An award-winning woman architect and the founder of Fougeron architecture has been hugely inspirational to all the women in this male-dominated profession. Anne Fougeron founded her firm in the year 1986 which has won numerous awards including the AIA Housing Award and Honor Award for Interior Architecture. Their projects range over a vast pallet of residential, commercial, civic, healthcare to even high rise buildings now. Anne is known for her sophisticated residential projects and she has built her design group based on the architectural ideals of contemporary culture, aesthetics, form, material, and craft. She is always tenacious in her pursuit of these principles. Apart from the basics in architectural design, Fougeron also talks about the importance of a good urban plan that ultimately creates a good building. 

Anne Fougeron: Creating better urban designs - Sheet1
Anne Fougeron_©

Design Philosophy 

In her presentation with an explicit podcast Midnight Charette, she puts forth her views on creating better urban designs and how an approach towards a better urban space can result in a building becoming an integral part of the context. Anne Fougeron emphasizes the fact that when a city is built with all the required infrastructure and services, what is left behind are the voids where people have to live. They can’t live in the built city but they have to live in the buildings within the city, so basically it is like creating an environment for the users which can create a large impact on the overall evolving urban context.

With decades of expertise and design approach gradually focused on how architecture can strengthen communities, improve wellbeing, and address the growing needs of the residents. A team of 10 stellar design experts working towards re-imagining how residents can engage with both public and private spaces. Anne Fougeron and the team are duly crafting residential and commercial complexes for a while in the context of San Francisco. The team finds inspiration by fully grasping the sense of place with a motive of improving the overall fabric of the city. Having the hand of designing multifamily developments, the Park Merced design stands unique in a way to remodel and restructure their existing built character in a more modernized and sustainable way. The intersection of design and innovation is seen by modifying the built according to the topography to achieve substantial views, aesthetics, and built up which encourages community interaction within a neighborhood rather than just serving as a gated community.

Creating Better Urban Designs

Anne Fougeron: Creating better urban designs - Sheet2
Concept of the Cities of Future _©
Anne Fougeron: Creating better urban designs - Sheet3
Vertical Farming Towers_©

Fougeron architecture and their work are greatly influenced by the elements of light and glass to create a pleasant living experience indoors. By opening up the corners of spaces and letting natural light within was always their idea of capturing nature within. Anne Fougeron prioritizes the overall idea of the building, to see a larger picture of how a building fits within a wider context and how one can deal with the complexities as potentials of design. The city of the Future, a project envisioned for the city of San Francisco where the existing land was supposed to be made self-sustaining. The idea was to construct vertical farming towers amidst the global crisis by the year 2100 would feed the entire Bay area of the City. Global warming today, that is leading to a future where people would starve due to the scarcity of resources. A planned approach of creating a network of vertical food growing chains that would feed the entire Bay area, conceptualizing urban agriculture strategies such as rooftop gardens, underground farms, and agriculture towers which could save a larger ecological footprint and also fossil fuels. A combined vision of agricultural and residential towers with PV Skin, wind turbines, and irrigation towards a practical futuristic city model.

Understanding Architecture as a way to Make Urban Space

Anne Fougeron gauges her vision of success over the development of the city through innovation. According to her, whatever project one works upon is not less than remodeling a city. The addition of any project to its neighborhood is like adding one last piece to the existing puzzle which will thus enhance its surroundings as well as complement it. She also recalls the fact that architecture can have a huge impact on the quality of life at an emotional, physical, and mental level. Architects always try to bring about a balance between how people interact with the building and what amenities can be provided to bring in maximum light into space. A pleasant living environment is not only essential for our well-being but it also allows interaction, feels good and enjoys the space that we live in. Such a kind of approach and thinking can shift the radical urban landscape to a city of the future thus moving towards a sustainable and practical ideology about architecture.

Anne Fougeron also believes that one needs to be an activist to be a woman architect which has also made her one and encourages others to be in a similar way. It becomes very important to a profession like architecture which needs to be as diverse and open to all irrespective of gender to explore the imaginative and innovative environment. Their firm aims at pushing the envelope of architecture which questions the original premises. Trying to always be creative and innovative within the context even if the project isn’t the most progressive to get started is one of their design strategies.


Tanya is pursuing her B.Arch from VIT’s PVP College of Architecture, Pune. She believes in a holistic approach towards design and living with nature. Through her bachelor’s study, she has developed an interest in travelling and exploring this profession. Apart from architecture, dance and music are an integral part which has made herself know better.