Jean Nouvel

© Gaston Bergeret

A world-renowned architect, Jean Nouvel is fascinated by metal and glass. The architect plays with effects of light and transparency in his constructions, which are found throughout the world, from Europe to the United States, from Japan to Abu Dhabi. He also works on the renovation of old monuments, such as the Opéra de Lyon. Refusing the idea of a “Nouvel style”, he is very attentive to the locations of his buildings, which play a major role in determining their design. He is convinced of the necessity of an architectural renaissance, and is fiercely opposed to all forms of standardisation. He is one of the cofounders of the March 1976 movement and the Syndicat de l’Architecture, which supports innovative values. Some of his most famous constructions include the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis or the Agbar Tower in Barcelona.

Born in 1945, Jean Nouvel joined the architecture section of the École des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux in 1964. In 1966, he was admitted as the top student at the entrance examination to the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. He worked initially as an assistant to Claude Parent, and then created his first agency in 1970, with François Seigneur. In 1971, he obtained his DPLG diploma and, with the aid of critic Georges Boudaille, he became the architect of the Biennale de Paris. He has received numerous awards, and in 2008 he was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize for his overall achievement.


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