Chicago-based architect Lucien Lagrange, AIA, has bounced to a new firm. Lagrange, 73, recently announced his partnership with Washington, D.C.–based design studio Lessard Design. The decision to create the Lucien Lagrange Studio of Lessard Design, a branded studio within the firm, was a mutual one. Lagrange will serve as a principal of design and head the new Chicago office.
Lagrange began his work with Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, becoming a partner after 17 years. He then branched off with his own firm in 1985, where he went on to establish his name as a successful designer with a series of high-profile commissions and about 80 associates at the firm’s peak.
Lagrange plans to continue his work in the Beaux Arts mode of his native Paris. “I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing,” he says, noting that he feels no pressure to change his style. “The clients come to me because of what I do.” Lagrange is the one bringing ideas to the firm, according to Dench.
Lessard Design is known for its work on very low-rise residential homes, while Lagrange has focused more on high-rise structures throughout his career. Lagrange admits that he hasn’t done many projects like this, but that expanding his repertoire will be helpful in improving his design approach.
\”Lagrange\’s style complements our portfolio, which includes several high-rise buildings,\” said Dench, adding that Lagragne\’s own portfolio demonstrates his ability to design a wide range of buildings.
Despite being a legendary figure in the profession for 45 years, Lagrange claims he still feels like an outsider to the architectural industry. “I’m not going to get an AIA award for doing a classical building. It’s not modern, and therefore, it shouldn\’t be done,\” he says. \”People think architecture should be distinctly modern. I’m told I shouldn\’t be doing what I’m doing, but it doesn\’t matter. I know what I’m doing and this is what I want to do.\”