Visiting Lecture | Manuelle Gautrand: Beyond the Program

Thursday, February 21, 2019, 6:30 - 8pm

Add to Calendar


In architecture, generosity can be demonstrated in different ways. Yet considering a project does not simply mean plotting surface area on a site. Beyond what can be quantified and measured, there is architecture when there is emotion, that of discovering a place which surprises and impresses, where one feels good, where beauty is present.

Generosity is also found in our architecture’s capacity to provide an original vision of a project. Going beyond the basic functions of a building, there is what cannot be measured: the generosity of collective spaces, the unexpected features of projects which are added on and which were not planned, the beauty of volumes ready to experience informal ideas and an ownership that cannot be anticipated.

Architecture cannot be monofunctional and it must not dictate all the terms. It must leave us with a certain amount of freedom to discover and then live it in our own way.

Manuelle Gautrand was born on July 14, 1961 in Marseille (France). She obtained her graduate diploma in Architecture from the “ENSA” national school of Montpellier in 1985. She founded her office MANUELLE GAUTRAND ARCHITECTURE in 1991 and rapidly gained international public renown. She lives and works in Paris since 1994. 

Since its creation in 1991, the agency has carried out numerous buildings for large public and private clients, in France and abroad, in fields as diverse as cultural facilities, offices, housing, hotels, retails and leisure facilities. Some famous projects are the “Gaité Lyrique” former theater transformation in Paris, the “LaM” Museum of Modern and Oustider Art in Lille, the “Cité des Affaires” in Saint-Etienne. The agency is currently working on major projects in Stockholm, in Sydney district - Parramatta, in Amsterdam, etc.

Refusing to lock in an architectural style or type of program, Manuelle Gautrand claims "the luxury of being unaccustomed" in her architectural production and seeks to re-enchant our environment.

This event is open to current Cooper Union students, faculty, and staff. Room 315F. 

View the full Spring 2019 Lectures and Events List

Located at 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.