Odile Decq Wins 2016 Jane Drew Prize

John Hill
25. February 2016
Fangshan Tangshan National Geopark Museum, Nanjing, China, 2015 (Photo: Johnson Lin)

French architect Odile Decq has won The Architectural Review's Jane Drew Prize, which "recognizes an architectural designer who through their work and commitment to design excellence has raised the profile of women in architecture."

In selecting Decq as this year's recipient of the prize, the jury described her as "a creative powerhouse, spirited breaker of rules and advocate of equality." The Architectural Review even says in an article on Decq that "it’s fitting that her star sign is Cancer, the crab: spiky and defensive without, soft and sensitive within."

In the 1990s with partner Benoît Cornette, who died in a car crash in 1998, Decq gained popularity for daring designs – such as the BPO Building, now threatened with demolition – and an unmistakable Goth visage she maintains to this day (photo below). 

Recent highlights of her career include The Cargo incubator building in Paris and the curling Fangshan Tangshan National Geopark Museum in Nanjing, China. In 2014, a couple years after stepping down as director of Paris’s École Spéciale d’Architecture, Decq established the Confluence Institute for Innovation and Creative Strategies in Architecture in Lyon, a school of experimentation and transdisciplinarity housed in one of her projects.

Previous recipients of the Jane Drew Prize include Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects (2015),  Kathryn Findlay (2014) and Eva Jiřičná (2013).

In addition to the Jane Drew Prize, The Architectural Review has announced that the recipient of this year's Ada Louise Huxtable Prize is Julia Peyton-Jones, the outgoing director of the Serptine Galleries in London. That prize "recognizes individuals working in the wider architectural industry who have made a significant contribution to architecture and the built environment." Decq and Peyton-Jones will receive their prizes and speak at the annual Women in Architecture Awards luncheon on Friday 4 March in London.

Odile Decq (Photo: Mazen Saggar/Louis Vuitton)

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