European Prize for Architecture to Manuelle Gautrand

John Hill
1. September 2017
Alesia Cinemas, Paris, 2016 (Photo: Luc Boegly)

The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design have named French architect Manuelle Gautrand as laureate of this year's European Prize for Architecture.

According to the two institutions jointly awarding the prize, the European Prize for Architecture is given "to architects who have made a commitment to forward the principles of European humanism and the art of architecture." They cite Gautrand's "body of works that celebrate boldness and non-conformity in a world torn by extreme modernity and a reactionary return to the past. "

Furthermore, "Her firm's poetic architecture embraces the endless variety of forms and colors, using the most contemporary methods of planning in a variety of areas, ranging from cultural facilities to residential, commercial, and office buildings-all with the sentiment of making special places and distinct spaces that celebrate ordinary life in our complex urban cities and our diverse cultural situations."

Gautrand founded her eponymous firm in 1991, though in recent years she has received a good deal of attention for some striking cultural, commercial and leisure facilites in Paris and elsewhere in France. Some projects featured on World-Architects include Alesia Cinemas (a recipient of a 2017 International Architecture Award), Le Forum cultural facility, Hipark Hotel, and the National Drama Theater, "La Comédie de Béthune." These projects attest to Gautrand's willingness to "embrace [an] endless variety of forms and colors."

Previous Laureates of the European Prize for Architecture include: Bjarke Ingels (Denmark), GRAFT (Germany), TYIN Architects (Norway), Marco Casagrande (Finland), Alessandro Mendini (Italy), Santiago Calatrava (Spain/Switzerland) and LAVA Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (Germany).

Manuelle Gautrand will be given the prize during a Gala Dinner Award Ceremony on 8 September 2017 at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens. An exhibition of her firm's work opens on the same evening at the Contemporary Space Athens, where the 75 winners of the 2017 International Architecture Awards will also be on display.

Le Forum, Saint-Louis, France, 2016 (Photo: Guillaume Guerin)
Hipark Hotel, Paris, 2016 (Photo: Luc Boegly)
La Comédie de Béthune, France, 2014 (Photo: Luc Boegly)

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