Architect Odile Decq, director of Paris-based Studio Odile Decq, has won the 2016 Jane Drew Prize for "her outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture." Past recipients of the award, administered by Architects' Journal, include Grafton Architects' Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara (joint awardees, 2015), Kathryn Findlay (2014), Eva Jiřičná (2013), and Zaha Hadid (2012). Decq's recent work includes the Fangshan Tangshan National Geopark Museum in Nanjing, China (2015), the form of which was inspired by the slope of the site; and the Saint-Ange Residency in Seyssins, France (2015), winner of the Blueprint Award for best non-public project. Decq, whose multidisciplinary office boasts a portfolio ranging from plans for social housing to high-tech lighting fixtures, will deliver the opening keynote address at April's Facades+ NYC conference. Decq's interest in the field of high performance building envelopes dates back over 25 years, she explained. "Before the 1990s, facades were composed by architects as holes in a wall," said Decq. "Thanks to [developments in] glass technology and, specifically, the screwed and suspension systems developed by [Irish structural engineer] Peter Rice—who did the first suspended facade in Paris at the end of the 1980s—facades have become surfaces." Decq's first large commission, the Banque Popular de l'Ouest in Rennes (1990, in collaboration with with Peter Rice), features the first facade built using double-glazed suspended glass with external sun shades. Since then, she said, "I have been interested in the facade considered as a transparent surface to which layers outside and inside can be added." Some such additions occur inside the glazing itself, as at the MACRO, Contemporary Museum in Rome (2010); others consist of attached components, such as louvres, that create a sense of depth. "As [in] Alice in Wonderland, the way through the looking glass transforms our vision," concluded Decq. Meet Decq and other award-winning designers, fabricators, builders, and academics at Facades+ NYC. Learn more and register today on the conference website.
Posts tagged with "Odile Decq":
Benoit Cornette and Odile Decq’s 25-year-old Banque Populaire de l’Ouest (BPO) building is threatened by demolition after the owner was unable to sell it and subsequently received permission to tear it down. The building’s double glazed, suspended facade and its panoramic elevators were considered major technical innovations when it was built. The architectural heritage of the building is under threat for purely financial matters, but if the building can receive a pending classification, it would allow the architects one year to draw a plan to refurbish, repurpose, or otherwise save the building. A petition was launched on July 7th, and can be found here. According to the Save the BPO website,
It is time to act and react. The stake is to save a major building of the 20th century…BPO’s building brought international recognition to its authors with a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1996. Their innovative approach of mixing architecture, engineering and industry in search of a new spatiality was highly acclaimed at the time. Technically exceptional with its architectural experimentations, the BPO’s building embodies the “high tech” movement at the same level as the HSBC Tower in Hong Kong or the Lloyd’s Headquarters in London.Sign up for updates to learn more at the group's Facebook page or on Twitter.
Merging practicality—ingenuity, even—with aesthetics can yield impressive results. These light fixtures and accessories go beyond the basic function of illuminating a space in some very surprising ways. Pétale Luceplan This innovative, sound-absorbing suspension lamp combines technology and elegance, ultimately enhancing the true nature of the product: silence. Designed by architect Odile Decq, Pétale has an ethereal presence, thanks to its organic form and soft diffused light that filters through a white fabric cover. It contains a sound-absorbing panel that makes it perfect for large spaces that require high-quality acoustics. GATICA Tech Lighting Named for its uniquely flexible features (GATICA = General And Task Illumination, Controls, Adjustability), this modular LED lighting system combines aimable general illumination, wall wash, and aimable spot lighting all in a highly configurable, ultra-thin profile. GATICA's highly configurable components, quiet beauty, and light performance make it ideal for retail, grocery, office, healthcare, hospitality, museum, library, and gallery applications. It can serve as the sole or majority light source throughout spaces requiring general illumination, wall-washing, task illumination, or all three. Vesuvius ILEX In this elegant, unusual ceiling fixture, a polished, spun-aluminum shade surrounds a hammered metal baffle that is finished in Architectural Bronze or Polished Nickel. The inside of the baffle is brushed brass, which imparts a warm glow both upwards and downwards. Designed by Kevin Walz. Hubbardton Forge Line, Adorne Collection Legrand These hand-crafted, heavily textured metal wall plates coordinate with select Hubbardton Forge fixtures. In six finishes: Black, Natural Iron, Mahogany, Dark Smoke, Burnished Steel, and Bronze. SnapRays Guidelight SnapPower No batteries or hardwiring required: Patented metal prongs on the back of the faceplate make contact with the screws on the outlet, and draw power to the unit’s integral, sensor-operated, LED nightlights. Wireflow Vibia The electrical wires of this updated, abstracted chandelier can be adjusted to trace geometries in two and three dimensions, allowing a great variety of sizes and forms to be created. Designed by Arik Levy.
