23 January 2019

Akademie der Künste presents Kunstpreis Berlin
Jubiläumsstiftung 1848/1948
(Berlin Art Prize – Jubilee Endowment 1848/1948)
Renée Gailhoustet awarded the Großer Kunstpreis Berlin 2019 (Berlin Grand Art Prize 2019)
Awards ceremony on 18 March with the Governing Mayor of Berlin,
Michael Müller, and Akademie President Jeanine Meerapfel

French architect and urban planner Renée Gailhoustet is to receive the Großer Kunstpreis Berlin (Berlin Grand Art Prize) 2019. The Akademie der Künste awards the prize, endowed with 15,000 euros, on an annual basis and in rotation among its six sections on behalf of the state of Berlin. The prize will be presented on 18 March by the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, and Akademie President Jeanine Meerapfel.

By awarding this prize to Renée Gailhoustet, the jury, comprised of Irina Raud, Almut Grüntuch-Ernst and Anh-Linh Ngo, honours the life's work of an architect who proposed a forward-looking alternative to mass housing construction with her leafy terraced houses built in Paris (Ivry-sur-Seine) in the 1970s.

What makes Gailhoustet's work so current and exemplary today – according to the jury – in addition to topics concerning urban development policy and commitment to a social architecture, is above all the question of sustainable development, whereby the integration of green areas into the living space was anticipated: in 2019, it is also about sealing, affordable rents, social mixing and urban green.

In addition, the six Kunstpreise Berlin (Berlin Art Prizes), endowed with € 5,000 each, will also be awarded. The prizes go to German-Lebanese artist duo Prinz Gholam (Visual Arts Section), Danish architect Dorte Mandrup (Architecture Section), Turkish composer Zeynep Gedizlioğlu (Music Section), writer Uljana Wolf (Literature Section), actor Alexander Scheer (Performing Arts Section) and director and actress Nicolette Krebitz (Film and Media Art Section).

The Kunsptpreis Berlin - Jubiläumsstiftung 1848/1948 (Berlin Art Prize – Jubilee Endowment 1848/1948) was established by the Berlin Senate in 1948 in memory of the March Revolution of 1848. It has been awarded by the Akademie der Künste on behalf of the State since 1971. The winners of the Großer Kunstpreis Berlin (Berlin Grand Art Prize) in recent years were Thomas Demand (2018), Emin Alper (2017) and Frank Castorf (2016).

This year's award ceremony will take place on Monday, 18 March, at 7 pm in the Akademie building at Pariser Platz.

Short Biography Renée Gailhoustet
Renée Gailhoustet, born in Oran (Algeria) in 1929, studied philosophy at the Sorbonne from 1947 and received her doctorate in 1951. Immediately afterwards, in 1952, she began studying architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris. From 1952 to 1958, she worked at the Lods-Hermant studio and from 1958 to 1961 at the studio of Jean Faugeron. She earned her degree in architecture in 1961 with a thesis on social housing. In 1962, she became project manager at the studio of Jean Dubrulle.
In 1964, she founded her own firm, which she ran until 1998. In 1969, she became chief architect of Ivry-sur-Seine. Together with her partner Jean Renaudie (1925-1981), she developed the master plan for the urban renewal programme.
Gailhoustet's most important works in Ivry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne) include the Raspail residential tower (1963-1968) with shops, artists' studios and workshops. The French Ministry of Culture distinguished the building as "Patrimoine du XXème siècle", cultural heritage of the 20th century. A further residential tower with shops and artists' studios, Lénine, was built between 1966 and 1970. Spinoza is an ensemble consisting of a children's library, a medical and psycho-pedagogical centre, a workers' residential home, commercial premises and a crèche, and was built from 1966 to 1973. Small works during this period include Kiosk Lénine and Kiosk Raspail (1968-1970). The Le Liégat ensemble of terraced apartments and commercial premises inspired by Jean Renaudie was built from 1971 to 1982. Marat (1971-1986) was a second ensemble of terraced apartments with shops and a supermarket. In the 1970s, Gailhoustet built two further residential towers: one was Casanova (1971-1973), which included a nursing home, commercial premises and artists' studios, and the other was Jeanne Hachette (1972-1975) with shops, commercial premises and artists' studios. The latter was also honoured with the title "Patrimoine du XXème siècle". After giving up her firm at the end of the 1990s, Renée Gailhoustet dedicated herself to writing on architectural theory. She was awarded the French National Order of Merit, Officier des Arts et Lettres. In 2014, she was awarded the Prix des Femmes Architectes (special mention as a pioneer) and, in 2018, the Medal of Honour of the Academie d'architecture.