Dominique Coulon is the winner of the 2022 Grande Médaille d’Or de l’Académie d’Architecture, the award that the Parisian institution, based in Place des Vosges in the historic Hôtel de Chaulnes, assigns to the best international architects, teachers, and researchers each year, placing a special emphasis on young people who’ve just completed their training. Patrick Rubin received the Médaille d’Honneur, while additional awards went to Benedetta Tagliabue, Amelia Tavella, Denis Eliet, and Laurent Lehmann, Stéphan de Fay. With Minister for Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, in attendance, 31 professionals from the world of architecture were recognized for their research and projects from redevelopment to heritage, and urban planning.
The founder of Dominique Coulon & Associés has joined a list of winners that goes back many years and includes the likes of Gio Ponti (1968), Alvar Aalto (1972), and Kenzo Tange (1973). In awarding the prize, the jury, chaired this year by Christiane Schmuckle-Mollard, mentioned the close attention Coulon gives to the setting in every project, precision, and his tireless search to express the “poetry of places and spaces.” As the president of the Académie, Pablo Katz, said, Coulon brings a deep sensitivity to his unique and meticulous approach to architecture. And, as Coulon himself said in his acceptance speech, he seeks to clarify complexity through an interplay of tensions and geometries, through the thoughtful integration of architecture into its physical, social, and climatic settings. He went on to mention how he is drawn to working on public projects and the attention he pays to incorporating each building into its setting so that the two interact and move people. A couple of examples among the many are the media library immersed in a natural setting in Corsica, completed in early 2022, and the child-friendly Gif-sur-Yvette school.
Patrick Rubin won the Médaille d’Honneur for his commitment to the environment and dedication to providing answers to the now omnipresent climate challenge.
Prizes were also awarded for art history, craftsmanship, archeology, and publishing, with the latter going to architect, researcher, and teacher Federico Ferrari.
The event was an opportunity to recognize and applaud professionals who, as the Académie d’Architecture’s mission statement says, “honor and serve architecture.”
Name: Les Prix et Récompenses de l’Académie d’Architecture
Photo: courtesy of Académie d’Architecture and Dominique Coulon & Associés