Prix Claude Parent launches as an award promoting architectural experimentation

The late architect’s imagination and innovation inspired Prix Claude Parent, the new design award launching this year to promote ‘transgressive’ architecture

archive image of the church of sainte bernadette by claude parent, who is honoured with the launch of prix claude parent in 2024
Claude Parent's Church of Sainte Bernadette
(Image credit: DACS 2016/Gilles Ehrmann, SIAF/Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine/Collection FRAC Centre – Val de Loire)

The newly launched Prix Claude Parent is an architecture prize aiming to make a difference. Created by The National School of Architecture of Montpellier and Claude Parent Archives, the award, which has just announced its inaugural cycle, was conceived to promote imagination, innovation and experimentation in architecture – honouring the memory of the radical French architect Claude Parent, who died in 2016 at the age of 93. 

black and white portrait of architect Claude Parent

Claude Parent

(Image credit: Emmanuel Goulet)

Prix Claude Parent: an award to challenge architectural ideas

Questioning what architecture does, and how (just as Parent offered his own unique take on modernist architecture in the 20th century), is seen as the heart of the initiative by its founders. The contest is open to professionals (both teams and individuals) who are all invited to enter, and challenge ideas around our built environment. 

The 2024 international award's jury consists of architect Julie Cattant; historian, author and architect Joseph Giovannini; artist Loris Gréaud; architect Anupama Kundoo; architect Jean Nouvel; and architect Carme Pigem. They will deliberate to select the overall winner, who will be announced in a dedicated ceremony and accompanying conference on 30 April 2024. 

2000s Claude Parent Drawing in black and white

Claude Parent drawing

(Image credit: Naad Parent)

'Some have faith and the future in them. But times are tough. Globalisation and the appeal of large structures will make difficult, if not impossible, the sumptuous initiative of a few singular individuals who do not accept to fall under the yoke of standardisation. These are the ones I love, because they will suffer and perhaps perish. I have confidence in those who are the salt of architecture, who carry resolutely the reaction to the irremediable,' Parent wrote in 2005, in Portraits impressionistes et véridiques d'architectes, published by Éditions Norma.

Prix Claude Parent is now open to applications. The closing date to submit is 15 March 2024.

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).