David Levain is a
Berlin-based architect
and urbanist.


His work ranges from the small to the very large scale, little gardens to urban studies, with the ambition to investigate the many territories behind our fragmented contemporary condition. If there is a method, then it is collaborative + research-based. A philosophy: behind each project, a close attention to the existing, an attempt to stimulate transformation processes that do not assume any beginning or end, as well as a deliberate focus on the un-built and the presence of nature as the primary matter for situations in evolution.

Before starting his own practice in 2013, David was a project leader at LIN Finn Geipel + Giulia Andi in Berlin. There, between 2009 and 2013, he acquired a solid experience of collaborative and multidisciplinary work within the urban domain. Key projects include ”Grand Paris” – an urban vision for the metropolitan region of Paris commissioned by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy,  and the award-winning project “Cour des Douanes-Zollhofareal“ in Strasbourg and Kehl.
Beside previous experiences in different architectural practices, David has regularly been teaching architecture and urbanism in the recent years. He was successively an assistant teacher for architectural theory at ENSAPB in Paris (2008-2009), a regular guest critic at TU Berlin (2010-2013) and a guest lecturer at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen (March 2012).
For LIN, David contributed to several exhibitions in Berlin and Paris and different publications in France and Germany. He participated in numerous lectures, seminars and roundtables, at Atelier International du Grand Paris, TU Berlin, TU Munich, Heidelberger Bauforum, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts...
David has long been engaged in research and theory. After investigating on Berlin and its late urban developments, he is currently writing an urban theory article on contemporary approaches to urbanism, to be published in the french periodical review Marnes, Documents d’Architecture, due for Winter 2014.
Born in Paris, David studied at ENSAPB and TU Berlin. He graduated with a Diploma in Architecture from ENSAPB and holds a License for Professional Architectural Practice (HMONP).


Diploma in Architecture, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris-Belleville (ENSAPB) 

2001 – 2008 
Studies in Architecture, ENSAPB

2004 – 2005
Studies in Architecture, Technische Universität Berlin 

Professional Experience

since 05. 2013 
Freelance Architect/Urbanist, Berlin

2009 – 2013
LIN Finn Geipel + Giulia Andi, Berlin – project leader (Grand Paris / urban projects) 

Louis Paillard Architecte DPLG, Paris – architect

07. – 09. 2006 
Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Paris – intern

07. 2003 
Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP, New York – intern 


2010 – 2012 
Technische Universität Berlin, LIA Laboratory for Integrative Architecture – guest critic
Soft Territories (2010), SUR (2011), ADD (2012) Design Seminars, Prof. F. Geipel 


The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Dept. 1 – guest teacher
International workshop "La ville légère" (27.03 – 30.03.2012), Prof. J. Kvorning & H. Stüben 

2008 – 2009
Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris-Belleville – assistant teacher
"Du texte à l'image – de l'auteur au concept", Architectural Theory Seminar, Prof P. Villien 


"L'urbanisme en négatif", urban theory article, for publication in Marnes, Documents d'Architecture (dir. S. Marot & E. Alonzo), exp. Winter 2014 

"China in the hands", report from contemporary urban China, 2013

"Rem Koolhaas: La part de Berlin – 1971 – 2004", Master Thesis, ENSAPB, 2008 – 2009


Cour des Douanes – Zollhofareal, competition 1st Prize, 2013 [for LIN – project leader]

New Paris Courthouse, competition 1st Prize (student category), 2007


Habiter la Ville Légère in "Habiter le Grand Paris, la Semaine de l'Atelier International du Grand Paris", Centquatre, Paris, 01.07.13 – 07.07.13 [for LIN]

Angers Berges de Maine in "Angers Rives Nouvelles – Trois regards, un grand projet pour les Berges de la Maine", Le Quai, Angers, 06.01.12 – 07.02.12 [for LIN]

"Paris Periphär – Potenziale jenseits des Zentrums", interactive installation within "Grand Paris in Berlin – Die Zukunft unserer Metropolen", Kulturforum, Berlin, 21.02.11 – 08.05.11 [for LIN]

Venice Archipelago Parks in "2G Competition Venice Lagoon Park", Gustavo Gili, Barcelona + Arsenale, Venice, 08. – 11. 2007

New Paris Courthouse in "Tolbiac: La justice dans la Cité", Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris, 13.12.06 – 07.01.2007 


"Habiter la Ville légère", contribution to "Habiter le Grand Paris" (AIGP, B. Lemoine, P. Mansat), Archibooks, Paris, 2013 [for LIN]

Cour des Douanes – Zollhofareal in Bauwelt n°10, March 2013, Wettbewerbe Aktuell n°4, April 2013, AMC n°222, March 2013 [for LIN]

"Grand Paris Métropole Douce" in L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui n°327, February 2010 [for LIN]

Venice Archipelago Parks in "2G Competition Venice Lagoon Park", Editorial Gustavo Gili, Barcelona, 2008

New Paris Courthouse in "AMC Hors-Série" n°167, February 2007 


“Strasbourg d’aujourd’hui, ses architectes français et allemands“, roundtable, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, 12.04.13 [for LIN]

"Ville légère – la part souple des métropoles", AIGP, Théâtre de la Cité Internationale, Paris, 22.03.13 [for LIN]

"La ville légère", Technische Universität München, Lehrstuhl für Integriertes Bauen, 17.12.12 [for LIN]

"Großsiedlungen", Technische Universität Berlin, LIA Laboratory for Integrative Architecture, 19.04.12 [for LIN]

"Urban systems", Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, 27.03.12 [for LIN]

"Grand Paris Metropole Douce", 08. Heidelberger Bauforum, Leimen, 22.09.13 [for LIN]

“Grand Paris - Multifunctional Landscapes“, Technische Universität Berlin, FG Landschaftsarchitektur / Freiraumplanung, 11.05.10 [for LIN]