Jean Nouvel (French: [ʒɑ̃ nu.vɛl]; born 12 August 1945) is a French architect. Nouvel studied at the 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.
Jean Nouvel in 2009
|Born||12 August 1945|
|Alma mater||École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts|
|Awards||Aga Khan Award for Architecture (Arab World Institute),|
Wolf Prize in Arts,
|Practice||Ateliers Jean Nouvel|
|Buildings||Arab World Institute, Paris,|
Culture and Congress Centre, Lucerne,
Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis,
Torre Agbar, Barcelona,
Musée du quai Branly, Paris, Fondation Cartier, Paris
|Projects||Philharmonie de Paris (2012),|
Louvre Abu Dhabi (2017)
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 apartment complex.
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.
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 (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, he founded 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.
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 eccentric" 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 Center in Lucerne (2000), the Opéra Nouvel in Lyon (1993), Expo 2002 in 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.
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.
Nouvel and the buildings which he designed have received a number of distinctions during his career, the most prestigious of which are listed below.
53 West 53, also known as the MoMA Expansion Tower and 53 West 53rd Street, and formerly known as Tower Verre is a supertall skyscraper currently under construction by the real estate companies Hines, Pontiac Land Group and Goldman Sachs, located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City adjacent to The Museum of Modern Art. The building had been in development since 2006, and construction began in late 2014. It was officially topped out in August 2018. As of 2019, 53 West 53 is the seventh-tallest building in the city.Arab World Institute
The Arab World Institute (abbreviated "AWI"; French: Institut du Monde Arabe, abbreviated "IMA") is an organization founded in Paris in 1980 by 18 Arab countries with France to research and disseminate information about the Arab world and its cultural and spiritual values. The Institute was established as a result of a perceived lack of representation for the Arab world in France, and seeks to provide a secular location for the promotion of Arab civilization, art, knowledge, and aesthetics. Housed within the institution are a museum, library, auditorium, restaurant, offices and meeting rooms.Baku Museum of Modern Art
Baku Museum of Modern Art (Azerbaijani: Bakı müasir incəsənət muzeyi) is a museum of modern art located in Baku, Azerbaijan.Ducks Scéno
Ducks Scéno (Stylized as dUCKS scéno) is a French company based in Villeurbanne specializing in scenography and museography.Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain
The Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, often known simply as the Fondation Cartier, is a contemporary art museum located at 261 boulevard Raspail in the 14th arrondissement of the French capital, Paris. It is open daily except Monday; an admission fee is charged. The nearest Paris Métro stations are Raspail or Denfert-Rochereau on Line 4 and Line 6.Guthrie Theater
The Guthrie Theater, founded in 1963, is a center for theater performance, production, education, and professional training in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The concept of the theater was born in 1959 in a series of discussions between Sir Tyrone Guthrie, Oliver Rea and Peter Zeisler. Disenchanted with Broadway, they intended to form a theater with a resident acting company, to perform classic plays in rotating repertory, while maintaining the highest professional standards.
The Guthrie Theater has performed in two main-stage facilities. The first building was designed by Ralph Rapson, included a 1,441-seat thrust stage designed by Tanya Moiseiwitsch, and was operated from 1963–2006. After closing its 2005–2006 season, the theater moved to its current facility designed by Jean Nouvel.
In 1982, the theater won the Regional Theatre Tony Award.Institut de l'information scientifique et technique
The Institut de l'information scientifique et technique, or INIST (English: Institute of Scientific and Technical Information) is the CNRS centre of documentation located in France. It has as mission to collect, treat and diffuse results of scientific and technical research. The INIST produces three bibliographic multilingual and multidisciplinary databases: PASCAL, FRANCIS, and DOGE. It is based at Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, in a building designed by Jean Nouvel. In addition, INIST publishes a number of electronic journals.Koncerthuset
DR Koncerthuset (previously Copenhagen Concert Hall in English) by Jean Nouvel is a part of the new DR Byen (DR Town), that houses the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, DR. The concert hall and the DR Town are located in the northern part of Ørestad – an ambitious development area in Copenhagen, Denmark. The concert complex consists of four halls with the main auditorium seating 1,800 people. It is the home of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.
With a total surface of 25,000 m², the concert hall complex designed by Jean Nouvel includes a concert hall of 1800 people and three recording studios with variable acoustics. The scenography of the concert hall and three recording studios was designed with dUCKS scéno. The acoustic studies were realized by Nagata Acoustics. The construction, begun in February, 2003, was finished in January, 2009. The Queen of Denmark inaugurated the venue on January 17, 2009.Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
The Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art is a museum in Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea, run by the Samsung Foundation of Culture.
It comprises two parts that house traditional Korean art and contemporary art. Museum 1 is designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta and Museum 2 is by French architect
Jean Nouvel and Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas designed the Samsung Child Education & Culture Center.Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is an art and civilization museum, located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The museum was inaugurated on 8 November 2017 by French President Emmanuel Macron and United Arab Emirates Vice President Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The museum is part of a thirty-year agreement between the city of Abu Dhabi and the French government. The museum is located on the Saadiyat Island Cultural District. It is approximately 24,000 square metres (260,000 sq ft) in size, with 8,000 square metres (86,000 sq ft) of galleries , making it the largest art museum in the Arabian peninsula. The final cost of the construction is expected to be about €600 million. In addition, US$525 million was paid by Abu Dhabi to be associated with the Louvre name, and an additional US$747 million will be paid in exchange for art loans, special exhibitions and management advice.Artworks from around the world are showcased at the museum, with particular focus placed upon bridging the gap between Eastern and Western art.Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre
The Culture and Congress Centre in Lucerne (or KKL for Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Luzern) is a multi-functional building with a concert hall that is esteemed for its high-profile acoustics. It was built according to the plans of the architect Jean Nouvel and was inaugurated in 1998 with a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Claudio Abbado.Lucerne Festival
The Lucerne Festival is a series of classical music festivals based in Lucerne, Switzerland. Founded in 1938, it currently produces three festivals per year, attracting some 110,000 visitors annually taking place since 2004 primarily at the Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre (KKL) designed by Jean Nouvel. Each festival features resident orchestras and soloists alongside guest performances from international ensembles and artists, in 2017 including the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Emanuel Ax, Martha Argerich and Maxim Vengerov.Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS, also called the Museo Reina Sofía, Queen Sofía Museum, El Reina Sofía, or simply El Reina) is Spain's national museum of 20th-century art. The museum was officially inaugurated on September 10, 1992, and is named for Queen Sofía. It is located in Madrid, near the Atocha train and metro stations, at the southern end of the so-called Golden Triangle of Art (located along the Paseo del Prado and also comprising the Museo del Prado and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza).
