Jakob + MacFarlane, agence d’architecture

Jakob + MacFarlane, architectural firm

Architecture becomes interesting when it has something to say and adopts a critical posture.

For almost twenty years, the architectural couple Dominique Jakob and Brendan MacFarlane have been creating innovative and frequently anti-establishment architecture through their Jakob + MacFarlane practice. 

Published on 17/01/2022

5 min

Dominique Jakob and Brendan MacFarlane met at the prestigious Sci-Art school in Los Angeles. After moving to Paris, they founded the Jakob + MacFarlane agency in 1992. Both of them are very involved in teaching, notably at Harvard, Sci-Art and the Ecole Spéciale d'Architecture, and they delivered their first major project with the Restaurant Georges, on the top floor of the Centre Pompidou. This interior design was highly acclaimed for the way it was articulated with Renzo Piano's architecture, while relying on elements that are characteristic of the duo's signature: structures with round and colourful shapes, serving a futuristic style. From then on, the projects followed one another: the Monument à la Paix in Val-de-Reuil, the Orange Cube and the Green Cube in Lyon, and the Cité de la Mode et du Design in Paris, which remains their most iconic achievement to this day. 

Resolutely iconoclastic, Dominique Jakob and Brendan MacFarlane have designed many buildings whose colours are at odds with the urban fabric of city centres and resonate with natural elements. Thus the Cité de la Mode et du Design, whose green structure, affixed to the former warehouses of the autonomous port, initially caused a scandal, has become one of the most iconic buildings along the Seine. A style based on solid forms, often reminiscent of 3D modelling, which can be found in Orléans in the architecture of the Turbulences, which inhabit the FRAC - Centre - Val de Loire. Far from limiting themselves to public facilities, Jakob + MacFarlane have also confronted other issues, such as social housing, with the Hérold housing development in the 19th arrondissement in Paris. 

Awarded the prestigious Globe de Cristal as an agency in 2007, Dominique Jakob was also winner of the 2019 Woman Architect of the Year Award. Jakob + MacFarlane's work has often been exhibited, for example at the Venice Biennale in 2008, and at the Architekturforum in Berlin in 2017. In recent years, they have been awarded numerous international contracts, notably as part of the C40 Reinventing Cities ecological project, with the Living Landscape building in Reykjavik, and Odyssée Pleyel in Saint-Denis. Hybrid, eco-responsible proposals, which once again feature their unstructured and hybrid style, will focus on complementary and connected uses. 

  • 1992


    Creation of the Jakob + MacFarlane agency.

  • 2000


    The design of the George restaurant at the Pompidou Centre propels them to public attention.

  • 2007


    Crystal Globe for best architect.

  • 2008


    Les Docks, a fashion and design city on the banks of the Seine.

  • 2019


    Dominique Jakob receives the Woman Architect of the Year Award.

The Institut français

The Institut français is a public institution responsible for French cultural actions abroad. The Institut français, under the aegis of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, actively contributes to France’s soft diplomacy. Its projects and programs take local contexts into account and can be successfully implemented thanks to the vast network of the French Embassies’ cultural services, as well as the many Instituts français and Alliances Françaises present across five continents. 

In the field of architecture, the Institut français is notably in charge of the French Pavilion at the Venice International Architecture Biennial. 

L'institut français, LAB