Explore our speakers

Jacques Rougerie

Architect & Member of the Institut

BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background

He enters the Beaux Arts in 1964 working in Auguste Perret’s former workshop under Paul Maymont’s direction. Fascinated by Cousteau’s adventure shining from Monaco as well as the first underwater houses, he undertakes studies at the Oceanographic Institute of Paris in 1970 integrating at the same time the University Of Vincennes and the Arts & Métiers School under Jean Prouve’s direction.

His research led him to take two thesis on the same day, one based on the reconversion of an Indonesian community from Banda evolving from sea fishers to sea farmers established in a true lake dwelling, the other mixing technology with prospective and suggesting the project for the creation of an “International University of the Sea” that would assure mobility on all the oceans of the planet.

As a professor since the age of 31, Jacques Rougerie successively teached at the Ecole Speciale d’Architecture (1976-1977) and the Ecole d’Architecture of Paris Tolbiac (1981-1993) and since 1993, he teaches at the Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture of Paris-Val de Seine.  Since 1971, Jacques Rougerie holds many conferences and exhibitions around the world and takes part in various international symposiums and events thematically related to architecture and the sea.

ACHIEVEMENT/ What is your project, initiative, start-up, company all about?

Thanks to his passion for adventure and exploration, Jacques Rougerie builds and resides in the underwater housing he creates: Galathée in 1980 in the Sea of Japan and Hippocampe in 1981, off Marseilles involving the Comex and on which he spent Christmas under the sea with children. He succeeds in crossing the Atlantic in Aquaspace’s transparent and underwater nacelle, a ground-breaking record in 1985. In 1992, he takes part in setting the world record for spending 71 days underwater in the underwater house “Chaloupa” in the USA in company of Rick Presley and Yann Koblic.

Each year since 2003, he participates in the Nasa’s NEEMO Training Program for astronauts that takes place in an underwater habitat off Florida’s coast.

His latest running project is a great exploratory, scientific, technologic and human adventure between sea and space is SeaOrbiter. It has inherited from Jacques’ 30 years of research led to open the doors of this three dimensional universe where divers and astronauts meet.

LOCATION/ In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities?


IMPACT/ What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental impact…of the activity, project, initiative, start-up, company?

The Jacques Rougerie Foundation, placed under Monaco’s SAS Albert II’s honor presidency, was created on December 3rd 2009. It aims at encouraging the fulfillment of dreams as well as developing scientific and technologic innovation by bringing to life new vocations on the international front to instate a new relationship between man and the sea. By perpetuating Jacques Rougerie’s work, it also intends to promote the arousal, awareness and action of all humankinds for a long lasting integration of the ocean in our future behaviors and attitudes.

Moreover, with its International Architecture Competition, the Jacques Rougerie Foundation strives to contribute to developing projects that favor the emergence of new techniques, a new architecture, a new design, or any other tool that may fulfill the requirements to build a responsible future based on the precepts of sustainable development related to the sea.

Its final goal is to provide future generations with the means and arms to act. This by conferring them the necessary tools and structures, or allow them to create them themselves, to set a convenient life environment that takes into account and values the blue planet’s resources.

QUOTE/ A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something about you

“It is from the ocean that will be born the destiny of civilizations to come”