Last weekend's Monterey Design Conference had many special moments--beyond those spent walking the spectacular grounds of the Asilomar center on the Pacific ocean. The conference, which is essentially the bi-annual meeting of the California AIA, is trying to re-brand itself the "MDC" in hopes of encouraging the general public to attend. But the conference has been M.C.ed for the past dozen years by Robert Ivy, Chief Executive Officer of the AIA and once again he did a brilliant job (with help from Larry Scarpa) of keeping the event moving along between wine tastings, a small trade show and attendees' desire to escape the darkened conference hall for a walk on the beach. Ivy began the weekend with a bit of AIA news from the AIA Octagon by announcing that (after 50 years of trying) the AIA is reducing its board of directors from 52 down to a more manageable 11-15 members. It has been nearly impossible for a group of this size to meet regularly and a smaller board should be more nimble and allow a reconstructed board "council" to act as working groups to research AIA issues. Ivy also reported that he had just flown in from New York and attended the Clinton Global Initiative where he began a relationship with the organization that will focus on how design can create "a healthier environment." But the real meat of this conference has always been design--celebrating its masters, introducing young firms, and honoring its elders. The first session began with a talk by Fayetteville-based Marlon Blackwell who has spent several decades working in a state he calls "home of Bill and a billion chickens." Claiming he had just "cut his mullet" for the event Blackwell went on to show his well-crafted regionalist projects that he says are placed on a site between the ideal (think Fay Jones' Throwncrown Chapel) and the improvised local jeryrigged landscape. He riffed on his well known TV dish (purchased for two cases of beer) turned dome for his St Nicolas Church project. Next up was emerging San Francisco practice Brian Price who showed multiple digitally rendered projects but thus far his work is mostly unbuilt. He is recently relocated from the Ivy league hothouse of the East Coast and this will hopefully allow him to build and craft a real project. The evening finished with Anne Fougeron showing her elegant residential projects, including a dramatic cantilevered house hanging over a steep Big Sur cliff. The second day began (after 6am "restorative" yoga on the beach) with Thomas Phifer who presented his beautifully detailed institutional and residential projects up and down the East Coast and in Houston. He began his presentation "Outside In: Architecture in the Landscape" with Dan Graham and Michael Heizer images and it was fun to watch this East Coast architect lecture the West Coast on light, reflectivity, and nature while they ogled his hard-edged glass walls. Ivy introduced the young San Francisco practice Future Cities Lab who like their Los Angeles cohorts Dwayne Oyler and Jenny Wu showed their formal research into media walls, networking ("communicative surfaces"), distribution, and latticed space frames. These young designers are like, many of their generation, more interested in formal research and installations than actual buildings or even social engagement. Further, the work of these young firms is pointedly performative in how it conceives of its practice and presents itself, with the Oyler Wu Collaborative even showing a time lapse video of the construction of their recent Sci Arc graduation pavilion. But the smaller Asilomar break out sessions presented several young practitioners who do wed design and social engagement in a compelling new formulations like computational designer German Aparicio founder of informedCITIES talked about his research on real-time data, systems and networks and how maps, GIS, data visualization, urban sensing can be put at the disposal of design projects. These Pecha Kucha-style sessions also included a convincing talk "Mighty Hand: Hand Drawing Within the BIM Workflow" by Jess Field who went to describe the benefits of hand drawing and what digital renderings leave out like a reference to scale and the human body. The AIA then presented Jack MacAllister with a lifetime Achievement award and he sat in a large chair on the stage and told folksy tales of sixty years of practice. Later that day Odile Decq and Kengo Kuma presented their work which are both highly inventive but could not have been more unlike in built form and materials. Decq showed her black and red designs for the MACRO in Rome, the Garnier Opera restaurant and a sleek yacht design for an Italian client. Kumo eschews contemporary materials for materials (built by local artisans when possible) like wood, adobe, and ceramic tiles that he claims strive for "building that harmonizes with the climate and environment of the place." Both designers had their adherents in the audience as Kuma's traditional materials certainly has affinities with Bar Region traditions and Decq's pure formalism, which resonates with contemporary Los Angels designers. Different groups gave each standings ovations after their presentations. The presentations ended with a warm tribute to Thom Mayne who seemed to be concerned that this awards might harm his "bad boy image," but was described as a warm, supportive, and helpful colleague to younger practices in California.
