Lina Ghotmeh

Lina Ghotmeh
Living in Symbiosis – an Archeology of the Future

Part of the MIT Fall 2023 Architecture Lecture Series. In collaboration with the Architecture and Urbanism Group. 

More than a method of work, “Archeology of the future” is a true approach to the built landscape established by Lina Ghotmeh throughout her practice. Founder of Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture, Paris based discipline, Lina Ghotmeh’s designs develop from thorough historical research emerging as exquisite interventions that enliven our memories and senses. In this “Archeology of the future”, every architecture is drawn from its place and from the traces of its past. A link is drawn between time, memory, space establishing an anchored place drawing a strong tie between the Humane and Nature. The past meets the future as histories are unearthed and memories excavated to enable questioning, innovation, and a more sustainable architecture. Bearing a “humanist” approach, Lina Ghotmeh’s practice emphasizes the power of craft and that of the hand in the making of Architecture. Through this, the built embraces the traditions of its localities, while uplifting the subjective experience and the collective memory of those it recalls.

Projects such as “Stone Garden” in Beirut, Lebanon, anchor the city’s eventful past into the present by calling forward its ruins, histories of conflicts and scarred landscape.  

First low carbon, energy positive building delivered in France, the Workshops for Hermès live in complete symbiosis with their landscape all while bridging craft, beauty, and today’s high technicity.  

« À Table » the 22nd Serpentine Pavilion is drawn in continuity to Lina Ghotmeh’s ethos. Rising as a wooden structure in keeping with the natural surroundings, it is built predominantly from bio-sourced and low-carbon materials. the Pavilion 2023 continues her focus on sustainability and designing spaces that are conceived in dialogue with the natural environment that surrounds them. The design of the space responds to the shape of the surrounding tree canopies and is inspired by the architect’s Mediterranean heritage as well as fervent discussions around the table over current affairs, politics, personal lives, and dreams. À table – is a call to sit down together at a table to engage and participate in a constructive dialogue while sharing a meal. 

Architect Lina Ghotmeh is the founder of the Paris-based studio Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture. Evoking her lived experience in Beirut, she sees her practice as an “Archaeology of the Future”: each project evolves from her research, in symbiosis with nature, as an expression of the essence of the raw material from which it is crafted.  

Her work includes the Estonian National Museum, nominated for the Grand Prix Afex (2016) & Mies Van Der Rohe; the “Stone Garden” crafted tower and gallery spaces in Beirut, winner of the Dezeen Awards (2021) “Project of the Year Award”, distinguished for its hand-carved surface; “Réalimenter Masséna”, her winning design in response to a call for innovative projects by the City of Paris; the new Ateliers Hermès, the first passive, low-carbon industrial building in France, emerging as a poetic encounter with nature; and most recently, her practice won the design competition for the Contemporary Art Musuem of AlUla. 

Lina Ghotmeh is actively involved in the academic world and has lectured in institutions across the world. She was the “Louis I Khan” (2021) Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at the Yale School of Architecture. She held the Frank Gehry International Visiting Chair in Architectural Design at the University of Toronto (2021-2022) and is a professor and member of the International Academy of Architecture.  

In 2020, she received the Schelling Architecture Award and the Tamayouz Woman of Outstanding Achievement award. She is a winner of the Prix Cardin (2019, awarded by the Académie des Beaux-Arts, France), the Prix Dejean (2016, from the Académie d’Architecture), and the Grand Prix AFEX (2016).  

In 2022, Lina Ghotmeh is appointed as the Architect of the 22nd Serpentine Pavilion in London. The pavilion entitled “À Table” was inaugurated in June 2023. Her work has been exhibited at the MAXXI in Rome, at the Cooper-Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum in New-York, the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, the Building Centre at the V&A in London, and the Danish Architecture Centre in Copenhagen. 

This lecture will be held in person in Long Lounge, 7-429, and streamed online.  

Lectures are free and open to the public. Lectures will be held Thursdays at 6 PM ET in 7-429 (Long Lounge) and streamed online unless otherwise noted. Registration required to attend in-person. Register here or watch the webcast on Youtube