CCA hosts Urgency, a free public conversation with architects Jean-Philippe Vassal and Giancarlo Mazzanti

The Canadian Centre for Architecture presents Urgency, a public conversation between architects Jean-Philippe Vassal of Lacaton & Vassal architects, Paris, France and Giancarlo Mazzanti of Mazzanti Arquitectos, Bogotá, Colombia. The event takes place at the CCA on Thursday, November 17 at 6.30pm. Admission is free.

Renowned for their innovative projects and thinking, these two figures of the contemporary architectural world will present and discuss issues that they consider to be of vital importance and urgency in current architectural practice. In the 2011 edition of Urgency, both architects will consider the role of architectural interventions that address social issues through projects of various scales and typologies.

As a principal of Lacaton and Vassal, Jean-Phillippe Vassal’s work is characterized by environmentally sustainable developments and the adaptation and reuse of existing architecture. Giancarlo Mazzanti’s practice brings together design concepts as a means to achieve social inclusion. Both consider architecture as material practice to act on, transform and adapt the existing fabric whether social or physical.

The format of the event includes individual presentations, followed by a joint conversation moderated by the CCA’s Director and Chief Curator, Mirko Zardini.

Urgency takes place in the CCA’s Paul Desmarais Theatre; this is the fourth annual presentation of the series. Previous events have included lively interactions between Rem Koolhaas and Peter Eisenman in 2007, Greg Lynn and Yung Ho Chang in 2008, and Adam Caruso and Brigitte Shim in 2009. Urgency reflects the CCA’s ongoing exploration of critical issues facing architecture and contemporary society.

Jean-Philippe Vassal graduated from the Architecture school of Bordeaux in 1980. In 1987, he founded with Anne Lacaton, The office Lacaton Vassal. Between 2007 and 2009 he has been guest professor within the Architecture Design Innovation Program at the Technische Universitat in Berlin. Among current projects, the recuperation of the housing Tower at La Chesnaie in Saint-Nazaire, the extension of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais in Dunkerque. For further information, please visit

Giancarlo Mazzanti graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá in 1987. He is the founder and principal of Giancarlo Mazzanti Arquitectos based in Bogotá and was the recipient of the 2008 Iberoamerican Architecture Biennial Award for the Parque Biblioteca Espana, in Medellin, Colombia. Recent projects include the Timayui kindergarten in Santa Marta, the Flor de Campo in Cartagena, and the sports complex for the Juegos Panamericanos in Medellin. For further information, please visit

For more information on this event at the CCA, please visit