The California AIA's biennial Monterey Design Conference is on the next two days—September 27th and 28th—at Asilomar, the glorious Julia Morgan– and John Carl Warnecke–designed center on the Pacific Ocean in Pacific Grove. The conference will feature lectures by Thom Mayne, Marlon Blackwell, Thomas Phifer, Kengo Kuma, and AN board member Odile Decq. But first up this morning was Greg Otto from Buro Happold who presented various Happold projects that were created using a multi-disciplinary approach and discussed design and legal issues around responsibility and how these "stress traditional design assumptions." Otto also discussed his ongoing New York projects with Jeff Koons who wants to make large steel structures look "like marshmallows." Next a Pecha Kucha–type session on Technology Serving Design where German Aparicio, CCA and UCLA professor and AECOM architect, presented his "informedCITIES" digital data research on urbanism and how it can be applied to design. Aparicio has done fascinating urban metrics research on pre- and post-earthquake Christchurch, New Zealand. It's great to be at an architecture conference that does not just discuss local or regional issues but brings in the world's most important designers to present work of high quality and offers a 6:00a.m. "restorative wake-up Yoga" session sponsored by Academy for Emerging Professionals.
If design is all about the details, Alessi has developed a successful formula for making thoughtful, fresh, and functional objects that delight design lovers worldwide. A new roster of architects and industrial designers have contributed sleek new accessories and decorative wares for the Autumn/Winter 2013 collection across the Alessi, Officina Alessi, and A di Alessi collections. AN got a first look at Toyo Ito's newest tablewares, Mario Trimarchi's jewelry, and much more. Alice by Odile Decq This year marks the French architect and designer's first collaboration with Alessi Officina. Her angular serving tray plays on tradition with a planar twist from corner to corner that appears to originate at varying perspectives. It's available in black (shown) or mirror-polished stainless steel. Birillo by Piero Lissoni Alessi's first collection for the bathroom has been enhanced with a gray color offering and five new items: a tissue holder, toilet roll holder, liquid soap dispenser, bathroom container with a lid, and a soap holder for the shower and bath. The elliptical form features a concealed bottom for a weightless appearance. KU by Toyo Ito Pritzker Prize-winning architect Toyo Ito first designed his KU tableware collection in 2006 to suit the Japanese portion palette, and has recently modified the series for the Western market. The 2013 update features a larger soup dish and oval serving tray that maintains accord with the the full set, from serving dishes to coffee cups. Vieni via con me and Maestrale by Mario Trimarchi Trimarchi has broadened his La Stanza dello Scirocco collection of stainless steel decorative objects and accessories with two new pieces of jewelry. The ring and cuff bracelet's design emulates cards fluttering in the wind and can be adjusted for custom sizing. MamiXL by Stefano Giovannono Originally released in 2003, Giovannono's collection of glassware and stemware has been updated to today's serving size standards, inspired by the dimensions of current wine tasting glasses. Vessels for several varietals of wine, water glasses, decanters, and tumblers are all made from crystalline glass.
Odile Speaks. French architect Odile Decq, designer of the recently completed Macro Museum in Rome, will be delivering a lecture at Hunter College in New York on Friday, March 4. The event takes place on the second floor of the MFA building (450 West 41st Street) at 6:00 PM. Walk-way-up. At 45 stories, a skyscraper in Caracas, Venezuela could be the world's tallest walk-up. The New York Times has the story of the stalled tower that's now home to some 2,500 squatters. While the building lacks amenities like an elevator, proper bathrooms, or guardrails, it's said to offer a commanding view of the surrounding city. Toxic Town. Forbes ranks the ten most toxic cities in America and Philadelphia rises up as champion - toxic champion. Based on air and water quality, Superfund sites, and data from the EPA, the list generalizes that the west coast suffers from morbid air quality while New York, 4th worst, could improve its water quality. Pei Okay. The Wall Street Journal reviews I.M. Pei's Manhattan Centurion apartment building and finds that it "embodies an unfussy, functional, and elegant ethos that elevates it well above the schlocky residential construction now omnipresent in New York City." Pei collaborated with his son on the project, which might not be their last.