Skip to main content

La valeur des lieux - faire avec ce qui est déjà là

Event Label
Lecture and Filmscreening
Organisational Units
Art and Architecture
Location Venue (1)
Studio Building
Location Address (1)
Lehárgasse 8
Location ZIP and/or City (1)
1060 Vienna
Location Room (1)
Prospekthof, gate 2

Lecture by Anne Lacaton.
Welcome by Johan Frederik Hartle, Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Gilles Pécout, the Embassador of France in Austria.
The lecture will be in French with simultaneous translation into German.

In her lecture, Anne Lacaton offers her point of view, relating the work of Lacaton&Vassal to the emergencies concerning the specific moment of our planet.

After the lecture the evening continues with an open-air film screening with snacks and drinks in the inner courtyard of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Schillerplatz. Constructing escape, a story about air, void and light. Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal (2019) and The Imaginaries of Transformation (2012), both films by Karine Dana.

The value of places making with the already there
The existing environment - its plants, uses, views or constructions - provides the preliminary structure for all of our projects. We see it always as an opportunity a resource that already brings value to the project and as the basis of any project. Use, re-use and transformation are the base of creation and invention in architecture and urban planning.
We invariably seek to extend existing situations as delicately and lightly as possible, avoiding destruction. Adding, joining, expanding, superimposing, spanning the existing structure is always more interesting than always start over and start from a place beforehand cleaned and emptied. They are in themselves sources of savings and efficiency. The existing offers already enough material so that it allows to reduce drastically the need of new materials and the need of always using new territories to build. Based on observation, inventory and understanding of the qualities and values that are already there, the approach involves a permanent adjustment between the characteristics and strengths of what already exists and the need to evolve, adapt and create, considering new challenges and new uses. DOING WITH means taking on board the values and strengths of the existing system, rather than thwarting or denying them, and re-engaging them fully in a new system, making them the driving force of a new project. This does not mean being conservative or subjected to, but on the contrary, inventing from what exists, taking each place with its coherence and intelligence and as a whole. It is an economy of gesture, of material, an economy in short, favourable to the essential, and which does not oppose, on the contrary, the spirit of invention.

Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal run the international architecture practice Lacaton&Vassal based in Paris. Their work is based on a principle of honoring the pre-existing, of generosity and economy, serving the life, the uses and the appropriation and consequently changing the standard. Main projects completed by the office comprise the regional contemporary art center FRAC in Dunkerque, the renovation of the contemporary Art museum Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Architecture School in Nantes, the Viennese Café at Museumsquartier, transformations of modern social housing like the Tour Bois-le-Prêtre in Paris or the Cité du Grand Parc in Bordeaux, as well as numerous collective and individual housing projects like the house Latapie in Bordeaux, the house in the trees in the bay of Arcachon, the Cité Manifeste in Mulhouse or the social and student housing in Paris. Throughout their careers, the architects have rejected city plans calling for the demolition of social housing, focusing instead on designing from the inside out to prioritize the welfare of a building’s inhabitants and their desires for larger and generous spaces. In 2021 the Pritzker-Price, architecture’s highest honor, was granted to Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal.

The evening is a cooperation between the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Institute for Art and Architecture and the Institut français d'Autriche in the frame of the IKA Lecture Series Ruptured Landscapes and the Night of ideas 2023 "More?" - Nuit des idées 2023 "Plus ?" - Nacht der Ideen "Mehr?"

Ruptured Landscapes, IKA Lecture Series curated by Aristide Antonas

A provocative tension between post-colonial, feminist discourses and the global warming literature is put in focus in a series of investigations led at the Institute for Art and Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Ecology offers a new grand narrative and the specific investigations challenge the possibilities of practical interventions in its frame. The stabilization of the global warming discourses runs in parallel to a continuous development of the post-colonial literature and a part of feminist writings underlying the importance of a destabilized normality even in the most trivial accepted natural observations. Voices from architecture and arts present their perspectives on the concept of urgency in relation to its impact on theory and praxis.