Frédéric Druot, Anne Lacaton, Jean Philippe Vassal. Tour Bois-le-Prêtre, Paris, France (Model after transformation). 2008

Frédéric Druot, Anne Lacaton, Jean Philippe Vassal Tour Bois-le-Prêtre, Paris, France (Model after transformation) 2008

  • MoMA, Floor 2, 216

The vehement reaction against 1960s modernist housing has spurred several generations of inventive critiques. Since 1989 and the fall of Communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe, the rehabilitation of vast tracts of such housing has become a key political, ecological, and architectural concern. At Bois-le-Prêtre, formerly a banal modernist housing slab, a new glass shell of balconies completely envelops the existing building, breaking the monotony of the facade and improving the building's insulation. This addition has increased apartment footprints by roughly fifteen percent and provided more natural light and better views. In addition, the floor plans of individual apartments were modified during the redesign and customized to individual needs.

The work was done in two parallel phases: as the prefabricated, modular facade structure took shape, the apartment interiors were modified and new openings created in the old exterior walls. Residents could stay in their homes or move into one of eight spare apartments in the building during construction. In a world of diminishing resources, this organic model of transformation and adaptive reuse is ingenious and exemplary.

Gallery label from Born out of Necessity, March 2, 2012–January 28, 2013.
Acrylic, styrene and acrylic paint
20 7/8 x 18 1/2 x 11 13/16" (53 x 47 x 30 cm)
Gift of The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art
Object number
Architecture and Design

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to