Lina Ghotmeh, a humanist architect
If we had to choose one word to describe Lina Ghotmeh’s personality and vision it would have to be: Humanist.
Born in Beirut in 1980’s, Lina Ghotmeh grew up in this ancient cosmopolitan city marked by the scars of the Lebanese civil war. Although she wanted to become an archaeologist, Lina carried out her architectural studies at the American University of Beirut, where she looked at the notions of memory, space and landscape through her own methodology entitled “Archeology of the future”. After graduating and being awarded both the Azar and Areen prizes, Lina pursues her education at the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris where she takes on a teaching role as an Associate Professor between 2008 and 2015.
In 2005, while working in London and collaborating with Ateliers Jean Nouvel and Foster & Partners, she wins the international competition for the design of the Estonian National Museum. Following this victory, she co-founded her first studio DGT Architects in Paris and lead the realization of the large-scale project of the National Museum. Acclaimed unanimously by the international press and having won prestigious awards (Grand prix AFEX 2016 & nominated for the Mies Van der Rohe Award 2017), the museum became the symbol for an avant-gardist architecture, combining pertinence and subtlety.
All of Lina Ghotmeh’s proposals are testimonies to her visionary approach and sensitive twist on architecture – notably in projects like: Réalimenter Masséna (winner of the call for innovation competition “Réinventer Paris”) or the highly praised tower Stone Garden delivered in Beirut.
Thanks to her multicultural experiences, but also to her engagement with the challenges of our time, she is regularly invited to speak at conferences, and to take part in juries and workshops in France and abroad. She has lectured internationally and has taught as a Louis I Khan professor at Yale School of Architecture and as a Gehry Chair at the University of Toronto. In 2021, she is nominated as a co-president of RST arches scientific network for Architecture in extreme climates.
She is the recipient of multiple awards, including: the prestigious Schelling Architecture Prize in 2021, the Tamayouz “Woman of Outstanding Achievement” Award in 2020, the French Fine Arts Academy Cardin Award in 2019, the French Academy Dejean Prize in 2016, the Grand Prix Afex in 2016 and the French Ministry AJAP Prize in 2008. In 2021, she is also appointed professor member of the IAA International Academy of Architecture.
Her work was exhibited namely at the 17th Architecture Biennale in Venice and was widely published by the likes of Phaidon, Taschen, RIBA, Domus, AA and Architectural Record.
Brilliant in the complex simplicity of her approach, Lina Ghotmeh’s practice represents the promising forms of tomorrow’s Architecture.
By Christine Blanchet, Journalist, Art historian
Photo © Hannah Assouline