Thomas Coldefy has been the principal of CAAU, Coldefy & Associés Architectes Urbanistes, since 2011. In 2006 he won the international architectural design competition for the Hong Kong Design Institute, a design university of 42,000 m². The design subsequently won the Prix Tour Eiffel in 2007.
In 2010 Thomas was awarded the Europe 40 Under 40 prize by the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.
This annual award recognizes the most promising and emerging European design talent who will have an impact on future living and working environments, cities, and rural areas in Europe and around the world.
Engaged in the industry for 10 years, he has worked for several renowned architecture and urban planning firms including SCAU, Franck Hammoutène, SOM and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. He graduated from the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in 2002 and joined CAAU in 2006.
As Design Principal of the studio, Thomas’ methodology involves experimentation with the contradictions of site and program, drawing upon a deep rooted belief in green design in order to create an architecture that responds to the environment at a macro and micro scale. Recently, CAAU has been nominated for the AFEX 2012 award at the Architecture Biennale in Venice.
Thomas Coldefy and Isabel Van Haute are the young duo of Coldefy & Associates Architects Urban planners (CAAU). At only 35 years of age they lead a high performing, diverse international team based in Lille, France.
The firm is characterized by their dynamism and creativity. Furthermore, they are animated by an international tropism that drives them to participate in lectures and professional conferences around the world and to participate regularly in grand international competitions. Their originality and creativity have brought them success in a number of entries, including the Hong Kong Design Institute which they won in 2006, competing against 162 quality international teams. Now realized, the project has been included in a number of publications and was nominated for the grand prix AFEX 2012, as well as being exhibited at the Architecture Biennale of Venice. This success has led the firm to open a studio in Hong Kong where the architects now visit regularly.
The international adventure, however, is not limited to the Asiatic region. In 2009 CAAU was laureate of the international competition for the construction of an international conference center in Ouagadougou, Burkina-Faso, and in 2012 was selected as winner for the Public Service Hall for Kobuleti, Georgia.
In 2012, the firm was honored to receive the silver prize for the IDA awards 2012.
Outside of their prestigious international developments, CAAU continues numerous projects in France, notably at the heart of the Lille metropolitan area where they have won the competition for the construction of a mixed-use building of housing and offices (ZAC Porte de Valenciennes at Euralille). Additionally, they were chosen as winners of the competition for the Lucie Aubrac secondary school in Tourcoing, the first ‘BBC’ rated building for environmental quality in the North of France, with construction having started in January 2012. Finally, associated with Steven Holl, they were part of the five finalist teams in the international competition for the Louvre II in Lens.
The firm distinguishes itself by an open spirit and sense of innovation acquired in the best international offices, particularly American. Their project method is founded on an extreme attention to site, an urban culture concerned with a precisely controlled density and diversity, and an approach based on the conceptualization stage where strong geographic factors, programmatic requirements and project expectations are brought together until they begin to overlap.
The firm’s range of activity covers is quite diverse: public projects (educational, cultural, sport, civic, health), private constructions (housing, commercial, industrial, retail), etc.
Henceforth positioned as a young firm not to be overlooked, the office strives to develop collaborations with the best public and private clients in France, as well as abroad.