Opinion: Transforming old into new

Transformation of G, H, I Buildings 2

Revered retrofit architects Lacaton & Vassal’s recent Pritzker Prize win poses some interesting questions for car designers, writes CDN editor James McLachlan

Among the recent winners of architecture’s Pritzker Prize, this year’s triumph by French architects Lacaton & Vassal must be one of the most popular. Specialists in reviving unloved, and some would say unlovely, postwar social housing schemes, L&V’s work resonates with current concerns over how we best use our existing resources and lighten our impact on the environment. I first came across their work when putting together a publication examining the various approaches to housing regeneration. L&V’s method of adapting intimidating slab-blocks, often by retrofitting steel frames to the exterior to create additional living space, featured prominently. The architects viewed the demolition of these buildings as a blunder.

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