The Bartlett School of Architecture


Anouk Legendre - Bartlett International Lecture Series

22 November 2017, 6:30 pm–7:30 pm

Anouk Legendre

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The Bartlett School of Architecture


Christopher Ingold Auditorium (accessed through The Bartlett), 20 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AJ

Organic Architecture and Architectural Organisms

Lecturer's Abstract 

"Back from the Icelandic mountains and glaciers, XTU Architects believes that curves and vortices shape the world. In XTU’s work, the curve appears suddenly, like along the Icelandic mountains and glaciers. This landscape, shaped by the elements, is the cradle of a new way of approaching a project, through human, tectonic, meteorological and temporal flows.

Everything in our work, from the Jeongok Museum’s organic curves to La Cité du Vin’s parametric geometries, is rooted in this approach. But beyond these flows, it is really the natural and the living that establish themselves as architectural resources. By researching nature, XTU’s team explores and develops photosynthetic facades and bio-facades for microalgae cultivation in cooperation with biologists and industrial groups.

These biological facades - almost a building’s ‘organs’ - generate architectures and urbanisms designed with organisms. Some of them are parametrical and others are growing and can become an integral part of their ecosystem, such as the San Francisco Bay Ecotarium, designed by XTU Architects."


Anouk Legendre is an architect, geographer and co-founder with Nicolas Desmazieres of the architecture firm XTU Architects. XTU, located in Paris, specialises primarily in academic and environmental research in addition to residential and cultural buildings. The portfolio of the firm includes several museum projects such as the Jeongkok Museum in South Korea, the Museum of Civilizations on Reunion Island and the Cite du Vin Museum in Bordeaux. The firm was also responsible for the French Pavilion at the Milan Expo in 2015.

In these projects, XTU explores complex geometries and the integration of parametric design. A free and organic approach encourages the use of a wooden structures synchronised in 3D. Convinced that living organisms will be the biotechnology revolution of tomorrow, XTU engages in innovative research on the themes of bio-inspired and photosynthetic architecture. In addition to these innovations, XTU also develops bio-facades for cultivating plankton species on the exteriors of buildings and creating new architectural ecosystems. 

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