Odile Decq has recently delivered a fresh and extraordinary landmark to Barcelona’s skyline. We caught up with the French architect to find out what inspires her design work.
Odile Decq is a French architect and urban planner who became internationally renowned in 1990 with her first major commission: the Banque Populaire de l’Ouest in Rennes, France. In 1996 she was awarded the Golden Lion of Architecture during the Venice Biennale, and since then she has continued to embrace her diverse and unique style and career.
Most recently Odile has completed work on Antares; a 30 story tower of luxury living, gardens and amenities, which stands in Barcelona’s Diagonal Mar district, at the beginning of the city’s iconic Diagonal Avenue. Antares’s unique undulating form, colour scheme and total design authorship recalls the artistic playfulness of the city’s past and artistic greats like Joan Miró and Antonio Gaudi.
We caught up with Odile to discover what inspires her work and her free-thinking attitude.
What is your earliest memory of design and architecture?
When I was a teenager, at college, my art teacher shows me images of the Sydney Opera House under construction. I have been fascinated,
Where did you study?
I started my architectural studies in Rennes for 2 years and then in Paris la Villette till my diploma.
What kind of architect did you aspire to be?
I didn’t really know what I could do as a woman at this time. I had some dreams of building important buildings but mostly, I wanted to prove that I was an architect, even so a woman.
Who are your design inspirations?
Everything around me is inspirational, not only design or architecture. That goes to cars, boats, planes, plants, lamps, art in general, and more and more conceptual art.
What does Studio Odile Decq represent as an architecture firm?
A Haute Couture workshop in architecture.
How do you continue to carve your own path in the industry as a studio and an individual?
By being as sincere as possible, by doing projects in which I can believe and I can be proud of, by being an individual, a free thinker person thinking mostly out of the box and able to fight for a cause in which I believe.
What does the face of architecture look like to you in 10 years time?
I sincerely don’t know. I hope for the best but time and conditions are changing so fast that it is difficult to predict even 10 years. I am curious about every movement that appears and try to think where it is going.
If you hadn’t become an architect what would you be doing?
About Studio Odile Decq
Studio Odile Decq is an international firm of about fifteen people represented by Odile Decq, established since the beginning of the 80s. The architecture of Studio Odile Decq, recognized and published around the world, has received numerous national and international awards. Despite its fame, the Studio intimately integrates technique, research and innovation, while keeping a human scale, close to the projects, where dialogue is primordial.