Lina Ghotmeh, “Living in Symbiosis – an Archeology of the Future”

A low brick arched structure sits at the end of a winding path and is surrounded by a blue sky at dusk.

Atelier Hermes. Photo by Iwan Baan.

A recording of this event is available with audio description.

Event Description

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 Lina Ghotmeh’s designs develop thorough historical research, emerging as exquisite interventions that enliven our memories and senses. In this “Archeology of the future”, every work of architecture is drawn from its place and the traces of its past. A link is drawn between time, memory, and space, establishing an anchored place and 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. The first low-carbon, energy-positive building delivered in France, the Workshops for Hermès live in complete symbiosis with their landscape 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 continues her focus on sustainability and designing spaces that are conceived in dialogue with the natural environment that surrounds them.


A Lebanese woman with short dark hair and red lipstick wearing a white v-neck blouse against a black backgroundArchitect Lina Ghotmeh is the founder of the Paris-based studio Lina Ghotmeh – Architecture. Evoking her past life 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 (designed in partnership Dorell.Ghotmeh.Tane); the “Stone Garden” tower in Beirut, winner of the Dezeen 2021 project of the Year award and distinguished for its hand-carved surface; “Réalimenter Masséna”, her winning design in response to a call for innovative projects by the City of Paris; and the new Ateliers Hermès, a passive, low-carbon building under construction in Normandy.

Lina Ghotmeh was the Fall 2021 “Louis I Khan” Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at the Yale School of Architecture. She held the 2021-22 Frank Gehry International Visiting Chair in Architectural Design at the University of Toronto, 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 was appointed as the Architect of the 22nd Serpentine Pavilion in London. The pavilion opened 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.

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