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LAN (Local Architecture Network) was created by Benoît Jallon and Umberto Napolitano in 2002, with the idea of exploring architecture as an area of activity at the intersection of several disciplines.  

This attitude has developed into a methodology enabling LAN to explore new territories and forge a vision encompassing social, urban, functional and formal questions. LAN’s projects seek to find elegant, contemporary answers to creative and pragmatic concerns.

LAN has received several awards: the Nouveaux Albums de la Jeune Architecture (NAJA) prize awarded by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (2004); the International Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum and the European Urban Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies, the Archi-Bau Award, the Special Prize at the 12th World Triennale of Architecture, Sofia (2009); the AR Mipim Future Projects Award and the Europe 40 Under 40 Award (2010). In 2011 the office was awarded at the LEAF Awards with the Best Sustainable Development in Keeping with its Environment prize, the SAIE Selection Awards 2011 and the Special Prize AMO Fondation d’Entreprise Excellence SMA. LAN has been nominated at the Prix de l’Equerre d’Argent 2011. LAN has won the silver medal for the International Prize for Sustainable Architecture for Fassa Bortolo in 2012. In 2013, a Commendation for the Civic Trust Awards, the WAN Residential Award and first prize for BigMat France were conferred on LAN. In 2014, the Euravenir Tower was nominated for the Prix de l’Équerre d’Argent and the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2015, EDF Archives Centre was nominated for the Philippe Rotthier European Prize for Architecture, and the Neue Hamburger Terrassen received the International Architecture Awards (Chicago Athenaeum) and the Carl-Friedrich Fischer Preis 2014 – Humanes wohnen. The same year, the French Academy of architecture distinguishes LAN with the Le Soufaché Award.

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Benoit Jallon

Born in Grenoble on May, 18 1972

Benoit Jallon was born in Grenoble on 18 May 1972, but his young life would be characterized by travel and a constant exposure to a diversity of landscapes and cultures: from early childhood in Bordeaux and Toulon to then Tahiti and Madagascar, and adolescence in India.

Benoit’s first fascination in life was with the structure of the human body and its complex overlay of logics, layers, and strata. This led him to want to study medicine, but his desire to intervene and create ultimately convinced him to pursue architecture instead.

After earning his degree from the Ecole d’Architecture de Paris-La Villette in 2001 with first-class honours, he embarked on a number of trips abroad to enrich his career path, mostly to Italy and Asia.

In August 2002, he founded LAN Architecture with Umberto Napolitano. They shared a desire to build close ties with other disciplines in the arts and urban development that lie outside the traditional sphere of architecture, with the aim of nurturing vigorous debate and flouting the rules that appear to govern their profession. They have maintained this approach since founding the firm, and as a result, LAN has been able to embrace a wide range of typologies, face new problems and challenges, and realize new ambitions each time they build.

Benoit’s passion for his profession as an architect is also characterized by his commitment to working together, to the human element that embodies and sustains the process of architectural creation.

Umberto Napolitano

Born in Naples on November, 27 1975

Umberto Napolitano was born in Naples on 27 November 1975. After initially studying literature, he began to study architecture at the Università Federico II in Naples and then at the Ecole d’Architecture de Paris-La Villette.

A firm believer from the outset in the importance of acquiring hands-on experience alongside one’s academic study, Umberto worked in a number of firms of different sizes, methods, and ambitions.

This is when he met and became friends with Benoit Jallon, with whom he began working together on projects.  He and Benoit both earned their official French architecture degree (or “DPLG”) in 2001. Their thesis focused on changes in habitat and proposed a new narrative centered on cities, or perhaps on one sole, large city, especially one made up of both men and women.

Their diploma thesis probably represented the point at which Umberto and Benoit knew that they would set up their own firm. After spending a year in Rome, they returned to Paris in 2002 and founded LAN. Since then, Umberto has given himself wholeheartedly to the firm while also maintaining extensive teaching, writing, and lecturing engagements. Curious and creative by nature, he is inspired by many things: the visual arts, esthetics, literature, and music are all longstanding interests, while cities and travel remain veritable obsessions. All these concerns have conspired to internationalize his personal and professional trajectory, and enabled him to open himself to other cultures and ways of seeing, thinking and doing.