Noted French modernist and social housing pioneer Renée Gailhoustet passed away on January 4th at her home outside of Paris, the nation’s largest newspaper, Le Monde, reported earlier on Tuesday.
Known for creating the master plan for Ivry-sur-Seine; the 1972 Cité Spinoza housing complex in the same town; Le Liégat (where she also resided); and the La Maladrerie development in the suburb of Aubervilliers, Gailhoustet’s designs in the typology were critically important in their divergence from the Corbusian model of planning that predominated in the country in the decades following World War II.
After attending the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris, Gailhoustet began her own practice in the French capital in 1964. From there, she gained recognition for her innovative, socially-conscious contributions to urban renewal projects in Ivry-sur-Seine, Villejuif, and Saint-Denis that mirrored approaches later taken up by architects like Moshe Safdie in their insistence upon more humane elements like private terraces, naturalism, and spatial diversity.
Just last year, Gailhoustet was named the winner of the prestigious Royal Academy Architecture Prize for her work, which jurists stated exemplified a “strong social commitment that brings together generosity, beauty, ecology, and inclusivity.”
“Her buildings are bright and surprising, with big windows and planted terraces at all levels,” the Royal Academy of Arts remembered in an Instagram post last week. “They continue to inspire thinking about what generous housing truly entails and shaped a new vision for what it means to build cities where we can live together.”
Renée Gailhoustet was 93 years old.
Read Nore:Trailblazing French social housing pioneer Renée Gailhoustet passes away aged 93