alice Rawsthorn. “By doing so, they have quietly produced some of the most important buildings of our time. All their projects are defined by the needs and wishes of the people who will use them, and their personal responsibilities as architects.”
Winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2021, the duo prioritizes reuse and transformation of materials and existing structures over demolition, complying with their firm commitment to ensuring sustainability and making a social impact. Their architecture encompasses a wide variety of types and scales, from housing manifestos like the Latapie House to the refurbishment of the Bois-le-Prêtre tower in Paris and the transformation of the FRAC of the Nord-Pas de Calais region in Dunkirk, northern France.
Lacaton and Vassal received the accolade in a ceremony held at the museum, where they gave the sixth Soane Medal Lecture.