Jean Nouvel (French: [ʒɑ̃ nu.vɛl]; born 12 August 1945) is a
French architect. Nouvel studied at the
École des Beaux-Arts
École des Beaux-Arts in Paris
and was a founding member of Mars 1976 and Syndicat de l'Architecture.
He has obtained a number of prestigious distinctions over the course
of his career, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture
(technically, the prize was awarded for the Institut du Monde Arabe
which Nouvel designed), the
Wolf Prize in Arts in 2005 and the
Pritzker Prize in 2008. A number of museums and
architectural centres have presented retrospectives of his work.
1 Family and education
3 Pritzker Prize
4.1 Notable works
4.2 Under construction
4.4 Abandoned projects
5 Awards and honors
5.1 Individual distinctions
5.2 Distinctions for projects
7 External links
Family and education
Nouvel was born on 12 August 1945 in Fumel, France. He is the son of
Renée and Roger Nouvel who were teachers. His family moved often when
his father became the county's chief school superintendent. His
parents encouraged Nouvel to study mathematics and language, but when
he was 16 years old he was captivated by art when a teacher taught him
drawing. Although he later said he thought that his parents were
guiding him to pursue a career in education or engineering, the family
reached a compromise that he could study architecture which they
thought was less risky than art.
When Nouvel failed an entrance examination at the École des
Beaux-Arts of Bordeaux, he moved to Paris where he won first prize in
a national competition to attend the École nationale supérieure des
Beaux-Arts. From 1967 to 1970, Nouvel earned his income as an
assistant to architects Claude Parent and Paul Virilio, who after only
one year, made him a project manager in charge of building a large
Nouvel and filmmaker Odile Fillion married and have two sons,
Bertrand, who is a post-doctorate computer scientist working at
Mindstorm Multitouch in London, and Pierre, who is a theater producer
and designer at his company, Factoid. With his second wife Catherine
Richard, Nouvel has a daughter, Sarah. He lives now with Mia Hägg,
who is a Swedish architect working at her practice Habiter Autrement
(HA) in Paris.
Torre Aigües de Barcelona (Agbar), Barcelona
By age 25, Nouvel completed school and entered into his own
partnership with François Seigneur. Parents sent them work, and gave
Nouvel a valuable recommendation to the chairperson of the seventh
edition of the Biennale de Paris where for fifteen years, Nouvel
designed exhibits and made contacts in the arts and theater. Early
on in his career, Nouvel became a key participant in intellectual
debates about architecture in France: he co-founded the Mars 1976
movement in 1976 and, a year later, the Syndicat de l'Architecture.
Nouvel was one of the organizers of the competition for the
rejuvenation of the
Les Halles district (1977) and he founded the
first Paris architecture biennale in 1980.
In 1981, Nouvel, together with Architecture-Studio, won the design
competition for the
Institut du Monde Arabe
Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute)
building in Paris, whose construction was completed in 1987 and
brought Nouvel international fame. Mechanical lenses reminiscent of
Arabic latticework in its south wall open and shut automatically,
controlling interior lighting as the lenses' photoelectric cells
respond to exterior light levels.
Nouvel had three different partners between 1972 and 1984: Gilbert
Lezenes, Jean-François Guyot, and Pierre Soria. In 1985, with his
junior architects Emmanuel Blamont, Jean-Marc Ibos and Mirto Vitart,
Jean Nouvel et Associés. Then, with Emmanuel Gattani, he
formed JNEC in 1988. Ateliers Jean Nouvel, his present practice, was
formed in 1994 with Michel Pélissié and is one of the largest in
France, with 140 people in the main office in Paris. Ateliers Jean
Nouvel site offices are Rome, Geneva, Madrid and Barcelona. They are
working on 30 active projects in 13 countries. Nouvel designed a
flacon for L'Homme, an Yves Saint Laurent fragrance, in a limited
edition launched in 2008.
Culture and Convention Center
Culture and Convention Center (2000) in Lucerne
Nouvel was awarded the Pritzker Prize, architecture's highest honour,
in 2008, for his work on more than 200 projects, among them, in the
words of The New York Times, the "exotically louvered" Arab World
Institute, the bullet-shaped and "candy-colored"
Torre Agbar in
Barcelona, the "muscular"
Guthrie Theater with its cantilevered bridge
in Minneapolis, and in Paris, the "defiant, mysterious and wildly
Musée du quai Branly
Musée du quai Branly (2006) and the Philharmonie de Paris
(a "trip into the unknown" c. 2012).
