Born in 1955 in Laval, France, about 300 km southwest of Paris, Odile started her architecture and literature studies in Rennes at the beginning of the 70s. In the wake of the '68 revolution, her director initially denied her ability to become an architect. Disappointed, not being able to follow her passion in Rennes, she went to Paris to continue her studies. However, she did not really go to school there, because everyone around her, as the teachers, most of the time went to strike. She met Philippe Boudon, who she helped while writing on the theory of architecture. She learned most designs of this period autodidactically, which also allowed a high degree of freedom in design technique. After a few years, she then completed her studies and, together with Benoit Cornette, founded their architect's office "Odile Decq Benoit Cornette Architectes Urbanistes" short ODBC Architectes in 1985. Together they planned both buildings of the "Banque Populaire de`l Quest" in Rennes in 1990, what earned them numerous awards and international recognition. Cornette died in a car accident in 1998. Odile went on with her "Studio Odile Decq".
Since then, Odile develops spaces for entire Europe: The Institute of Chemistry of the University of Berlin, the restructuring of the industrial port of Gennevilliers for the gallery FRAC Bretagne and the expansion of the MACRO in Rome. In 1996, she was honored the Golden Lion for her contributions to architecture at the Architecture Biennale in Venice, and she received the International Fellowship of Royal Institute of British Architects in 2007.
The title of honorary doctor she was awarded with in 2015 is a paradox for the exceptional architect. Although she herself has a professorship at the Ecole Speciale d`Architecture shortly ESA since 1992, and although she supervised the department architecture at the university since 2007, she always was against all academics due to her backgrounds. To top this, she founded the "Institute for Innovation and Creative Strategies in Architecture" in Lyon this year. This school is to be different opposed to the ones of academic pathways. We hope to can hear or see a lot more from Odile and her future students, respectively.
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