The museum is mainly dedicated to Spanish art. Highlights of the museum include excellent collections of Spain's two greatest 20th-century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. The most famous masterpiece in the museum is Picasso's painting Guernica. Along with its extensive collection, the museum offers a mixture of national and international temporary exhibitions in its many galleries, making it one of the world's largest museums for modern and contemporary art.
It also hosts a free-access library specializing in art, with a collection of over 100,000 books, over 3,500 sound recordings, and almost 1,000 videos.Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac
The Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac (French pronunciation: [myze dy kɛ bʁɑ̃li]) in Paris, France, is a museum featuring the indigenous art and cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. The museum collection has 450,000 objects, of which 3,500 are on display at any given time, in both permanent and temporary thematic exhibits. A selection of objects from the museum is also displayed in the Pavillon des Sessions of the Louvre.
The Quai Branly Museum opened in 2006, and is the newest of the major museums in Paris. It received 1.15 million visitors in 2016. It is jointly administered by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, and serves as both a museum and a center for research. The Musée du quai Branly is located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, on the left bank of the Seine, close to the Eiffel Tower and the Pont de l'Alma. The nearest Paris Métro and RER stations are Alma – Marceau and Pont de l'Alma.National Museum of Qatar
The National Museum of Qatar is a national museum in Doha, Qatar. The museum opened to the public on 28 March 2019. The building, which was constructed in place of the original Qatar National Museum, was designed by architect Jean Nouvel who got his inspiration from the desert rose crystal, which can be found in Qatar. The museum site includes Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani's Palace, which is the heart of the Qatari national identity.One New Change
One New Change is a major office and retail development in the City of London. It comprises 560,000 square feet (52,000 m2) of floor space, including 220,000 square feet (20,000 m2) of retail space and 330,000 square feet (31,000 m2) of office space and is the only large shopping centre in the City of London, the historic nucleus and modern financial centre of London. It cost £500 million to build and was completed in October 2010.The complex is located on New Change, a road linking Cannon Street with Cheapside, in one of the areas of the City historically associated with retailing and markets. It is close to St. Paul's Cathedral. The nearest London Underground stations are St. Paul's and Mansion House.Opéra Nouvel
The Opéra Nouvel (Nouvel Opera House) in Lyon, France is the home of the Opéra National de Lyon. The original opera house was re-designed by the distinguished French architect, Jean Nouvel between 1985 and 1993 in association with the agency of scenography dUCKS scéno and the acoustician Peutz. Serge Dorny was appointed general director in 2003.Philharmonie de Paris
The Philharmonie de Paris is a cultural institution in Paris, France which combine spaces all dedicated to music.
It is composed of concert halls, exhibition spaces, rehearsal rooms, educational services, restaurant and bars. The main buildings are all located in the Parc de la Villette at the northeastern edge of Paris in the 19th arrondissement.
At the core of this set of spaces is the symphonic concert hall of 2,400 seats designed by Jean Nouvel and opened in January 2015. Its construction had been postponed for about twenty years to complete the current musical institution la Cité de la Musique designed by Christian de Portzamparc and opened since 1995.
Mainly dedicated to symphonic concerts, the Philharmonie de Paris also present other forms of music such as jazz and world music.Torre Glòries
The Torre Glòries, formerly known as Torre Agbar (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈtorə əɡˈbaɾ]), is a 38-story skyscraper/tower located between Avinguda Diagonal and Carrer Badajoz, near Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, which marks the gateway to the new technological district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel in association with the Spanish firm b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos and built by Dragados. The Torre Glòries is located in the Poblenou neighbourhood of Barcelona and it was originally named after its owners, the Agbar Group, a holding company whose interests include the Barcelona water company Aigües de Barcelona.The tower measures a total of 50,693 m2 (545,650 sq ft), of which 30,000 m2 (320,000 sq ft) are offices, 3,210 m2 (34,600 sq ft) technical facilities, 8,132 m2 (87,530 sq ft) services, including an auditorium, and 9,132 m2 (98,300 sq ft) parking space. It cost €130 million to build.
It opened in June 2005 and was officially opened by King Juan Carlos I on 16 September 2005. It is one in a collection of high-tech architecture examples in Barcelona.
The building was owned by the multinational group Agbar, which has its corporate headquarters in the building and which takes up most of the floors, leasing the remainder. The Agbar Tower was acquired in March 2010 for 165 million euros, after reaching an agreement with its former owner, the investment group Azurelau. Azurelau had previously bought the property in mid-2007. The purchase price was not disclosed.
By 2017 it was purchased by Merlin Properties real estate group and it was renamed as Torre Glòries after the name of the adjacent square.
Laureates of the Wolf Prize in Arts