Pritzker points to several more major works: in Europe, the Cartier
Foundation for Contemporary Art (1994), the Culture and Convention
Lucerne (2000), the
Opéra Nouvel in
Lyon (1993), Expo 2002
Switzerland and, under construction, the Copenhagen Concert Hall
and the courthouse in
Nantes (2000); as well as two tall towers in
planning in North America, Tour Verre in New York City and a cancelled
condominium tower in Los Angeles,
In its citation, the jury of the Pritzker prize noted:
Of the many phrases that might be used to describe the career of
architect Jean Nouvel, foremost are those that emphasize his
courageous pursuit of new ideas and his challenge of accepted norms in
order to stretch the boundaries of the field. [...] The jury
acknowledged the 'persistence, imagination, exuberance, and, above
all, an insatiable urge for creative experimentation' as qualities
abundant in Nouvel's work.
Main article: List of
Jean Nouvel works
Gasometer A (2001) in Vienna
Expo.02 (2002) in Switzerland
Tower 25, Nicosia, 2011
Nouvel has designed a number of notable buildings across the world,
the most significant of which are listed below. As part of the
announcement of Nouvel's Pritzker Prize, the Hyatt Foundation, which
awards the prize, published a full illustrated list of Nouvel's
architectural work, including projects which were never built,
projects in construction and designs for which construction has yet to
start. In 2001 director
Beat Kuert filmed a documentary about
five of Nouvel's projects titled Jean Nouvel.
1987 – Nemausus 1 (Housing, 114 apartments), Nîmes, France
Arab World Institute
Arab World Institute (together with Architecture-Studio),
Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain (Office /
Cultural), Paris, France
1995 – Euralille, (Retail / Office / Housing), Lille, France
Culture and Convention Center
Culture and Convention Center (Performance Space / Conference
Hall / Museum / Restaurant), Lucerne, Switzerland
2000 – Palais de Justice, Nantes, France
Golden Angel (Zlatý Anděl), Prague, Czech Republic
2002 – Monolith of Expo.02, Murten, Switzerland
Torre Agbar (Office), Barcelona, Spain
2004 – Museum Two, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South
2005 – Reina Sofía Museum expansion, Madrid, Spain
2006 – Musée du quai Branly, Paris, France
2006 – Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MN, USA
2009 – Copenhagen Concert Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark
2010 – 100 Eleventh Avenue, Manhattan, NY, USA.
Serpentine Gallery temporary pavilion, London
2010 – One New Change, London
Tower 25 in Nicosia
Doha Tower skyscraper, Doha, Qatar
2012 – City Hall, Montpellier.
2015 – Philharmonie de Paris, Paris.
2016 – Le Nouvel Residences, Kuala Lumpur.
2017 – Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Central Park redevelopment plan in Sydney will see 11 new
buildings in partnership with architects such as
Norman Foster to
recreate an abandoned brewery occupying almost four inner-city blocks.
Nouvel's 120-meter One Central Park is his first project in Australia,
and will feature a cantilevered mirror hanging over the central square
off of the side of the building.
Stelios Ioannou Learning Resource Center
Stelios Ioannou Learning Resource Center is an under construction
project for the
University of Cyprus
University of Cyprus in Nicosia. The project is
expected to be completed in 2018.
In November 2006, Hines commissioned Nouvel to build a new 82-story
tower, named first the Tour de Verre, later to become 53W53, next to
Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art in Midtown Manhattan. The tower is scheduled
to open in 2018. It will contain luxury apartments and three floors
(2nd, 4th, and 5th) will be used by MoMA to expand its exhibition
In March 2010,
Jean Nouvel presented his plans for the National Museum
of Qatar. In September 2011,
Qatar approved the $434 million
museum project. The museum is currently under construction.
Jean Nouvel is one of the architects involved in the designing of the
Slussen in Stockholm.
In February 2008, Nouvel agreed to design a 45-story luxury condo
tower in upscale Century City section of Los Angeles. The tower will
be of modern design—it is designed to maximize views of the Los
Angeles Country Club from the units and is opposed by both homeowners
associations in Beverly Hills for the shadows it will cast on many
small homes and its next door neighbor, Beverly Hills High School.
In April 2007,
Jean Nouvel associated with Marshall Day Acoustics Ltd
won the competition to build a new Orchestra Hall (Philharmonie de
Paris) in Paris, close to
Cité de la Musique
Cité de la Musique (opening in 2015)
1989 – The
Tour Sans Fins (Office/High-Rise) at La Défense, France,
was never realized. Nouvel's winning design, proposed as Europe's
tallest building in 1989, was to change ground up from granite,
followed by aluminum, stainless steel and finally
glass—"increasingly diaphanous before disappearing into the sky".
