Philippe Madec
Philippe Madec © Laurent Guichardon - CUT

Philippe Madec

The landscape does not oppose architecture, even in its definition. In fact, architecture belongs to the wider landscape.

Philippe Madec is an architect and town planner, and pioneer of sustainable development in these fields. For more than thirty years, he has been working so that elements of nature find their place in the project of human installation.

Updated on 19/05/2021

2 min

Philippe Madec studied architecture at the Grand Palais in Paris, in the Ciriani/Maroti studio, until 1979. Then he travelled and lived abroad for almost a decade. During this time, he taught in Europe and North America and developed research combining education and architectural theory. He also published his first book, on Étienne-Louis Boullée.

Between 1983 and 1984, his personal undertaking was strengthened when he met Kenneth Frampton. He fully developed his eco-friendly vision of developing the territory, before starting his own studio in 1989.

For Philippe Madec, human constructions are not seen as borders, but more like spaces that connect with the Living. As such he campaigns for the adoption of “local architecture", that is consistent with and respects the ecological and cultural heritage of each place. Form social housing to cultural facilities, he designs buildings that are both bioclimatic and eco-built. His activity as a town planner also leads him to work with very differing scales, from villages to ecological cities.

In 2018, he co-wrote the Manifesto for a happy  frugality, with Alain Bornarel and Dominique Gauzin-Müller. The text invites professionals working in building to take on an alternative architectural practice that is sustainable and responsive faced with the current environmental issues.

With his two studios in Paris and Rennes, Philippe Madec has created many large-scale projects, in France and abroad (Morocco, New Caledonia). His unique positioning and work have won numerous awards for their ecological intelligence.

He also writes and teaches. He acts as director of research for several French and foreign academies (Hungry, Reunion island) and has been teaching "L'invention du territoire Durable" (The invention of the Sustainable territory) at the ENSA in Rennes since 2010.

He also contributes to the general policy for architecture and town planning in France. Among others, he acts as adviser for the Grenelle agreements, and is among the members of the French Towns and Lands of Art and History National Council. In 2019, he was president of the selection committee which chose the Les communautés à l’œuvre” (Communities at work) project by Christophe Hutin for the French Pavilion at the 2021 Venice International Biennale of Architecture.

  • 2007


    He became a tenured member of the Académie d'Architecture.

  • 2008


    He was appointed Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour for Ecology.

  • 2012


    He was awarded the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture.

  • 2015


    He became an advisor to the UN to prepare the Habitat III in Quito in October 2016.

  • 2018


    He co-wrote the Manifeste pour une frugalité heureuse et créative.

  • 2019


    He chaired the selection committee appointing the curator of the French pavilion at the Venice International Biennale of Architecture.

The Institut français and the event

The French Pavilion at the Venice International Art and Architecture Bienniales is put on by the Institut français. 

Find out more about the Venice International Architecture Bienniale 

L'institut français, LAB