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French architect Renée Gailhoustet wins 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Prize

France Architecture News - Jun 02, 2022 - 13:35   814 views

French architect Renée Gailhoustet wins 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Prize

French architect Renée Gailhoustet has been awarded the 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Prize for her "extraordinary contribution to social housing in France and her inspirational approach to building communities and urban planning."

Inaugurated in 2018, the Royal Academy Arts' Architecture Prize is given to "an individual or practice whose idea or body of work has made a positive contribution to the public and had a significant impact on society."

Supported by The Dorfman Foundation, the Awards also recognize new talents with the Royal Academy Dorfman Award "celebrating new ideas and practices that highlight the future potential of architecture."

French architect Renée Gailhoustet wins 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Prize

Auberviliers by Renée Gailhoustet. Image © Marc Pataut

This year, four architects have been nominated for the 2022 Royal Academy Dorfman Award, in which the winner will be awarded with £10,000 cash prize to support the development of their practice.

The nominated practices include UK studio Apparata, Japanese practice dot architects, Peruvian non-profit organization Semillas and Indian practice Wallmakers

French architect Renée Gailhoustet wins 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Prize

Auberviliers by Renée Gailhoustet. Image © Marc Pataut

Renée Gailhoustet, aged 92, was awarded for her pioneering work as an architect who designed public housing and neighbourhoods in and around Paris during a forty-year career that began in 1961.

Born in Oran in French Algeria in 1929, Renée Gailhoustet enrolled in the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris, gaining her diploma in 1961. 

She founded her own practice in 1964 and went on to produce a succession of visionary public housing projects, ranging from masterplans, towers, apartments to large-scale complexes. 

Her key works include La Maladrerie in Aubervilliers built in 1984 - which includes residencies, artist studios, shops.

French architect Renée Gailhoustet wins 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Prize

Ivry-sur-Seine by Renée Gailhoustet. Image © Marc Pataut

The other important project is Le Liégat in Ivry-sur-Seine, which was completed as part of the renovation for the town of Ivry-sur-Seine and completed in 1982. The Le Liégat project has also been her home and studio since the project was completed.

She also designed an urban renewal masterplan for Ivry-sur-Seine and invited Jean Renaudie to develop the first built expression of his Étoiles apartment buildings.

Common features of her architecture include "staggered and planted terraces" to allow nature that also integrates domestic spaces in ways that are not commonly seen in high-density housing. 

French architect Renée Gailhoustet wins 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Prize

Interiors by Renée Gailhoustet. Image © Laurent Kruszyk

"Her work has a strong social commitment"

Based on her innovative geometries and mixing uses, she was able to remove the boundaries between interior and exterior. 

Farshid Moussavi RA, Chair of the 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Awards Jury, said that "Renée Gailhoustet’s achievements reach far beyond what is produced as social or affordable housing anywhere today." 

"Her work has a strong social commitment that brings together generosity, beauty, ecology, and inclusivity."

“This award highlights housing design as one of the most pressing and complex issues of our time by inviting the public to rediscover the work of one of the most committed and prolific practitioners of the 20th Century – an architect who pioneered a new approach to housing design, and was an early adopter of important principles such as generous public space and nature in the city," Moussavi added.


A House For Artists designed by Apparata. Image © Ståle Eriksen

The Royal Academy jury’s statement highlights Renée Gailhoustet’s "extraordinary contribution to social housing in France", citing her impressive body of work that "consistently reflects her interest in realising architecture as a social and cultural practice."

"Gailhoustet’s buildings demonstrate a belief in social connections and an aspiration for structures and urban environments that are cohesive but underpinned by diversity. They integrate dwelling and nature at the heart of the city and champion collaboration in the design and urban development process," added the statement. 

French architect Renée Gailhoustet wins 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Prize

Chidori-Bunka, a new community space by Dot Architects. Image © Yoshiro Masuda

French architect Renée Gailhoustet wins 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Prize

Alto Anapati School by Semillas in Pangoa, Perú (2021). Image © Eleazar Cuadros

French architect Renée Gailhoustet wins 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Prize

The Ledge by Wallmakers in the South of Kerala. Image © Syam Sreesylam, courtesy of Wallmakers

The 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Prize and the 2022 Royal Academy Dorfman Award will be presented at a ceremony during Royal Academy Architecture Awards Week, 12 – 16 September 2022, a public celebration of architecture at the Royal Academy in London.

In 2020, Spanish artist Cristina Iglesias has been awarded the 2020 Royal Academy Architecture Prize. 

In 2019, Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, founding partners of DS+R, were named as the winners of the Royal Academy Architecture Prize. 

Top image: Renée Gailhoustet. Image © Valerie Sadoun.

> via The Royal Academy of Arts