2003 – The
Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center addition by Nouvel in Pittsburgh
was never realized. Nouvel's winning design ended up being too
expensive and Nouvel's contract was terminated by the Carnegie Science
Center, citing a "dramatic difference between the budget for the
project and the estimated cost."
On Tuesday 27 May 2008 Nouvel's design won the contest for the
Tour Signal in La Défense.
Awards and honors
Nouvel and the buildings which he designed have received a number of
distinctions during his career, the most prestigious of which are
Honorary degrees from the
University of Buenos Aires
University of Buenos Aires (1983), the Royal
College of Art, London (2002) and the
University of Naples
University of Naples (2002).
Honorary fellow of the
American Institute of Architects
American Institute of Architects (1993) and of
Royal Institute of British Architects
Royal Institute of British Architects (1995).
In 1997, Nouvel was named Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des
Lettres. He first joined the order in 1983. He is also Chevalier de la
2005 – Wolf Prize in Arts
2008 – Pritzker Prize
Distinctions for projects
Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the Institut du Monde
Arabe. In 1987, the building also won the Équerre d'Argent
awarded yearly to the best building in France.
2010 Wallpaper* Magazine Design Award, Best new public house category
for Copenhagen Concert Hall
2001 – Centre Pompidou, Paris
2005 – Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
^ a b "Aga Khan Award for Architecture; The Fourth Award Cycle,
1987–1989". Aga Khan Development Network. Archived from the original
on 15 March 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2008.
^ a b "THE 2005 Wolf Foundation Prize in the Arts". Wolf Foundation.
Archived from the original on 14 September 2007. Retrieved 30 March
^ a b c Robin Pogrebin (30 March 2008). "French Architect Wins
Pritzker Prize". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 March 2008.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Media Kit announcing the 2008 Pritzker
architecture Prize Laureate" (PDF). The Hyatt Foundation. 31 March
2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 April 2008. Retrieved 31
^ a b c d e f "Press release for a 2001–2002 retrospective of
Nouvel's work" (PDF). Centre Pompidou. 2001. Archived from the
original (PDF) on 9 April 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2008. . A
shorter version in English is also available.
^ a b Alain Adam (Winter 2006). "Not all Sweetness and Light at Quai
Branly". State of Art (8). Archived from the original on 10 March
^ Slenske, Michael (20 March 2008). "Pocket Rocket". Advance
Publications via Men.Style.com. Archived from the original on 24 March
2008. Retrieved 2 April 2008.
^ a b "Nouvel wins top architect's prize". BBC News. 31 March 2008.
Retrieved 31 March 2008.
^ "Project List – 2000–2007 – Ateliers Jean Nouvel" (PDF). The
Hyatt Foundation. 31 March 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9
April 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
Pritzker Architecture Prize
Pritzker Architecture Prize 2008 Presented to Jean Nouvel"
(PDF). The Hyatt Foundation. 31 March 2008. Archived from the original
(PDF) on 9 April 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
^ Photos at archiseek.com
^ "Photo". Galinsky.com. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
Torre Agbar at Structurae
^ CNN Go Seoul's best museums 27 October 2011. Retrieved 4 November
Copenhagen Concert Hall
Copenhagen Concert Hall project description". Danmarks Radio
website. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
^ Mindlin, Alex (11 February 2007). "After a 37-Year Run, a Roadside
Venus to Be Veiled". The New York Times.
^ Ouroussoff, Nicolai (15 March 2010). "At the Corner of Grit and
Glamour". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2010
^ "Flying High in Qatar".
^ "Le nouvel hôtel de ville – Portail Ville de Montpellier". Ville
^ "Συνεχής ενημέρωση για το πλαίσιο
λειτουργίας της Βιβλιοθήκης κατά την
περίοδο μετεγκατάστασης στο νέο
κτήριο Κέντρο Πληροφόρησης –
Βιβλιοθήκη «Στέλιος Ιωάννου»". University of
University of Cyprus
University of Cyprus Library. Retrieved 15 March
^ Ouroussoff, Nicolai (15 November 2007). "Next to MoMA, Reaching for
the Stars". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 March 2008.
53W53 Shows Its Exoskeleton
^ Brass, Kevin, "
Qatar awards $434 million museum work to Hyundai",
The National, September 5, 2011.
^ "Arkitektstjärnor slåss om Slussen". Dagens Nyheter. Archived from
the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
^ Vincent, Roger (7 February 2008). "New heights of luxury in Century
City". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 4 March 2008.
Retrieved 30 March 2008.
Philharmonie de Paris
Philharmonie de Paris (Paris Symphony Hall)". The Design Build
Network. Retrieved 30 March 2008.
^ Lowry, Patricia. "Science center drops French architect as price
outraces budget". Retrieved 16 September 2012.
