Coral Courts Lecture: Nasrine Seraji

November 7, 2014
5:30p Reception, Kemper Art Museum; 6:30p Lecture, Steinberg Auditorium

Nasrine Seraji, AA dipl RIBA, founding partner of Atelier Seraji, Architects and Partners in Paris and dean of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture Paris-Malaquais, will deliver the Coral Courts Lecture, titled As a woman I have no country, as a woman my country is the world of architecture, which will serve as the keynote for Women in Architecture 1974 | 2014. The lecture is also part of the WUSTL Assembly Series.

After studying at the Architectural Association and practicing in London, Seraji moved to Paris in 1989 to establish her studio, where architecture is treated as both a cultural debate and a practice. Since then, she has pursued a path constantly enriched by her simultaneous engagement in architectural practice, teaching, and research. She has lectured and exhibited her work widely in Europe and North America, as well as in China and Southeast Asia.

Between 1993 and 2001, Seraji taught at Columbia University in New York, at the Architectural Association in London (as diploma unit master), and at Princeton University (as visiting professor). Seraji was professor and chair of the Department of Architecture at Cornell University from 2001-2005. In 2006, she became dean of the École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris-Malaquais (formerly the École des Beaux-Arts). That same year, she returned to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where she held the position of professor of ecology, sustainability, and conservation, as well as head of the Institute for Art and Architecture, through 2012. She was appointed centennial visiting professor of design at Hong Kong University in January 2014.

Architect of the award-winning Temporary American Centre in Paris, Seraji has completed several notable buildings and projects, including apartment buildings in Vienna, student housing in Paris, and an extension to the School of Architecture in Lille; the latter two projects were both nominated for the Mies Van der Rohe Prize. She continues to participate in competitions of varying types and complexities, ranging from urban design master plans and institutional buildings to small houses and installations.

Current projects in progress include a building complex in Paris for the Paris Transportation Authority comprised of 212 housing units and a bus depot, competitions for student housing and affordable housing, as well as large-scale urban plans in the French cities of Le Rheu and Pau. This year her practice received the prestigious prize of Mention de l’Équerre d’Argent for a recent housing project.

Seraji first received the medal for Chevalier des Arts et des Letters from the Minister of Culture in France in 2006 for her role as an architect contributing to excellence in art and humanities. In 2008, she was awarded the medal of Chevalier dans l'Ordre National du Mérite by Presidential decree. In the same year, she was also awarded the Médaille d'Argent by the French Academy of Architecture for her contribution to academic endeavours in architecture. In July 2011, she received the Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur, one of the highest degrees of honour in France.