School of Architecture, Design & Planning announces inaugural Rothwell Chair

10 March 2020
A major gift from alumni Garry and Susan Rothwell established the Garry and Susan Rothwell Chair in Architectural Design Leadership. French architecture studio Lacaton & Vassal Architectes will share the inaugural, three-year Rothwell Chair appointment.

The Garry and Susan Rothwell Chair gift consists of a Rothwell Chair appointment, research appointments and associated program of activities to elevate the standard of architectural and urbanism practice.

“The Garry and Susan Rothwell Chair Program is an exciting opportunity for the School to further our international academic standing, build strong relationships with renowned international architectural studios and to contribute to a unique Sydney education.

With the appointment of Lacaton & Vassal, the School will further advance its ethos of socially relevant architecture and design, as well as its commitment to advancing the quality of architectural design in the Australian profession.
Professor Robyn Dowling, Head of School and Dean

Jean Philippe Vassal and Anne Lacaton

“We are thrilled with the news that Lacaton & Vassal will be the inaugural Rothwell Chair. We are aware of their wonderful work and believe that this is an absolutely marvellous opportunity for both the students, academics and our colleagues,” said Garry and Susan Rothwell.

Anne Lacaton and Jean Philippe Vassal are committed educators who will work with students, researchers and practitioners on their topicdealing with contemporary urban conditions to explore optimal ways of living in the city. Over the next three years their visits, design studios and public lectures will form a major part of the Rothwell Chair Program.

The Chair initiative aims to; provide leadership in architectural and urban design innovation; foster research and research training; enhance the learning experience; and facilitate connections with the architectural profession both locally and internationally.

"A shared vision of the main issues and challenges of architecture and urban planning for the future and the high level of standard of education of the University of Sydney that came up through our preliminary discussions convinced us to take up the Rothwell appointment,” said Lacaton & Vassal.

Multiple award-winner, Lacaton & Vassal based in Paris, is an international practice working on public buildings, housing and urban planning. The studio’s projects - including the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, the Architecture school in Nantes - are based on a principle of generosity and economy, with the aim of changing the standard and a strong commitment to sustainability and social impact.


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