^ Lebow, Arthur (6 April 2008). "The Contextualizer". The New York
Times. p. 4; excerpt, "...a skyscraper that Nouvel (adapting a
term from the artist Brâncuși) called the "tour sans fins," or
endless tower. Conceived as a kind of minaret alongside the squat,
monumental Grande Arche de La Défense, the endless tower has taken on
some of the mystique of Mies van der Rohe's unbuilt Friedrichstrasse
glass skyscraper of 1921. To obscure its lower end, the tower was
designed to sit within a crater. Its facade, appearing to vanish in
the sky, changed as it rose, from charcoal-colored granite to paler
stone, then to aluminum and finally to glass that became increasingly
reflective, all to enhance the illusion of dematerialization.".
^ List of winners of the Équerre d'Argent, Groupe Moniteur.
^ "Design Awards 2010: the winners". Wallpaper. Retrieved 21 April
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Buildings by Jean Nouvel.
Jean Nouvel biography and works
Vanity Fair Interview
Buildings by Jean Nouvel
Jean Nouvel Architecture on Google maps
Pritzker Architecture Prize
Pritzker Architecture Prize laureates
Philip Johnson (1979)
Luis Barragán (1980)
James Stirling (1981)
Kevin Roche (1982)
I. M. Pei
I. M. Pei (1983)
Richard Meier (1984)
Hans Hollein (1985)
Gottfried Böhm (1986)
Kenzo Tange (1987)
Gordon Bunshaft and
Oscar Niemeyer (1988)
Frank Gehry (1989)
Aldo Rossi (1990)
Robert Venturi (1991)
Álvaro Siza Vieira
Álvaro Siza Vieira (1992)
Fumihiko Maki (1993)
Christian de Portzamparc
Christian de Portzamparc (1994)
Tadao Ando (1995)
Rafael Moneo (1996)
Sverre Fehn (1997)
Renzo Piano (1998)
Norman Foster (1999)
Rem Koolhaas (2000)
Herzog & de Meuron (2001)
Glenn Murcutt (2002)
Jørn Utzon (2003)
Zaha Hadid (2004)
Thom Mayne (2005)
Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Paulo Mendes da Rocha (2006)
Richard Rogers (2007)
Jean Nouvel (2008)
Peter Zumthor (2009)
Kazuyo Sejima and
Ryue Nishizawa /
Eduardo Souto de Moura
Eduardo Souto de Moura (2011)
Wang Shu (2012)
Toyo Ito (2013)
Shigeru Ban (2014)
Frei Otto (2015)
Alejandro Aravena (2016)
Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramón Vilalta / RCR Arquitectes
B. V. Doshi
B. V. Doshi (2018)
Laureates of the Wolf Prize in Arts
Ralph Erskine (1983/4)
Fumihiko Maki /
Giancarlo De Carlo
Giancarlo De Carlo (1988)
Frank Gehry /
Jørn Utzon /
Denys Lasdun (1992)
Frei Otto /
Aldo van Eyck
Aldo van Eyck (1996/7)
Álvaro Siza Vieira
Álvaro Siza Vieira (2001)
Jean Nouvel (2005)
David Chipperfield /
Peter Eisenman (2010)
Eduardo Souto de Moura
Eduardo Souto de Moura (2013)
Phyllis Lambert (2016)
Vladimir Horowitz /
Olivier Messiaen /
Josef Tal (1982)
Isaac Stern /
Krzysztof Penderecki (1987)
Yehudi Menuhin /
Luciano Berio (1991)
Zubin Mehta /
György Ligeti (1995/6)
Pierre Boulez /
Riccardo Muti (2000)
Mstislav Rostropovich /
Daniel Barenboim (2004)
Giya Kancheli /
Claudio Abbado (2008)
Plácido Domingo /
Simon Rattle (2012)
Jessye Norman /
Murray Perahia (2015)
Marc Chagall /
Antoni Tàpies (1981)
Jasper Johns (1986)
Anselm Kiefer (1990)
Gerhard Richter (1994/5)
Louise Bourgeois (2002/3)
Michelangelo Pistoletto (2006/7)
Rosemarie Trockel (2011)
Eduardo Chillida (1984/5)
Claes Oldenburg (1989)
Bruce Nauman (1993)
James Turrell (1998)
Louise Bourgeois (2002/3)
Michelangelo Pistoletto (2006/7)
Olafur Eliasson (2014)
Laurie Anderson /
Lawrence Weiner (2017)
Paul McCartney /
Ádám Fischer (2018)
ISNI: 0000 0001 2096 6839
BNF: cb12118875v (data)