Odile Decq

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Odile Decq
Odile Decq.jpg
Odile Decq at GSAPP
Born1955 (age 63–64)
Laval, France
PracticeStudio Odile Decq

Odile Decq (born 1955 in Laval, France), is an award-winning French architect, urban planner and academic. She is the founder of the Paris firm, Studio Odile Decq[1] and of Confluence Institute[2] in 2014.


In the'70s, Odile Decq first entered École Régionale d'Architecture de Rennes. She was told by the first year director that she would never become an architect, because she did not possess the right spirit. She completed two years at Rennes, then moved to Paris, where she enrolled at La Villette (formerly called UP6). Because of the Revolution of '68, Decq spent a lot of time on strike, instead of in class.

In order to finance her education, she began to work for writer Philippe Boudon. Boudon was writing about theory of architecture at that time, and was interested in Decq because of her studies in literature and linguistics. Decq began reading for Boudon, and later went on writing for him. After four years, Decq resigned from her job with Boudon to pursue her diploma. [2]

She graduated in 1978 from École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Paris-La Villette with a diploma in urban planning from the Paris Institute of Political Studies in 1979.


After running her own agency for a number of years, she created a partnership with Benoît Cornette in 1982, establishing the architecture firm ODBC.[3] The buildings they completed for the Banque Populaire de l’Ouest in Rennes with Peter Rice in 1990 brought them numerous awards and international recognition. It was the first metal-construction office building in France.[3]

Model building is especially important to her process. Decq and Benoît would create models with modular parts that could be moved in order to test the feasibility of various configurations.[3]

She has "been faithful to her fighting attitude while diversifying and radicalizing her research."[4] Being awarded the Golden Lion of Architecture during the Venice Biennale in 1996 acknowledged her early and unusual career. Other than just a style, an attitude or a process, Odile Decq’s work materializes a complete universe that embraces urban planning, architecture, design and art. Her multidisciplinary approach was recently recognized with the Jane Drew Prize in 2016, and Architizer’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.[4]

Since 1992, Odile Decq has been a professor at the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris where she was elected head of the Department of Architecture in 2007. She left in 2012 and subsequently designed and opened her own school, Confluence Institute for Innovation and Creative Strategies in Architecture, in Lyon, France.[5] in 2014. Odile Decq co-founded and led the school along with architect Matteo Cainer. [2][6]

Notable Works[edit]

Awards & Honors[edit]


  1. ^ Studio Odile Decq
  2. ^ Confluence Institute
  3. ^ a b c The architect : women in contemporary architecture. Toy, Maggie., Pran, Peter C. New York, NY: Watson-Guptill Publications. 2001. ISBN 0823016528. OCLC 46949037.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ a b Koubaiti, Anas; Dotter, Stefan. "ODILE DECQ". Whitelies Magazine. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  5. ^ Quirk, Vanessa (24 February 2014). "Odile Decq to Launch A New Kind of Architecture Institute: 'Confluence'". ArchDaily. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  6. ^ Davidson, Cynthia (Winter 2014). "A Conversation with Odile Decq". LOG (New York, N.Y.: 2003). 30: 39–45.

External links[edit]